Neil Pickstone
by Neil Pickstone
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Did you know that 32 of the top 100 in the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For is made up of recruitment agencies? 

Domination is one word for it. (And actually, it’s 33 if you include Bullhorn.) 

“So what?” you might ask. Well, the prevailing sentiment for entering this award is to demonstrate that people are the primary asset of your business. Health, happiness and reward ensure that a recruitment agency’s staff don’t leave, and, critically, ensure that people want to work there.

This is the right thing to do, because as much as I want to unleash my cynicism, I’m a huge believer in culture. Culture rules, and employer branding is not just a buzzword, it’s the difference between employing great people as opposed to just more staff.


Widening the talent pool

But it’s not enough. Even with the most conducive environment, progression planning, wellbeing programmes and of course the best website, the critical issue of talent scarcity still reigns in our industry. The talent pool is really a pond, and we’re all fishing in it.

So it’s time to look elsewhere when it comes to recruitment - and, at the risk of gross speculation about all 33 agencies who rank as the best in the UK, I know for a fact that those that happen to be our clients are sourcing talented people and training them as recruiters, as opposed to recruiting recruiters.


Marketing crossover

There’s nothing wrong with employing a consultant who is seasoned and bringing in the money, but the current zeitgeist when it comes to candidate engagement leans more towards communication, nurturing and transparency; a bit like marketing really. And this is where I suspect the recruitment sector should be hunting. There is vast talent in the digital world, and as this pool continues to grow into an ocean, there is continuing consolidation in the PR, marketing and digital agency world, providing great recruiting opportunity.

Bringing people into your recruitment business who can drive relationships online, support lead generation via inbound marketing and provide the analytical insights that can be used to improve channel utilisation and marketing (job board/social media) spend is the right thing to do. These people are the right staff.


Tis the season

PS - Tis the season! And I’m not talking about Christmas...The deadline for the Recruiter Magazine awards, which heralds the award season, is upon us. We all know that the recruitment sector loves a good award - so make sure you get your entry in for 19th January!


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