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Death of the 360 consultant, rise of the 360 team

Natasha Thomas, UK sales director at gap personnel

When looking for new staff, wading through masses of applicants is time and resource intensive for any organisation, especially as many candidates may not meet your minimum requirements. Recruitment agencies remove this burden; eliminating the time and resource costs involved and allowing hiring managers to concentrate on other vital business. All reputable recruitment agencies will interview and screen potential candidates before presenting them to organisations for consideration. This dramatically reduces the time spent on the selection process for an organisation.

Traditionally, the recruitment process was carried out by one person, from targeting and securing clients, through to resourcing and placing candidates – the 360 consultant. This person would post jobs in the newspaper, and cold-call businesses from a physical, hard-copy database on their desk (this is going back quite a few years, mind). Our 360 consultant would then manage their client’s account and ensure that they receive the after-sales service necessary to retain their business.

A changing landscape

Fast forward through the existential growth and popularity of temporary recruitment in the 80s and 90s, to 2008 when the deepest recession since the war hit the UK, and unemployment soared. Suddenly there was a huge surplus of candidates vying for any kind of work, a surplus that rose to a figure of 8.3% of the UK population in 2011. Resourcing new candidates was no longer a difficult task and account management was less of a struggle due to the high availability of people, so our 360 consultant spent most of their time selling and securing deals with new clients, offering as much added value as possible in what was now an employer’s market.

Coming back to the present, the recruitment industry is in the cusp of yet another turn of the tables, as Brexit has accelerated the most prevalent labour shortage since 1975. Unemployment statistics are now at 4.4%, almost half that in 2008. A drastic reversal – quality candidates are few and far between, and those who came from the EU to secure better employment are on the way out, as net migration is at its lowest level in 3 years. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said the latest migration figures are “evidence of an economically damaging ‘Brexodus’ of EU workers.”

So, what does this mean for the 360 consultant?

It means change is necessary. Our 360 consultant is no longer an effective all-rounder – how can they be, when so much of their time now needs to be focused on candidate resourcing? Where’s the time for the sales? For account management?

At gap personnel, we are as much at the whim of the market as any other agency, but it’s how we plan and respond that lets us thrive on our surroundings. To that end, we figured market conditions such as the ones we are currently in are where the 360 team can flourish.

Where one person did all three tasks, now three people specialise in one task each. At gap, we have 20 high-street industrial branches, 17 managed onsite operations, and 15 specialist division locations, each with their own dedicated recruitment teams to service our clients.

As can be expected, each branch or site has its own geographical distinctions, and with dedicated resourcers in each branch, we have the in-depth knowledge of each area that allows us to better source quality candidates, and ultimately reduce the impact of the labour shortage on our clients’ businesses.

Dedicated account managers have access to expert knowledge around market trends in each area, in terms of salary benchmarking, advice on current legislation, and immigration regulations. They take on the day to day running of our clients’ accounts, and communication with the resourcers allows them to share this knowledge to hire the kind of staff our clients need.

With the account management and resourcing under control, our sales people can focus on truly understanding our prospective customers to find the best solution for their business. They are our brand ambassadors, sharing information on the benefits of working for an independent, industry accredited agency, and how partnership with us can help their business grow.

Moving forward in a tough market

Research carried out by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation indicates that while employer confidence in the country’s economic conditions is getting worse, 92% of employers prioritise quality of service from their recruitment agency. One of our most recently issued surveys shows that 98% of our clients rated the speed of response, knowledge, reliability, credibility, communication and delivery of our services as Good or Excellent.

Now that Brexit is in motion, it is time to focus on creating new, innovative labour solutions to overcome the labour shortage. gap personnel group has already implemented new strategies, such as worker engagement strategies and benefits packages, training and development plans, and promoting our clients as employer of choice in their areas. While we are still working around the clock to support our EU candidates with investment in new EU and international branches, and EU-UK relocation programmes, it is imperative that the industry pushes a new focus on upskilling and sourcing local candidates through practical sourcing initiatives.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of solutions. We have even more ideas brewing, and we want to know how gap personnel group could help support your business moving forward. The absolute key to successfully managing peak period this year is acknowledging the shortage of labour, and as such we will look to prioritise those clients who want to work in a sustainable partnership with us to ensure we can provide a planned delivery commitment. For more information, get in touch with me on 07714 765 673 or at

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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