Businesses are finally starting to see recruitment consultants as a ‘partner, not a pain’ latest research has revealed.
Leading Manchester-based independent recruitment consultancy NCR, this month celebrating its tenth birthday, spoke to recruitment consultants who’ve worked in the industry for more than five years.
And according to the sample of 100, strained client relationships are a thing of the past as businesses of all levels seek their expertise. Far from being a pain, the recruiters say they are more likely to be treated as a valued team member.
Every single one of the 100 surveyed said their client relationships had improved over the course of their career, thanks to better understanding between parties. Vitally, consultants felt their clients had more trust in them.
However around two thirds of the consultants surveyed (65%) said that clients were generally more demanding and expected a quicker turn around time between issuing briefs and having a candidate placed. They also said there was more competition in the market so clients could pick and choose more recruitment consultancies more carefully.
In terms of day-to-day work, the majority of consultants said that they were busier now than they were in their early career, with more complex administrative and legal procedures taking up more of their working hours.
However, most said they were no more stressed now than they ever had been, with better technology helping calm things. The greater use of IT – including e-mails, databases and mobiles – had all been helpful tools in changing their working patterns for the good.
Many had seen big changes with the increased use of PSLs (preferred supplier agreements) – more tenders are required these days and the criteria consultancies were expected to meet are tougher.
Victoria Clarke, Director of NCR, said: “I know from my own experience that relationships between recruiters and their clients are at an all time high. While the talk is of a credit crunch the present state of affairs is that there are a shortage of good candidates, and as recruiters we’re relied upon to source and match them to the best opportunities.
“Recruitment is a tough profession because it is so competitive - consultants need to work extremely hard to be successful. Part of that success comes with financial rewards, but it’s also about winning respect and trust from the businesses which use our services – our research shows that as a profession we’re doing that.”
Sandra Hill, Owner and Managing Director of MRINetwork, The Hill Group, is an NCR client: “Certainly a few years ago, recruiters were seen as a necessary evil at best and a pain in the rear at worst! I’m pleased to say that isn’t the case anymore – as a company we put an awful lot of faith into our recruitment partners, in our case NCR who we use for rec to rec.
“The job market has evolved, and skilled and experienced workers are at a premium. Without the help of recruitment consultancies like NCR we would have a huge problem sourcing candidates, putting a strain on our HR staff and budgets.
“I think generally the recruitment profession has evolved and instead of the ‘fast buck’ attitude of yesteryear the majority of consultancies can see the benefit of long-term partnerships. Although PSLs have probably created more paperwork for us all they’ve probably made the picture a lot clearer in terms of expectations from both parties’”