HR recruitment market polarises

This month we’ve been working on our candidate attraction strategy for 2013. In doing so we’ve looked long and hard at what is going on in the HR jobs market and spotted some key trends. The most interesting of which is how in-house recruiters and agencies appear to be adopting polar opposite approaches to sourcing HR talent.

The biggest growth area in our own business is permanent HR recruitment. A quick snapshot of some of the key traditional job boards (People Management, Personnel Today and Changeboard) suggested that somewhere between 88 and 93% of the permanent vacancies available were being advertised through agencies. That makes great reading for commercial recruitment businesses – that is until you look elsewhere.

The (relatively) new kid on the block is LinkedIn. When we searched for HR jobs there the results were almost the exact inverse. Of a representative sample of permanent HR jobs we looked at almost 90% were direct from employers… And what a trophy list of employers it was too. Pepsico, Sky, Serco, PWC and the list goes on…

So what does all this mean? Well, there still appear to be more HR jobs on the traditional boards than on LinkedIn. We can’t be completely sure as there’s no easy way we know to get a definitive HR jobs count on LinkedIn. On the specialist boards its simple. However our informed guess is that LinkedIn is now carrying about a third of all HR jobs being advertised on-line. If anyone has more detailed data we’d love you to share it.

So why is all this important? Well, as the LinkedIn share of the market grows it becomes increasingly possible for HR job seekers to bypass agencies altogether. It raises the question then of why would a candidate go through an agency rather than go direct? The answer of course is they won’t – unless the agencies provide great service and added value.

That has made us think hard about how we best serve candidates in the years ahead and keep them wanting to work with us. We’ve got some exciting ideas that leverage on the career management expertise of our Chiumento colleagues and we will be developing them in the months ahead. Yet further proof that being the recruitment arm of an HR consultancy does make us distinctly different.

For now we’ve updated our Candidate Charter to be explicit about how we work with candidates. We’re determined to deliver the best candidate experience in the market as we head into 2013.

Ian Gooden
Chief Executive Designate