The Rise of Recruitment Platforms And Why Agencies Are Still On Top

5 mins

It is fair to say that the rise of recruitment platforms such as LinkedIn, AngelList and Stack Overflow have exploded in recent years. But as prolific as these websites are, do they actually offer value for money and a good return on investment when compared to the service offering of long-standing expert recruitment agencies?


As an example, Jobandtalent, the world’s leading marketplace, which matches SMEs with local talent, completed a $42 million Series B round in 2016. This was with a view to revolutionising traditional methods of finding jobs and hiring candidates. With its announcement, Jobandtalent claimed it would provide an end-to-end service that helps to dramatically reduce the bureaucratic, HR and administrative burdens of hiring talent.


While Jobandtalent has undeniably enjoyed great success, it has not infiltrated the UK quite as deeply as it possibly would have hoped. This is because the UK market is arguably more mature when compared to the likes of France and Portugal, where recruitment platforms have been more successful. 


The use of platforms could very well come at a price for specialist agencies, which are in danger of being cut out of the recruitment process altogether should they continue to rise in popularity. While it is wise for businesses to consider all available staffing options, be it online platforms or recruitment agencies, we believe that the personalised, expert support of an external consultancy will secure the very best hires. 


Here are some of the reasons why you should choose an agency to cover your staffing requirements and attain the top talent.


Tailored recruitment strategy


Recruitment platforms tend to churn out endless jobs posts and generically encourage candidates to get in touch. There is little strategy involved in this approach that will make a prospective candidate feel like they are being well looked after and primed for the role. 


An agency is able to create a targeted strategy for each candidate to help them through all stages of the recruitment process. They achieve this by using their niche market sector expertise and rich network of established personal contacts and connections.


A personal approach  


Recruitment platforms are more anonymous as they do not know the client and their business personally in the way a recruiter would. The finer details that an agency can offer really make a difference, such as providing one point of contact for screening and advertising multiple roles and being available at all times to answer questions. This means that recruiters are able to forge trusted partnerships with hiring managers to help them find the candidates with the skill sets they need, quickly and efficiently. 


Cost of a bad hire


Any savings or shortcuts made in the recruitment stage by using a platform are void if a recruit fails to perform well in their new role. Having this come to light weeks, or even months, later can be costly for businesses in relation to time lost and the financial ramifications of starting the hiring process from scratch again. In fact, according to accountant Accounts and Legal, the average employee costs UK SMEs £12,000 to replace. 


An external agency cannot always guarantee that its hire will be more successful than a candidate selected via a recruitment platform. What they can do to mitigate the risk of a bad hire is offer a high level of expertise and a considered approach to searching for candidates. This means that using an external agency can result in a better investment, even if the initial upfront cost is higher.


In-depth sector expertise


Due to the huge volume of prospective candidates that recruitment platforms deal with, they tend to better suited to filling less specialist, high churn roles that are easier to fill and come complete with a large pool of suitable candidates.


By contrast, agency recruiters often operate in a particular niche sector area, which means that they are perfectly placed to search and fill technical roles at reputable firms which offer desirable salaries. This makes them specialists in their field, complete with an in-depth knowledge of the market they recruit in and each particular type of role. They are more likely to understand how well-suited a candidate is to a particular firm. It is these nuances and subtleties that recruitment platforms are more likely to miss the mark on.


Finding the best candidates


Job postings do have their uses, but they fail to provide a targeted way to find the star performers among a host of potential candidates. Recruiters help organisations by building a scalable formula for finding and engaging with top candidates. They can do this because they have the capacity to tailor their approach with personalised emails and taking the time to pick up the phone and have meaningful dialogue. The process of dealing with a candidate or a client throughout this process is one of the defining factors about working out who is right or wrong for a role. This is because a consultant would have multiple conversations around any given available position.


Candidate support


With direct access to hiring managers, recruiters are able to put in a good word and help candidates to stand out. They will also willingly provide interview preparation and any other additional support they need to help them secure their ideal role. 


Critical analysis


A good recruiter will take the time to evaluate their hiring strategies and review whether they are adhering to best practice. They will strive to continuously improve their ways of working in order to provide a complete range of comprehensive services across multiple disciplines at any time they might be required.


In short, recruitment platforms do serve their own purpose, when it comes to quickly filling less skilled roles. However, niche recruitment agencies will ultimately succeed in the high-end tech UK market, owing to the calibre of work required to source the best candidates to these roles. 


Keep checking the Oho blog for all the recruitment industry insights and developments you need to know.

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