Agencies face large falls in online recruitment spending

Spending on recruitment agencies could fall by almost a third in the near future, according to an expert.

James Saunders, managing director of online recruitment consultancy 4MAT, believes medium and large companies will slash their online agency budgets by improving in-house recruitment sites.

“Lots of recruitment agencies have optimised their websites for online searches, so come up first in the results, and are much more likely to be used,” said Saunders.

“So while blue-chip companies have sophisticated sites, they haven’t broken the back of search engine optimisation, and that’s the way forward.

Search engine optimisation involves improving the volume and quality of traffic to your site by using common search terms that place a webste higher on the list of results given by search engines like Google or Yahoo!.

“The end point isn’t to get [agency recruitment] down to zero, but a 10%, 20%, even 30% reduction in fees would be great, and is definitely possible,” said Saunders.

“Do I think this is the death knell for recruiting companies? I don’t think so. We use them because they serve a purpose, saving time and effort. I don’t see agencies going away, but evolving to be a supplemental form of employment.”

UK businesses lose nearly half their workforce every three years, and the trend towards online recruitment websites has grown exponentially. A survey by online recruitment survey firm Noras found more than three quarters of job seekers now turn to the internet.

Saunders also said companies with good brand recognition were closer to self-sufficient recruitment than they might realise.

“Big corporate companies are now saying: ‘We’ve got a much bigger company brand then most recruitment companies – why don’t we build a website like them so we can capture the same candidates? We’ll leverage our brand, but use the same techniques as them,'” said Saunders.

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