What to Expect From Your Recruitment Firm in 2017

What 4 things should clients expect from their recruitment firm in 2017?


As someone who started in recruitment in 2000, I have seen a lot of changes in how recruitment firms and their clients recruit, whether it’s through the medium used (e-mail, fax), way candidates are interviewed (video interviews), ways of engaging with candidates and clients (namely social media).  However, the other major change that I’ve seen is in the overall recruitment service that recruitment firms offer their clients.  So as a client, what should you expect in 2017?


  1. How does your recruiter drive your EMPLOYER BRANDING?

Employer Branding is a huge part of the role of a HR team, an internal talent acquisition team and also your external recruiter.  The external recruiter is a representative of your brand in the market, in fact it could be the first time that the candidate may have come across your company, so it’s essential that their first impression and total experience remains positive.  This isn’t the sole responsibility of the recruiter, but is a partnership between the recruiter and client to ensure the correct image is delivered and that even the unsuccessful candidates receive a very positive experience.  Your recruiter should be proactive in advising you of areas that you can optimise your process.  This includes:

  • Assisting with writing and branding job specs, helping to flesh out the essential technical skills against the desirable ones so we target the right people.
  • Salary benchmarking, even when not directly hiring for a role.  This means actually helping the talent acquisition team to succeed in the knowledge that when they do struggle, the partnership works the other way.
  • Just as important is for the recruiter to understand and target candidates with the right cultural skills and mind-set for the client.
  1. What does your recruiter do in your COMMUNITY?

Recruitment firms should be active in giving back in their reflective fields.  This includes attending awards ceremonies, conferences and other networking events and the scheduling of round the table conferences on important industry topics including Diversity and Inclusion.

  • As an example at Bramwith, we attend the annual Recruiter Awards, Procurement Leaders, the CIPS Awards, often taking several of our clients as well to help them network and stay abreast of developments in our sector.  You should expect your recruiter to be active in networking and giving back to their market community.
  • Everyone knows that we live in an unfair world where people are still judged based on their sex, religion, sexual orientation and it’s important that your recruiter is striving to give you a balanced short list of the best candidates, working hard to avoid any unconscious bias.  How is your recruiter able to help your community in driving equality in the workplace?
  • For a bit of self-promotion, Bramwith Consulting are very proud of our gender mix (including having a women MD), mix of religions, nationalities and sexual orientations. We are proud to be a member of Business in the Community and really strive to drive gender, race and every other form of equality in our business and helping our clients to do this.  As an extension of this, we run annual “Women in Procurement” conferences with 50 CPOs and Procurement Directors present, aimed at information gathering and then helping to use this information to advise the attendees and our other clients.  Topics have included: how they can avoid unconscious bias, how to overcome gender pay bias, ideas on how they can be more attractive to mothers and fathers returning to the workplace and tutorials on how minority groups can be encouraged to break through glass ceilings.  We’ve seen how these conferences can give minorities the role models that they need to inspire them to succeed in an uneven playing fields.
  1. How does your recruiter add value to the recruitment PROCESS?

You should expect your recruiter to provide a number of extra value services to you as a standard part of their contingent offering.  Some of these include:

  • Market mapping and headhunting as a standard part of the contingent process in addition to other sourcing methods.
  • Competitor analysis and general market insight.
  • Salary benchmarking analysis.
  • Reference taking as a standard part of the vetting process
  • Use of new technological innovations to help screen candidates for you including video interviews which can include recording the interview (with the candidate’s permission) which can then be forwarded to the client.  This should never replace face-to-face interviews but where geographies make this impossible it’s a valuable tool to ensure that the technical and personality/cultural skills are aligned to the client’s.  I’d recommend a tool called Hinterview – http://beta.hinterview.com/ that we use and we’ve got excellent feedback from our clients.
  1. How does your recruiter attract UNIQUE TALENT?

Advertising and social media sites like Linked and Xing make it very easy for talent acquisition teams within clients to identify and attract active candidates directly.  You shouldn’t be paying a fee for these candidates!  So when should you be happy to pay a recruitment fee?

  • Your recruiter should be an expert in their respective market and be able to speak knowledgeably about that market, the challenges affecting that market, be connected to and have testimonials from other leading clients to prove their ability to deliver to you such unique candidates.  This unique talent could be either not accessible to talent acquisition teams as possibly need to be headhunted from a competitor or who are only known to the recruiter from their built up network gained.
  • Recruiters can be utilised either in tandem with your candidates sourced by your talent acquisition team or after they have struggled.  Personally, I believe that the best candidate is worth paying for, so if a recruiter can find you a better candidate than your talent acquisition team, then you’ll save and gain a lot more money and quality from the right hire.

In conclusion, a recruitment business is no longer just a CV submitter; they are genuinely a recruitment consultancy, providing a full consultancy service to their clients.  This does include filling the role obviously, but involves more than just submitting the best CV, it’s about working with clients in partnership on everything directly and indirectly linked to recruitment and brand presentation.

I’d be keen to hear from other clients and other recruiters if you have any other ideas on how recruitment firms can continue to innovate and provide a better and more comprehensive service to their clients.  Please comment or contact me directly at b.riley@bramwithconsulting.co.uk

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