For those working in recruitment agencies, stop reading now! It ain’t going to be pretty. With the confluence of Covid-19 and recruitment technology advancements, I believe we will see the demise of recruitment agencies over the next 5 years as we know it. Note the last few words “as we know it”. I am not saying agencies will perish. What I am saying is that it needs to transform if this industry is to survive.

Looking at the annual revenue of the world’s largest recruitment firm, Randstad, one would think this would not be the case: https://www.randstad.com/…/results-and-repo…/key-financials/
Generating EU23 billion is no small fish! But this number has flat-lined in the last 3 years. The growth has largely been led by the growing contracts market, not the full-time roles.

4 sourcing tips:

But firms (global and start-ups) have realized that at a fraction of agency fees, they can find the same quality of talented workforce if they invest in the following:


a. A good internal recruiter (full-timer or contractor) or a specialized talent sourcing vendor (different from your traditional recruitment agency).

b. Using tools such as Lusha, Hiretual, SeekOut, RocketReach, etc. to find candidates. These tools have replaced job ads which in my opinion don’t attract the right candidate for many jobs out there. One needs to be more targeted.

c. A free LinkedIn account that the recruiter uses to engage and reach out to candidates.

d. Japan, Korea, and China where LinkedIn does not have high penetration rates for local candidates. Therefore, mining data from local social media platforms such as WeChat, LINE would be good substitutes. For Japan, you may also want to think about putting job posts on CareerCross and Daijob for bilingual candidates.

If HR wants to cut costs in these uncertain times, moving away from agencies should be an option on the table and use the above guide as a means of adding real value to your organizations.