Do recruitment agencies have a future?

By: Darren Leighfield

Date: 19 May 2011

What is your experience of working with recruitment consultants? Do you use them? Many businesses do, that’s why recruitment is such a lucrative market.

In the year-ending March 2009, the value of the permanent recruitment market in the UK stood at £2.61bn and the number of permanent placements made was 582,803.

What will happen next? Well, the times they are a changing.

According to the National Statistics office, 2.45m were unemployed for the three months up to September 2010. Many were claiming employment benefits and as such the job centre has become a hive of actively available job seekers.

Did you know that recruitment agencies advertise your job in the job centre and sell candidates to businesses for thousands of pounds?

We’re now witnessing an explosion in online social media. Forward-thinking recruitment consultants realised you can search someone’s job title through, say, Facebook, to generate candidates or start a discussion on LinkedIn, which are nothing more than job adverts, you can even tweet your latest job vacancy on Twitter.

So what does this mean? Well, recruitment agencies advertise your job using social media sites and sell you the candidate for thousands of pounds.

What are the alternatives? You could approach the leading job boards directly. Do you NEED a recruitment agency? Well, in many cases NO. Of course, recruitment agencies will tell you that’s not the case. A recruitment agent may save you time in searching and getting candidates before you, but you still have to interview them. Is that worth paying thousands of pounds for?

Darren Leighfield, Director at EtcEtc Ltd

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