Fast Track Recruitment

Proof that external agencies can outperform their inhouse counterparts

Posted by Mitch on 7th July 2014

 photo impossible_zpsfe009318.jpg

Unfortunately, this example is about advertising agencies.

Essentially what the article talks about is the real life example of Apple’s inhouse marketing department being blown away by their external ad agency when working on the same projects.

I particularly liked this quote at the end:

“Maybe it’s time to stop trying to get creative, badly, with your advertising and return to getting creative with your products.”

Whilst I’d love for there to be an example of an external recruitment agency outperforming their client’s own inhouse recruitment team in engaging and hiring the best candidates, there probably isn’t going to be one anytime soon.

I’ve often imagined what a Super Recruitment Agency might look like and it most looks like an advertising agency – at least in terms of structure.

Each discipline would be headed by an Account Director with a series of Account Managers reporting into them and underneath them teams of Candidate Attraction and Candidate Assessment specialists feeding into those client accounts. Sprinkled around those would be Sales (client acquisition), Marketing (creative, ad copy, etc.), Research and Digital.

These Super Recruitment Agencies would own all of their client’s recruitment over 50K (RPOs or HR could take care everything under that salary) and would deliver total solutions that addressed the need for creative, sales-driven attraction strategies, robust assessment and best-practice advice in digital technology. They could even build and maintain hard-working candidate databases (or ‘talent-pools’ to give them their new name) for these clients too.

Sounds bit fanciful, doesn’t it?

But if advertising agencies can do it, why can’t recruitment agencies?

Well, the main reason is they’ve both had very different evolutionary journeys.

One critical difference in their DNA is that ad agencies have, during their history, never accepted work from a client on contingency. That means they have a track record of getting the client to stand still long enough for them to get to know them really well so they can create great campaigns that produce superior results.

If you think most television ads are rubbish, imagine a world where the ad agencies that produced them had agreed to produce work with no guarantee of getting paid?

You’d never have seen ads such as these.

It’s often said that the best trainers, salespeople and marketers don’t work for companies, and instead prefer to work in their respective agency sector. In the same way that the best developers tend to prefer working on contract for several clients rather than be employed by just one. It’s the texture and variety of the work that usually swings it. It’s rarely the money.

Sadly this isn’t true of the recruitment sector. Not yet anyway.

I hope I’m still alive when the day arrives where the best recruiters are working for these, thus far, mythical Super Recruitment Agencies and they’re making money and having fun by working really hard for a handful of clients instead of not very hard for a lot of them.

I’d better start looking after myself better.

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