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EDINBURGH, Scotland, 3 June, 2013 - UK recruiters need to abandon their sales-based business models if they are to be viewed by clients and candidates as anything other than a necessary evil, according to analysis published today by leading independent recruitment company Core-Asset Consulting.

In the first post from its inaugural blog Cut to the Core, Core-Asset examines the changing needs of employers and applicants as well as the recruitment industry’s reluctance to move towards a more consultative approach.

Betsy Williamson, Managing Director of Core-Asset Consulting, said:

“In the late 90s recruiters were very, very sales-driven. The philosophy – if there was one – centred on key performance indicators and the generation of volume. The implicit argument was: the more CVs sent to clients, the more interviews would be secured, and the greater the likelihood that a candidate would be placed. It was all about quantity, with little regard to quality. So fifteen years on, what’s changed?

“Well, certainly clients’ needs have altered. As well as demanding that candidates have the right skills and appropriate experience, they want applicants who promise a good cultural and behavioural fit with their organisation. They want recruiters who have an in-depth understanding of the client’s business and the industry in which they operate. They want recruiters to submit CVs tailored to their company and the specific role. And they want recruiters who meet candidates face-to-face and assess them before they do. 

“Within the confines of a tight job market, candidates expectations have also grown. Applicants need more support and guidance about the organisation to which they’re applying, they need greater insight into the nature of the role, and they need help in identifying their next opportunity and shaping their career path. Essentially, they need a consultant not a recruiter, someone who understands them and sees them as a person, not simply a commodity.

“But while clients and candidates are demanding a more consultative approach, sadly, much of the recruitment industry in the UK still appears mired in the dark, swampy world of sales.

“Why this remains the case we’re not really sure. If Ford or Toyota were producing today the same cars that had rolled of the production line twenty years ago, no one would dream of buying them. But for some reason the recruitment industry’s first generation & lsquo;product’ is still viewed as acceptable.

“Instances of UK recruitment businesses adopting a new, & lsquo;next generation’ approach – one based on service not sales, a partnership not a post box - are few and far between. Perhaps it’s because most executives at the top of the industry have cut their teeth in a sales environment. Or perhaps it’s because there exists a gap between strategy and delivery, between the objectives of the recruiter and the needs of clients and candidates.

“To raise its standards and be viewed as a valuable partner, it’s vital that recruiters modernise the way they do business. The world has moved on and people’s standards have risen. The recruitment industry needs to do the same if it ever hopes to be viewed as an extension of its clients and not just a necessary evil.”


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