Avoid ‘low cost, high speed’ hiring, recruitment body warns

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Employers need to drop ‘wasteful’ hiring practices and treat recruitment as critical for business success, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation has said.

The body’s Recruitment and recovery study found that the work of professional recruitment firms helps generate £86 billion in gross value across the economy each year by getting people into the right jobs.

However many employers were getting recruitment wrong, with only 52% of Britons stating that UK companies were doing a good job at recruiting efficiently.

Figures like this, the REC suggests, highlight the business case for getting recruitment right, with the cost of a bad hire estimated to be around three times higher than the salary paid.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said: “For too long, many CEOs have spoken of people as their biggest asset, but left the process of bringing staff into the business as something to be done at low cost and high speed.

“By contrast, employers that treat recruitment as a priority issue because of the value it adds unlock competitive advantage. Bringing in the best talent boosts productivity – especially where organisations work with recruitment experts. Companies wouldn’t go to court without the best lawyers – they shouldn’t hire without the best recruitment and staffing service.”

Forty-three per cent of 500 organisations polled by REC agreed that the quality of staff and recruitment is one of the most important factors to the success of their organisation.

Some 63% of businesses felt working with a recruitment agency had helped them increase the diversity of new recruits, while 77% felt the candidates the agency sources were a good match for them.

Asked what their most important reasons for choosing a recruitment agency were, 36% said it saved management time; 35% said it enabled access to higher quality candidates; 35% said it allowed access to a broader range of candidates; and 33% agreed it allowed management to focus on other tasks.

Carberry said getting recruitment right will play a significant role in economic recovery and urged the government to work with the industry in developing its Plan for Jobs.

“From temporary work to permanent roles, at home or at a workplace, recruiters have stepped up through the pandemic to keep the wheels of our economy turning. And they will be more important than ever as we bounce back – helping government, businesses and employees build a better world of work,” he said.

The REC’s research involved a poll of 2,000 adults in the UK; a survey of 500 businesses; a survey of 114 REC members; and two follow-up polls involving 4,000 and 1,000 individuals respectively.

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