Recruiters – The client experience – will anything ever change?

apscoI attended an APSCo members meeting last week and one of the items under discussion was a survey of 173 end user clients of APSCo members undertaken by Innergy.  The survey, ‘Raising the Bar’ asked a number of questions around the reasons for using recruiters, what they wanted to see from recruiters and how they viewed them.  The results of the survey showed that most organisations viewed recruiters somewhere between toleration and disgust. Hmm.

So what is the industry doing wrong – well according to the survey, end user clients want recruiters to:

  • Provide innovative  pricing models
  • Be more customer led
  • Employ better people
  • Provide technical solutions
  • Be better communicators

That got me thinking – surely good recruiters would be doing all that anyway?  But this was 173 organisations –  a not insubstantial number.

The meeting then moved onto a client panel – and here’s where I got a real shock. The subject under discussion was:  ‘How can recruiters help you attract and retain people with the right values and cultural fit for your business’.  The panel included Greg Allen Head of Recruitment for Nokia who said that when his organisation organised a briefing  session and round table discussion for all PSL agencies  on Nokia’s culture – what good looks like – what sort of  people they are looking for – in fact all the things that would make the recruiters job easier – half the agencies didn’t bother to show.  I was genuinely shocked.

What are you doing to enhance the client experience?



3 thoughts on “Recruiters – The client experience – will anything ever change?”

  1. Hi Tracey

    I too am stunned as to why PSL agencies didn’t attend but can’t help but wonder why? Does anyone know the latest rates of the contract PSL that Nokia ask agencies to work to – I’ve been given some numbers but would like some confirmation? I believe Hyphen (Spring) are involved on the perm side.

    The bottom line is that if a PSL isn’t working then something has to change. If agencies aren’t interested or can’t supply at certain rates then they should be brave enough to admit that in order that the process can be managed efficiently. It’s a two way street.

    1. @jack @steve interesting feedback – but I think the point is a wider one – if the company is inviting agencies in to engage with them that isn’t that an ideal time for the PSL terms to be discussed? If the PSL isn’t working for the agencies then it obviously isn’t going to work for the hiring organisation so I agree with Jack that agencies need to be brave enough to stand up and be counted. Interestingly when we were hiring a new account manager a year or so ago we also engaged with a specialist agency, agreed to their standard t&cs and then invited them to a meeting so that they could get a better understanding of us/our environment/our culture etc – they declined saying that they didn’t need to – I told them that in that case we wouldn’t be using them – it just smacks to me of a “can’t be arsed” attitude.

  2. I agree with Jack’s observation on the PSL.One reason to run away from any company to potentially supply, in my opinion. Over-control, low-rates, high-effort, too systematic, low success ratio – all equals antipathy.

    The recruiter-HR relationship is forever a strained one, and probably worse so since `inhouse recruitment` teams popped up. The PSL is one way of putting this distrust and anxiety over the process on a contract.

    I’m one of those people who believes HR should oversee the process of recruitment, but not the actions and decisions. Let professionals in line management/directorship talk to professional recruiters who understand their clients’ market.

    This would increase the mutual respect factor and develop the relationship – allowing recruiters to be seen genuinely as specialists by the people who understand and ultimately make the hire. Then the comments might bear some different sentiment.

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