03 December 2014

‘Recruitment agencies redundant? They’re actually becoming more valuable than ever!’ – Reinald Snik (CEO Carerix)

In the current recruitment landscape, agencies are not at all redundant. On the contrary: they are actually becoming more valuable than ever because they can work countercyclically.

Source: Interview Werf&.

A lot of added value
However, agencies do need to radically reinterpret their role, he says. ‘Agencies are experts when it comes to finding, matching and placing the right talent. They have access to up-to-date candidate networks and the processes to follow talent in a structured way. So in my view, agencies should concentrate their efforts on generating talent pools, engaging promising candidates, and selecting and matching the right person to the right position. This is one way you can provide a huge amount of added value as an agency.’

How do you find people?
‘Organically,’ he says. ‘True, the market is becoming ever more accessible and many target groups can be found relatively easily. Job seekers present themselves online via job boards, LinkedIn and numerous other channels. There is an incredible amount of information available to and about everyone. But does this make attracting the right talent that much easier too? Do you know where to look exactly? And how do you go about selecting the very best candidate from this enormous pool of job seekers? And perhaps even the most pressing question of all: how do you find people who don’t want to be found?’

Attracting talent countercyclically
Reinald Snik sees this as the very area where agencies can play a bigger part. ‘Especially when it comes to building up-to-date talent pools. This countercyclical way of working is precisely where corporates fall down. While it is actually vital that you already connect with promising candidates in times when your recruitment activity is low, ready for the future.’

Matching could be done much better
Matching itself could also be done a lot more efficiently and effectively, he claims. ‘We are working on tools to assess every candidate in different ways, allowing us to give a real 360° recommendation. So not just details about education, abilities, experience, but also about personality, for instance, and potential, preferences, charisma and behaviour. Based on the CV as well as through tests, (video) pitches and interviews. And obviously, we also look at ‘behaviour’ on social media,’ says Snik.

Killer questions and a power pitch
All candidates who wish to be added to the database answer a couple of ‘killer questions’, complete their profile, take part in an e-assessment with qualified assessors and present a video ‘power pitch’. ‘This gives you a very rich database with several matching criteria which support the consultant better in finding the perfect candidate,’ Snik says.

Huge task in 3 months
He refers to the example of a British retailer where 750 shop managers had to recruit three or more temporary employees to help out during the busy Christmas period. ‘There was a recruitment need of about 10,000 candidates in total, with circa 100,000 candidates having been assessed via online methodologies and when suitable presented to the shop managers. E-assessment and video interview played a major part in the recommendation to the shop managers. A huge task which was successfully completed within the given time period.’

Impossible to find by ‘stalking’ recruiters
A well-maintained talent pool is like gold to a recruiter, Snik stresses. ‘Finding the right candidate in a timely manner is not always that simple. Take, for instance, the target groups that are really rare, like Java developers. They are withdrawing themselves more and more from the usual social media. They are being headhunted ad nauseam and are sick of being bombarded day in day out with grand promises which they are completely disinterested in at that time. They minimise their LinkedIn profile and shield themselves on social media to such an extent that they are virtually impossible to find.’

In-game job recruitment
And this is where the value of specialist agencies comes into play, he says. ‘You have to know exactly where you can find your target group and what drives them. This requires a lot of market knowledge and is where the agencies can prove their added value in spades. A good example of this is the case of Danish recruitment agency Uncles, which decided to recruit candidates via an online game popular with the target group (see video below, ed.). The agency approached the best players of the game with the request to help them find candidates. They did this in the game under their (successful) nickname. A low-budget campaign which turned out to be an unprecedented success. Within a week, they had 50 applications of high-end developers.’

Demanding target group
And this brings us straight to the next bottleneck, says Snik. ‘Because if your rare candidate is interested in your vacancy, you have to be ready as an employer. This calibre of candidate expects an absolutely perfect candidate experience. There is no way they will be clicking endlessly until they find what they are looking for. So make sure your site is fully responsive and adaptive, lead them to a special landing page and address them in their own language and with the pull factors that are important to them.’

Hold the candidate’s attention
The whole process has to be a personal, smooth and quick experience, says Snik. ‘You really don’t want to know how many suitable candidates pull out of the application process because they weren’t approached in the right way or because the process simply took way too long. Also, make sure you hold their attention with tailor-made quality information, including after registration.’

New business model
Agencies, specifically, are well placed to advise and support their clients throughout this whole process, says Snik. ‘Collaboration and taking the hassle out of recruitment, these are the key words for the future. Spending time together and making transparent and measurable who is responsible for what in the whole hiring process.’ If agencies can pull this off, a great future awaits them, Snik is convinced of this. ‘If corporates and agencies start collaborating in this way, they will take the recruitment profession to a higher level together.’

Source: Interview Werf&. Carerix is a partner of ‘De Wereld Werft’, the annual recruitment event of Werf&, which this year takes place on 11 December at Regardz The Globe in The Hague (Netherlands).