HR shouldn’t be too quick to dispense with recruitment agencies

With vacancies down 76,000 over the quarter and an increase in unemployment of 146,000 over the same period, the labour market faces a surplus of candidates (‘Unemployment tops two-million mark for first time since 1997’,, 18 March).

With these latest statistics, HR managers might be forgiven for assuming they can dispense with the services of recruitment firms. But money saved upfront may prove short-sighted. For in-house teams, disintermediation requires a time and manpower commitment that will stretch many existing HR departments and their own skillsets.

It’s too easy to mistake an increase in applicants for a well-qualified talent pipeline, but finding and keeping the right people is more than just a numbers game.

In this first-ever white-collar recession, one option is to partner with a company that operates flexibly and cost-effectively as a de facto part of the in-house team. A company that can provide support with qualifying candidates to generate high-quality shortlists, help with detailed candidate benchmarking, referencing and assessment, and ultimately identify the best talent beyond the CV mountain.

Matthew Mellor, managing director, Armstrong Craven

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