Australian recruitment agencies are thriving; what does this mean for internal Talent Acquisition?

Recruitment agencies in Australia are performing better than ever. According to Staffing Industry Metrics, in 2018 permanent placements by recruitment agencies was up 22 percent year on year in and the temporary/contract market was up 25 percent.
While agency recruitment is doing well there’s no suggestion internal recruitment teams are anything other than very busy at present. Internal recruiters normally handle far more vacancies than agency recruiters (I spoke last week with a recruiter at a Big 4 Bank who is the sole recruiter sitting over close to 70 roles!).
However, as agency recruiters generally work under lesser constraints than their internal counter parts, how is a buoyant recruitment agency market potentially going to impact internal Talent Acquisition (TA) Managers and their teams?
Here are some thoughts and advice:

1. Internal Talent teams need to compete with the “choice” that agencies can offer candidates.

Internal recruiters must make sure that if they are offering only one role, that they fully understand what the candidate is looking for and is selling all the benefits. At the moment, strong candidates will have a recruitment agency present them multiple options with multiple employers – they really want to place the candidate.

2. Internal recruiters MUST ensure line managers are moving at speed.

Your recruitment agency is not telling you to “hurry up or you will lose this candidate” just so they make a placement. Candidates come and go very quickly. The better the candidate the quicker they get snapped up.

3. Prepare your line managers for “shorter” short-lists and being able to make on-the-spot hiring decisions.

Meeting eight candidates for a first round interview is a comfort that may not be afforded in 2019. Know what you are looking for and guide your hiring managers. If the first candidate “ticks all the boxes” but you decide to wait four weeks to find someone else to compare him/her with, chances are you will end up with no hire and right back where you started.

4. And finally, move onto another agency quickly.

If you aren’t getting great service and excellent candidates, then you need to make a change. But don’t wait 18 months until your recruitment PSA is up for renewal – meet with and trial new recruiters as you go until you are satisfied you have the suppliers that will go to war for you in this tough recruitment market!
Keen to hear our internal TA audiences’ thoughts on the following:

  1. Has the way you are using agencies changed? Are you potentially focusing more on the critical and scarce and outsourcing others to agencies?
  2. Has the demographic of clients that use agencies changed to potentially more mid to small range?
  3. How do you minimise red tape for your recruiters to allow them to recruit at speed?

All the best to you in your recruitment in 2019, it’s sure to be an interesting year!
Cover image: Shutterstock

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