How the recession and web 2.0 is changing recruitment

The first question when you’re planning to recruit is usually "do I use an agency?" Recruiters have access to databases and a wider range of advertising mediums that have traditionally been difficult to match. They also have the expertise and time to dedicate to the role, but the fees involved in the past have made some businesses reluctant to use agencies.

Traditionally, the only other options available were advertising on your website, at the job centre and in the local paper. But not anymore. Business owners are now using websites such as Gumtree to find staff, they’re talking about job opportunities on their blogs and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Pay-per-click campaigns and incentives for current employees for referrals are also being used. Such a variety of direct methods means you can generate a much better response rate.

However, there are more options being offered by the recruitment industry, too, such as low cost/fixed fee pricing. As recruitment has become more web-focused, and as web 2.0 technology has evolved, we have seen the emergence of more companies offering the flat fee recruitment pricing model. These companies offer the basic functions of recruitment (such as advertising and some other tasks that can now be easily automated) at a fraction of previous prices. Often taking fees partly upfront, a campaign can cost £500 instead of £5000.

Obviously price is a big attraction here as business owners know exactly what to budget for that campaign and they know the CVs will be coming in. The downside is different companies offer different levels of service and few offer the same service you may have experienced with a good recruiter. It is a ‘pile em’ high, sell em’ cheap’ market and clients will still be left with a certain amount of legwork to do.

Be aware that often there can be time limits to these flat fee campaigns, which may leave a bad taste in your mouth if you have paid upfront, not seen any good CVs and are still out of pocket!

Overall these services are gaining momentum, though, especially during the current recession and they’re creating a healthy amount of competition for the more traditional recruiters, especially those who have been providing a low level of added value to their service.

There’s also growing trend towards offering tailored recruitment service packages. These are currently coming from specialised independents and they offer the high value expertise of the traditional recruiter but you can choose from lost-cost recruitment to the full-managed process. The key is you gain not only expertise but continuity as the same recruiter is able to offer the most suitable package whatever the requirement.

If you are thinking of recruiting now or in the future, there has never been as much choice open to you as there is now. Sit down and think through exactly what services you need and what you can afford to outsource, then look for a solution that suits you.

*Grant Bodie is the director of Mount Recruitment, an IT Recruitment consultancy based in Lancashire that offer a range of IT packaged recruitment services. 

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