Recruitment – agency culture, cyber attacks, software

November 10th, 2017 | Industry News

Accountancy Age suggests that the 2008 financial crisis has caused a massive but almost undetectable change in the recruitment industry. According to a recent article, it says ‘recruiters are failing to speak to candidates directly’ which means that candidates don’t benefit from conversations with a recruitment consultant and therefore aren’t given the advice on career development that would previously have been available.

While it’s certainly true that recruitment has both globalised and intensified, with many consultants never meeting the candidates they place, we think they are missing some of the substantial developments that make modern recruiting practices more personal rather than less so:

  • Even the most simple recruitment software analyses candidate profiles and skills so far fewer clarification calls are needed to check how well a candidate meets a client’s requirements.
  • Cloud recruitment software allows both candidates and consultants to ‘speak’ in their own time zones and at their leisure, so deeper communication is possible because nobody feels rushed or has to cram messaging into ‘business hours’.
  • An effective applicant tracking system can be updated by both clients and recruitment consultants so less follow up calling is required to keep CVs up to date and fewer candidates fall through the net.

It’s our belief that culture change doesn’t necessarily mean diminishing contact between consultants and their candidates – it’s just a different way of doing what has always needed to be done; maintain regular information flows and ensure the best candidate gets the job.

Recruitment consultancies at risk of cyber attack

Criminals are taking advantage of the digital storage of data by hacking into online recruitment software to obtain candidate details or to create ransomware attacks that threaten recruitment consultancy business. GDPR compliance is causing many agencies to wake up to the value of their data and the need to secure it but it’s important to ensure that insider threats are also nullified. Simple threats such as sharing passwords should be addressed with staff training, but it’s important to be vigilant about ensuring employees who leave are removed from systems. Cloud recruitment agency software may be better equipped to handle such situations than bespoke systems which can be both complex and opaque to system administrators.

IT costs vary since Brexit

While the KnowledgeBus IT Margins Benchmarking Study may not be required reading in the recruitment sector, it has some interesting details about how much recruiters are paying for software. In general, margins have been rising slightly this year, but recruitment sector software margins have dropped from 30% in 2014 to 19% in 2016. However, substantial disruption appears to have happened – with one supplier actually charging a margin of 279% according to the study!


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