As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of our blog/news pages, Peace Recruitment is very much in the vanguard of those trying to improve the quality of service that recruiters give their clients and candidates. Sadly, a few (but still too many) recruitment agencies have a reputation for a ‘spray and pray’ approach, firing off CVs in all directions and hoping something sticks. To such businesses, candidates are simply fodder for a fee. As a result, the whole industry suffers.
It was partly to try to restore faith in the industry – and largely because we think it’s a) the right thing to do, and b) because it thus gives us a competitive advantage - that Peace became the first recruitment agency in the UK to join the Institute of Customer Service. More recently, we’ve introduced our “Trip-Advisor” style rating system for our Consultants, which should start to produce data you’ll be able to see on our website soon.
Consequently, I was rather chuffed to see the August REC “Jobs Outlook” report (based on July data). There is a lot of really interesting information in there (which I’ll be writing about presently in other blogs), but the one section that stood out first and foremost was on the “Criteria used by Employers to Select Agencies.”
The criteria listed were: price/quality of workers; quality of service; agency brand; agency expertise in terms of sectors/regions covered; management information; trade association membership; other.
The report ranks the responses where “the factor is quite or very important.” What is clear is that the most important factor, with 93% citing it as such, was “quality of service,” followed, on 85%, by “agency expertise in terms of sectors/regions covered.” The only other factor above 50% was (perhaps unsurprisingly – on 75%) “price/quality of workers.”
Of the rest, “management information” came in at 50%, “trade association membership” at 42% and, this time perhaps surprisingly, “agency brand” at 28%. The catch-all “others’ registered only 11%.
From our perspective, this report endorses our strategy of concentrating on our core strengths of construction and property in Scotland and, of course, on delivering the best customer service possible. This is already paying off: I was particularly pleased at a call out of the blue from a firm who had clocked our customer-first marketing and as a result wanted to work with us.
Finally, the fact that “agency brand” is not such a big deal is also encouraging. We are a successful and growing business, but we’re not one of the really big players (yet). What people seem to be buying is our customer service: with that comes the Peace brand and over time the two should become synonymous. However, what matters most is not what we’re called, it’s what we deliver for our clients and candidates.
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment