Before I joined Back Office Support Services, I worked in recruitment for many years and I started my career working for a high street agency in the late 90’s but left after a couple of year as I felt like I worked in call centre, it was all about quantity and not quality and I was unable to provide a consultancy service and I quickly established I needed to work for an independent agency that specialised!
During the 90’s majority of employment agencies had to have a high street presence; we needed those windows and sandwich boards to advertise the jobs, we didn’t have the internet or social media and relied heavily on the ‘shop window’ and the newspapers.
Over the last few years the number of high street agencies has decreased whilst the specialists have increased and we have the internet (and during the last few years social media) to thank for that, there is still of course a market out for the general as they provide an essential service but I have noticed that the majority of enquires we receive from new start up agencies all specialise, it is very rare I receive a call from someone who is setting up a generalist agency, I am often told the market is too tough with margins that are too tight.
It is a joy to see how the recruitment industry has evolved and how businesses value the service that is provided and the specialists need to take some credit for this.
Specialising in a sector ensures the recruiter knows the industry they work in inside out; they can focus and deliver with speed and quality
I know quite a number of agencies who have converted from general to specialist, some with the direct purpose of doing so and some have naturally evolved.
The advantages of specialising are:
- They know the market and the pool of available candidates and also know where to find them
- They know exactly who to target
- They can offer top drawer advice, their expertise is invaluable
- A trusting and strong relationship is cultivated with candidates and clients
- Time is saved by the client only interviewing the top candidates
Of course it goes without saying; don’t fix it if it’s not broken, however if your revenues are not quite where they used to be, look at the sector that is making you money and take some time to consider specialising or developing a division with in your organisation
The recruitment industry is an exciting and rewarding industry to work in whether you are a general or a specialist; we all strive to make a difference!