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A means to a recruitment fee or a customer?

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Last month, research by the review platform Feefo suggested that over a quarter (26%) of candidates who had made use of the services of a recruitment consultancy think that they are just a means to a fee, while over two-thirds (70%) believe that recruiters ought to be far better at “understanding their requirements’ and avoiding time-wasting.”  To be fair, this study also noted that nearly a half (46%) of respondents said their personal experience of a recruitment agency was that it was “helpful and understanding.”

To some extent, this last finding is confirmed by the results of another recent study, by Explain the Market, which suggests that over half (52%) of those who have used rec-cons in the last 12 months were not convinced about their bona fides, or to put it more bluntly, didn’t think they had been fairly and honestly dealt with. That implies that virtually the same percentage as the Feefo study (48% as opposed to Feefo’s 46%) may think (more or less) the opposite. This research also threw up some concerns that recruitment firms are over-dependent on technology, possibly reflecting a lack of experience and expertise among their own staff.  Significantly for our line of work, one property business’s recruitment manager said, “You don’t really trust an app or a website on its own. I need to talk to the people who are really in the know about the job.”

There is not point pretending that such surveys do not reflect the reality of working with some recruitment agencies.  Fortunately, one of the comments from the Feefo study showed the other side of the coin, viz, “Based on my career … I can only think of one or two recruitment consultants that I have ever trusted.”  This reflects our own experience at Peace: our clients and candidates work with us because they trust us not to use them as a means to a fee and because all our regular training is centred on providing the customer with the best service possible.  That’s why we are (still) the only recruitment agency to be a member of the Institute of Customer Service and also the only one to have a publicly visible record of our clients’ and candidates’ views on each individual member of our team, via our bespoke ‘Rate my Recruiter” software.  

If you haven’t seen the latter, can I suggest you follow this link to our website, where you’ll find the concept explained in more detail – and you’ll also find that, at time of writing, our candidates and clients have rated our team very highly indeed!

Rate my recruiter

We know that some recruitment firms give the industry a bad name, as the studies cited here demonstrate, but there are also many other recruiters, including Peace naturally, who really do strive to provide genuine customer service of the highest order.  The Feefo study acknowledges this by reporting that the vast majority (92%) of candidates do trust recruitment agencies in general.  

When it comes to your next job, whether you are an employer or a candidate, do your homework, look into the track records of the major contenders in the construction/property recruitment market and make your choice based on trust and confidence that whoever, you choose to work with, even if it’s not us, will deliver what you need, on time, to a fair price and all underpinned by consultants who are prepared to go the extra mile to service their customers. 

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment 


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