The traditional recruitment model is failing Small Businesses

Look through any business directory, especially in a major city, and the number of recruitment agencies is staggering. Anywhere upwards of 1500 businesses each vying for a piece of the human services pie. Now, when you consider how much of the total number of available jobs there are at any given time, and the percentage of which recruitment agencies hold, it is little wonder the traditional agency model is becoming defunct.

My previous post looked at some clear benefits the recruitment agency model has for businesses. However, the traditional recruitment agency model does fall short on delivering on business expectations via several clear areas.

Before looking at the issues facing the traditional agency model, it is wise to look at what is defined as a traditional agency model and how they essentially operate towards the SME market.

Put simply, the way most agencies work is standard: source roles, list roles, source candidates, process candidates, make placement, close sale. Of course, there are activities on the peripheries of these, but these steps remain the core. When clients are engaged, there will be initial meetings designed to either probe for business or achieve a job description (or ‘brief’) for the agent to work on. From there comes follow-ups as the agent tries to gain business from the client, or as they progress with a role. Engagement then continues until successful, or otherwise, delivery of services. Periodic follow ups then occur, and the cycle begins again with another client.

There will be arguments from many recruiters saying that this is a bland generalisation of their role, and that their roles are far more involved. However, getting down to brass tacks, this is a definitive synopsis, and indicates one of the fundamental issues with the agency model – it is purely based on sale-role-source-fill. This is often referred to as ‘transactional recruitment’ and is indicative of the standard of recruitment practice.

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