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January 31, 2017

What is the future of recruitment agencies?

Published: 31 January 2017 

This post is part of a three-part series in which we ask recruiters, recruitment organisations, HR professionals, employers, employees and candidates to think about how recruitment can be better: Let’s Make Recruitment Great Again. Ben, our Director, isn’t convinced it ever was, to be fair.

In part one, we looked at 8 things recruiters can do better from an employee’s point of view. In part two, we analyse the future of recruitment agencies and how to stay relevant when competing against online job websites.

The future of recruitment agencies

Technology is always changing, and as it does businesses tend to change as well. Many industries, including recruiting agencies, are sure to alter how they have traditionally been operating.

There is no doubt that recruitment agencies in Australia are still booming. After all, they offer an easy solution for businesses and government departments to quickly hire a staff member without having to go through a costly and timely hiring process.

IBISWorld estimates there are around 7000 recruitment business in Australia, with 22,200 employees. These recruitment agencies often charge between 15 to 25% of a candidate’s annual salary if they are successfully placed.

We’ve already seen the rise of online job websites, such as and LinkedIn. is one of the major online job classified websites. In fact, it accounts for around 20% of positions filled in Australia each year. As of April 2016, there were 6.5 million active job listings on LinkedIn.

However, technology changes mean there is more and more competition for traditional recruitment agencies. Why bother sending your resume to a recruitment agent, when you can go online and apply for a job almost instantly?

So what technologies will recruitment agencies need to incorporate into their strategies to ensure they are not overtaken by online job websites?

  • Expr3ss!

Expr3ss! has been referred to as the Uber-disruptor for recruitment agencies. Expr3ss! is an algorithm based software that is a quick, cost effective way to match applicants with the right skills, attitude and cultural fit. It only takes one click to sift, sort and pinpoint applicants, and one more click to identify a shortlist. This software is completely mobile friendly, so you can use it even when you’re out of the office.

This time saving software will appeal to both employers and employees. The software will help recruitment agencies and employees transcend old, outdated methods of manually checking resumes to find a candidate that is the perfect fit. Expr3ss! not only saves time, but is cost effective, with time and money saved being able to be re-invested elsewhere into the business.

This can be appealing as it is a faster alternative to communicating through a recruitment consultant. Recruitment agencies can consider using artificial intelligence to source candidates through data analysis. Agencies will be able to speed up their processing time and therefore communicate faster or more frequently with candidates.

  • Video interviews

Video interviews could soon become a norm for recruitment agencies. In fact, the Association of Graduate Recruiters found 42% of employers use video interviews. This can be a quick and easy way for recruiters to initially talk to candidates. Video interviews show recruiters still want to have contact with the candidate. This is also a great for saving time - the candidate doesn’t have to physically travel to the recruiters' office. If there is a job suitable for the candidate, they can then be invited in for a face-to-face interview.

  • Social media

Recruitment agencies frequently use LinkedIn. However, recruiters may miss out on a large section of their target audience by predominantly using social media. While 94 percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, only 36 percent of job seekers are. If you’re a consultant looking for the best candidate, it’s a good idea to branch out to other social media platforms. Not only can they be used to attract potential candidates, they can be used to advertise available positions.

However, it’s important to make sure the recruitment company stands out and has its own persona on social media. You want your company to be memorable, not to be mistaken for another recruitment agency. Insperity has been able to have a successful social media presence. Insperity created two Facebook pages - a corporate page and a jobs page. There are clear differences between the two pages. The jobs page is dedicated to advice for all phases of the job search, as well as information about the team behind the scene. Meanwhile, the corporate page focuses on the company as a whole, and does not publish content about careers or recruitment. This strategy was also used on Twitter and Pinterest, while they only had one page for LinkedIn and Instagram. This is a great way to maximise engagement with the target audience and give the brand a bit more personality.

What to remember:

In order to stay relevant against online job websites, there are a few crucial things for recruitment agencies to remember when engaging with candidates.

  • Keep in contact: candidate’s don’t like to be left in the lurch. If a candidate applies for a job through a recruitment agency, make sure to keep them updated on the progress of the job. If there’s no contact, then it’s far easier just to apply through a job website instead.
  • Advertise: don’t just advertise on your website, leverage social media to gain more candidates.
  • Expand: always consider ways to expand and take advantage of technology to become more competitive with not only job websites but other agencies as well.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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