Fast Track Recruitment

What does the future for recruitment agencies look like?

Posted by Mitch on 5th February 2015

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Ever since the Internet came along, people have been questioning if, or how, recruitment agencies would cope with the new democratisation of candidate data the Internet ushered in.

The recruitment agency market has coped. They’ve coped largely through:

1. Becoming more niche

2. Companies still remaining relatively ignorant about how to hire staff

The job boards loading their pricing in the agencies favour also helped.

So recruitment agencies have survived, mostly without having to change how they do business.

Ever since that argument was put to bed, people now speculate whether agencies can continue to survive given their collective poor reputation.

Steve Ward offers up some smart opinion on the future of recruitment agencies here.

The reality is that the immediate future for recruitment agencies looks fairly bright, if only because we’re out of recession and many companies are still obsessed with hiring candidates with same sector/job title experience – an attitude that’s been cultivated by the aforementioned niche recruiters.

Neither of those two states are ever going to encourage agencies to change their business model.

So what will?

For me, that will only start happening when the numbers of inhouse recruiters moving back into the agency world escalates beyond the trickle it currently is.

And even then the change will be slow and gradual.

And I mean genuinely skilful, intelligent inhouse recruiters rather than the glorified administrators some companies seem to think pass as recruiters.

When more of these types of inhouse recruiters start working agency side, they’ll start to educate the agency how recruitment works on the other side of the fence.

They’ll be able to offer insight into how those companies think, what they need and what their perception of recruitment agencies really is.

Then these recruitment agencies will be better informed as to what to sell to these companies – and how to sell it.

That will, I think, be the next evolutionary stage of the recruitment agency sector’s journey towards greater professionalism and stability of revenue.

It ain’t happening tomorrow though.


By Jonathan Reed on Monday, 23 February 2015

Have you been reading my mind Mitch? To really learn how to look after your clients, you need to spend some time working for them. I have learned more in the last 2 years than I have in the previous 10.

By Mitch on Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I know precisely what you mean, Jon.

A lot of light bulbs went on in my head during the 4 years I worked inhouse too.

In fact I see it in almost every inhouse recruiter who’d ever previously worked in an agency.

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