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Todays Tech Market: The Value of an Agency Recruiter

By now, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all seen the impact and slowdown of the Tech industry. With record numbers of layoffs, financial effects of the macro environment and a steep decline in jobs, we’ve been in stormy waters.

Number of job vacancies in the UK from June 2001 to March 2023, in 1,000s (Statistca)

If we look at the tech job market today and specifically the vacancies listed on LinkedIn, it’s becoming the norm where posted roles will see 100’s of applications in the first few days. The time taken to screen profiles has increased, decisions are being made at a slower rate and overall… the hiring process is slow. There are even situations where the financial uncertainly means that hiring managers and TA teams may think that they have the budget to hire one week, and then find out, after posting the job and even conducted interviews, that the company has changed its mind.

With all this going on, there’s been a lot of discussion in the recruitment world, and even conversations I’ve had with business leads, about the value of an agency recruiter in this market.

So, let’s explore that!

The Value of an Agency Recruiter?

Time & Market Trends

One of the greatest assets of a specialised agency recruiter is their ability to speed up the hiring process. They have an understanding of the talent pool, your business, the role you’re looking to fill and can take the load off during the screening & shortlisting process.

Alongside this, by being in constant conversations with jobseekers, decision makers and even the VC world (for those that focus on start-ups), recruiters are uniquely positioned to see the trends and conversations about where the shifts in the market are being seen.

Optimism for Q4 this year…where’s that coming from? Ask your recruiter!

How are other businesses faring in these challenging times? Ask your recruiter!

For example, according to a new study by HR News, 91% of UK business owners are facing significant challenges with both recruiting and retaining highly skilled employees. Of these, 35% say the business has been negatively impacted with the top 3 impacts being:

  • Employee workload increase (40%),

  • Business forced to turn away work (38%), and

  • Delayed recruitment (38%) .

By not having the right members on the team, you run the risk of your employees getting burn-out and potentially leaving, unable to properly support your current customers or grow the business to take on new ones and ultimately….lose out on generating business revenue.

In these situations, time is of the essence!

Quality, Access and the DEI Buzzword

Speed of hiring means nothing if the quality of the candidates’ skills (emphasis on SKILLS) don’t align with the business and the role!

To add to the list of impacts above, a third (33%) of these business owners claimed that their business has lost money due to hiring the wrong candidate.

Hiring the wrong candidate is a costly expense!

Whilst I would initially recommend a deep dive into the hiring process and where it fell short, the next area to review would be the candidate talent pool.

  • Where are you sourcing from?

  • What are you doing to attract skilled professionals?

  • How do you position the role and the company to be a culture and environment where they can thrive?

These are just some of the questions you should be prepared to answer internally when looking to bring on your next hire.

With sourcing…. comes the need for access to specialised talent pools….. which brings the conversation to the hot topic of DEI - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion!

At this point, I don’t need to explain the need for building a diverse and inclusive business and nor will I be outlining the business case for it either - for that information, I’m happy to recommend you to some amazing DEI Consultants.

Saying that however, the power of a great recruiter is their ability to access numerous channels for specialist skillsets; they go beyond the platform of LinkedIn and put in the time & effort to build relationships. Whether that’s from communities, partnerships, events - from sponsoring to socials to networking - there’s no 1 type of candidate and there’s more than 1 way of finding them!

This is where the real work happens - in the connections & conversations!

Listen first…… then Sell

When speaking to applicants, how often do you ask questions to get to know them FIRST?

Listening and asking the right questions is such a critical and vital skill when it comes to assessing candidates - and some questions, agency recruiters are best placed to ask.

  • Motivations for looking for a new role?

  • What do they look for in a company?

  • What are their non-negotiables?

  • Hypothetically, should they have multiple offers, how do they go about choosing between them? What are their deciding factors?

  • What haven’t they liked from previous experiences?

  • …etc

Being able to speak to an external recruiter brings a sense of openness and trust that can sometimes be missed from these conversations. We delve into the mind, life and experiences with the candidates we speak to, to really understand and be able to identify what types of role would suit them best.

So that, when that role is yours, we then take on the responsibility of accurately and positively representing your business. From the information gathered, we know what motivates them and we sell the aspects & benefits that matter to them. Whether it’s the expansion of their technical skills, progressing their careers, looking for more flexibility, the want to be in a “do-good company”, the need to have more/ less structure, the ability to see the impact of their work..etc.. whatever the reason may be, being able to identify and relay that information is a core skill for recruiters.

These are just some of the ways in which an agency recruiter can bring value to your business in today’s market.

This is in no way an exhaustive list but mentions some of the key aspects of the value they provide as well as a set of expectations that you should hold your recruiter to.

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