News Article

Outsourcing & Recruitment

Recruiters strive to keep clients contented in current climate

By CreditMan Tuesday, January 13, 2009

With over six in 10 (62%) recruiters stating the biggest challenge facing their business in 2009 is retaining clients as the global economic chill continues, the latest research from Bibby Financial Services has found that the issue of keeping clients happy has never been more important and is a huge concern to the owners and managers of recruitment firms.

In fact, almost half (48%) of UK recruiters believe supplying quality candidates is the most crucial factor in keeping clients happy, while a further third (33%) state that building a solid relationship with clients is more important than other significant considerations such as having competitive fees (14%) or providing a fast response to briefs (4%).

With recruiters working harder than ever to ensure contented clients are at the top of their priority list, it is perhaps not surprising that frustrations arise when particular client traits make it more difficult for recruitment bosses to carry out their jobs effectively. Nearly a third (29%) struggle when clients decide to change the goal posts halfway through a brief while one in six (16%) are disillusioned by poor briefs. A further quarter (25%) of recruiters are bemused by the lack of timely or comprehensive feedback given after interviews.

Despite these client challenges the good news is that recruiters are managing to turn around the recruitment process quickly and effectively with over four in 10 (41%) recruiters typically placing candidates in up to just two weeks. Having a sound understanding of what employers are looking for is what helps effective recruiters place suitable candidates.

When it comes to what employers want, almost three quarters (74%) of recruitment bosses say that relevant experience is the most sought after quality, while 42 per cent cite commitment and 40 per cent communication skills when it comes to filling vacancies. Somewhat surprisingly, less than three in 10 (29%) recruiters felt personality was an important factor to employers and just 18 per cent rated intelligence.

When asked what the top three things that puts clients off candidates when interviewing them, more than half (53%) said poor attitude was unforgivable while 44 per cent stated failing to research the company was a big ‘no-no’ for employers. Over a third (39%) said poor personal appearance was a major stumbling block while 35 per cent stated that arriving late for an interview would seriously affect a candidate’s employment prospects.

David Robertson, global chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, said: “The credit crunch is not going to go away overnight and recruiters will be working harder than ever to keep client retention levels high. By providing a thorough brief and appropriate feedback where necessary, businesses will ensure that more suitable and higher calibre candidates are sourced who tick all the right boxes in terms of having relevant experience, commitment, drive and not to mention exemplary communication skills.

“A higher level of transparency will ensure that recruiters better understand what makes the business tick – what qualities they look for in potential candidates and what attributes put them off job applicants. Then and only then can recruitment businesses truly meet a business’ requirements and surpass their expectations. In these tough trading times, those recruiters that manage to do exactly that who will be the winners in the end.”

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*Research undertaken by Ragdoll Research on behalf of Bibby Financial Services, November 2008