Dorset and Hampshire businesses have shared their preferred recruitment approaches in a recent survey carried out by Bond Williams Professional Recruitment, head quartered in Bournemouth.
Over 200 local employers were asked a series of questions around the methods and tools they use when recruiting and if, when and why they use recruitment agencies.
Most businesses use their own website to recruit new employees
Almost four fifths (79%) of employers utilise their own company websites when actively recruiting. This was followed by online advertising (70%), social media (65%) and employee referral schemes (56%).
Just under half (48%) of the businesses surveyed use the services of a single recruitment agency or preferred supplier, while over a third (36%) take a multi-agency approach to recruitment.
Diminishing in popularity are recruitment exhibitions and events and print advertising, which were selected by just 19% and 13% of respondents respectively.
Two in five employers use single recruitment agency or preferred supplier
When engaging with recruitment agencies to fill vacancies, two in five (40%) employers say they usually work with a single recruitment agency or preferred supplier. The most common reasons for working with one supplier is due to receiving a better service (37%) and it being easier and less time-consuming (22%). A further 11% also said it was more cost-effective as you could agree preferential rates.
Over a third (35%) take a combined approach to recruitment, using both single and multiple agencies depending on the type of role, where it is based and whether the agency has specialist industry knowledge (55%).
Of the one fifth of businesses who choose to work with multiple agencies, 59% of them believe that this will enable them to reach more candidates, while a further 21% also say it depends on the role.
Industry experience is most important when choosing a recruiter
When assessing a recruitment agency’s ability to find and secure the right candidates for a role, 56% of employers want a company who are specialists in their industry or sector. The fee amount and structure come in a close second at 53%, followed by whether the recruiter has experience and a proven track-record recruiting for the same or similar roles (29%). However, this was only marginally more important than word of mouth reputation (28%).
Of less importance was online reviews (4%), agency accreditations and memberships (3%), look and feel of company website (2%) and the size of the recruitment business (1%).
Advantages of engaging a recruitment agency
More than three quarters (77%) of businesses across Dorset and Hampshire think the main advantage of engaging a recruitment agency is the ability to reach a wider candidate base. Over half (57%) enjoy the time-saving aspect it provides internal hiring managers, while 46% value the expert advice on elements such as job specification, local market knowledge and how to attract the right candidates.
Rob Bond, Director at Bond Williams, provided this specialist commentary on the findings
“Businesses are quite rightly taking advantage of advances in technology, with most adopting a good online strategy utilising their own websites, the internet and social media profiles.
“However, a combined 84% of respondents still use the services of a recruitment agency in some capacity because they can reach a wider audience, save time and value the expert advice on offer. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that while it’s great news that fewer employers opt for the multi-agency approach, the majority who do think they are reaching more candidates and saving more time.
“This is rarely the case, as most active job seekers will be registered on as many job boards as possible, increasing the chances that the same candidate CV will be sent to you multiple times, thus increasing your admin and workload. Exclusive agreements can ensure you receive a better service and preferential rates, as almost half of respondents correctly recognise.
“The survey also revealed an increasing need for specialist industry and sector experience, which certainly supports what we are seeing internally. With five specialist divisions, we are used to building long-term relationships with employers who prefer to work with recruiters who speak their language.
“What does remain clear, however, is there is no winning strategy that works for all businesses and all types of vacancies. Companies need to blend a variety of recruitment methods to suit their own requirements (and budget) – and this probably hasn’t changed since the mid-90s!”