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Will LinkedIn lead to the demise of the recruitment agent?

Our HR recruitment practice recently hosted a learning event for some of our clients that focused on leveraging LinkedIn for recruitment purposes. One of our associate consultants, Matt Alder, came in to present the session and it was very well received. Matt has very close ties with LinkedIn and there is very little that he does not know about the online professional networking tool. I don’t want to go into the detail of what was covered as Matt makes his living from providing his expertise. Suffice to say, it was a very interesting event and our guests all agreed that it was half a day very well spent.

During the break I was discussing the session with one of the attendees and she asked an interesting question about how agencies feel they can justify charging such high fees now that employers have access to such a useful tool?  She made a very valid point – the recruitment market has changed and those agencies that fail to adapt stand to wither on the vine.

There is still a place for good agencies. LinkedIn whilst being a very powerful networking site will not reach everyone. Around 80% of the jobs advertised on LinkedIn are placed directly by employers and 20% or less are placed by recruitment agents.  The reverse is true of the job boards where the clear majority of adverts placed are put up by agencies. Recruitment agents still use LinkedIn to hunt for the ‘job curious’ and will often have a wider view of the talent in the market than their counterparts working on internal recruitment teams.

It is the job of the recruitment consultant to be a market specialist. At Chiumento, our clients expect us to be well networked in the field of HR and this is why they come to us for the best talent and why they are happy to pay our fees.

We adjusted our fee structure about a year ago as we understood the need to compete not just with other agents but also with internal recruitment teams. We had to present a compelling argument for using our services and as a result we have changed the way that we approach recruiting for our clients. We now place far more emphasis on working with clients exclusively and in return they get charged much lower fees of 10% of basic salary.

We work on fewer roles and spend more time on them. We know that our efforts are well spent as we have a great track record of filling the roles that we have on exclusive. We can spend more time looking for candidates and can trawl sites such as LinkedIn where our in-house counterparts do not have this luxury. They are often juggling much large volumes of requirements across a broad range of disciplines.

Because our fees are so competitive a lot of companies that we work with will leave roles with us whilst focusing their internal resources on other areas. The opportunity cost of using Chiumento tends to swing in our favour. Internal recruiters are not a free resource and clients know that they can get the best talent from us at a low cost to the business. Why wouldn’t they use us?

We hosted a LinkedIn event for clients because it is a topic that is of real interest to them. Employers can certainly gain a great deal from improving how they use this tool and they will reduce their recruitment costs from these approaches. There is still a place for good recruitment businesses, particularly those that offer a high level of service for fees that present real value. The recruitment game has definitely changed, we just decided not to play by the rules and it has paid dividends!

If you would like to attend one of our free seminars in future please do get in touch and we can keep you informed of upcoming events. If you are making additions to your HR team and would like to meet with a member of our team we would be very happy to come and tell you a bit about how we can help you. You can contact me via email – tom.gale@chiumento-recruitment.uk or call 02072243307.

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