12 December 2011

How serious is the recruitment industry about recruiting its own?

The age-old adage of ‘do as I say, not as I do' has been around for a long time highlighted by those old gags about plumbers with leaky taps, teachers who aren't interested in learning anything and debt collectors who never pay their bills on time.

Of course it's a bit close to home to highlight the rate of staff turnover within the Australian recruitment agency world (25%-45% per annum depending upon which year you want to look at). These embarrassing stats might be unkindly interpreted as sound evidence that most recruiters are better suited to tossing a coin to decide who becomes a recruiter in their own company rather than putting them through their existing recruitment processes.

So how serious are recruitment agencies about maximising their chances of attracting suitable candidates to come and work for them as recruiters? 

Given most job seekers who want to find out about working for a company will head straight to that company's website, I thought I would make some observations about the attraction efforts of a sample of Australia's largest recruitment agencies based purely on the careers section or equivalent component of their website. 

The fourteen agencies I chose were all high profile agencies, with a mixture of locally headquartered and overseas-based multi-nationals. 

Given the size of each of these businesses, it would be reasonable to assume that all of them would always be on the lookout for good consultants and therefore  have a significant incentive to ensure their respective careers sections on their sites were helping them to attract and hire the very best current and potential recruiters. 

Here are my findings and ratings: 

Agency and overall rating out of 5
Profile
Careers info or link on home page?
Recruitment explained?
FAQs, staff profiles, videos or Q&A?
What do they have?

US based global recruiter with 13 offices in Australia
Yes but very small writing on bottom left
No
No
A single page with very basic info and a contact name, phone number and email

Swiss listed global recruiter with 31 offices in Australia
Yes, there's a prominent tab immediately obvious on top right
No
No
Four bland paragraphs on one page with no contact details or link to click if you wanted to take further action

Dutch listed global recruiter with 31 offices in Australia
in tiny font at the very foot of the home page
Yes, role descriptions available for recruiter, manager, senior manager and infrastructure
Three videos including a short message from country CEO, Fred van der Tang
careers@randstad has sections including Your Career with Us covering culture, values, training, awards, thought leadership and graduate program. The Why Work for Us section covers benefits, social workplace and flexibility

US listed global recruiter with 26 offices in Australia
Yes but very small writing on bottom left under the heading of 'Job Seekers'
No
No
One page with four of the worst motherhood statements/ sentences about recruitment I have ever read. Someone should be fired for this.

London listed global recruiter with 33 offices in Australia
Yes, top right in small font is Careers at Hays link
Clearly explained under tab ‘What is Recruitment Consulting?'
Brief and anonymous quotes from three Hays recruiters. No videos
Comprehensive info listed under such headings: Graduate Opportunities, Experienced Recruiters, Your Training and Professional Development, Your Rewards, What Makes Hays Unique and International

London listed global recruiter with 7 Australian offices
Work for Us button and image/link on left hand side
Basic info under headings of The Role of a Consultant, Consultant's Key Responsibilities and Becoming a Michael Page Consultant
Six question Q&A, Three slick corporate videos
Comprehensive info under headings: Training & Career Development, Do You Have What it Takes?, Employee Benefits, Message from the Regional MD, Why is Michael Page Different?, and Core Values

Australian listed recruitment group operating 24 separately branded businesses around Australia
No. Slightly  excused in that Rubicor is the umbrella company, not an operational recruitment brand
No
No
Nothing anywhere on their site that I could find

Malaysian privately owned national recruiter with 8 Australian offices 
Yes. Careers with Peoplebank tab at top and careers image/link on the right hand side
No
Yes. Photos of 6 consultants with a one-sentence quote attributed to each one. No videos
Sparse one page summary with  links to further (basic) info under headings: Who We Are, People at peoplebank, Working at Peoplebank, Current Vacancies (0), How to Apply, Interview Process and Contact (title but not name,  provided) all in very small font

Australian listed recruiter operating 6 separately branded business around Australia
No. Slightly  excused in that Clarius is the umbrella company, not an operational recruitment brand
No
No
Nothing anywhere on their site that I could find. The Candle website had a Careers @ Candle page (not visible  on home page) with three bland sentences and a contact name, phone number and email

Australian listed recruiter operating with 66 offices  around Australia
No
No
No
I couldn't find a single thing about working specifically as a recruiter for SKILLED anywhere on their site

Part of the publicly listed Programmed Group (also provides non-recruitment services l) with 38 Australian offices
Careers tab prominently displayed on top right hand side
No
No
Three sentences explaining that Integrated employs recruiters and CVs should be sent to jobs@programmed.com.au More broad info about employment within the Programmed Group is provided

Australian listed recruiter with 50 offices  around Australia
Unleashing Us section on the home page. Not entirely obvious that this is a careers link
No
No
A two page PDF entitled Chandler Macleod is a great place to build or extend your career. Links to Who We Look For, Work for Us and Job Vacancies page (6 jobs)

US publicly listed recruiter with 9 Australian offices
No
No
No
General info provided under the headings: About Hudson, Why Work at Hudson, Organisational Structure and Careers in Recruitment

Australian listed global recruiter with 8 Australian offices
No. Careers at Talent2 option only shows up when you hover over the tab Our People
Yes. Broad descriptions under various headings including Executive Search, Executive Recruitment and RPO
No
Your Career With Us section is broad with reasonable detail covering Our People Philosophy, Benefits & Culture and The Recruitment Process.


Based on this sample, I award the recruitment sector an overall grade of ... ... Fail. 

It's laughable that the recruitment sector in this country, which bemoans the lack of quality recruiters (I mean, how many Brits on 457 visas are there working the phones in recruitment agencies around the country?), cannot even be bothered to have a half-decent careers section on their website. 

It's not that hard, surely? 

Have a look at what Hays (UK) do in this regard:
  • Take the Hays Challenge (An interactive video game where you earn points based on your choices from basic real-life recruitment scenarios)
  • What Would it be Like? (Read the diary of Sophie, a graduate hire, and Tina, an expert hire, to find out what each of them experienced in their first 12 months a Hays)
  • Employee interviews (You can read a Q&A with Aleksander who recruits in Finance in Sweden, Eugene, an Aussie recruiting in B&F in Shanghai, Ingrid, who recruits Sales & Marketing in the Netherlands or three other Hays recruiters based in Singapore, Warsaw and Dubai, respectively)
No surprise really that Hays continues to grow globally at a rate unmatched by its competitors. Hays takes the recruitment of its own staff very seriously and its UK website clearly demonstrates that. 

The absence of videos (Randstad and Michael Page being the exceptions) is perplexing. Videos are easy to film and upload. They don't have to be slick like the Michael Page videos. Home-style efforts can be very effective in selling a culture and job. 

Recruitment is an emotional business that is best suited to people with strong emotional intelligence. Surely videos are the best way to capture and sell that emotion? 

I'd love to find some excellent examples of recruitment agencies doing a great job of selling their own jobs. Nominations open! 

So recruitment agency owners and managers, before you bemoan your clients' efforts in employment branding and selling jobs to candidates, you might want to check out your own backyard first. 

The view is pretty unimpressive from my vantage point.

3 comments:

  1. Good post Ross. I would add that it is not enough to outsource your website to a third party web dev firm either. The website and its content must be owned by the business (never IT).

    I have seen agencies spend 6 months with an interior designer and tens of thousands of dollars planning the layout of their reception and meeting rooms. Personally I think the website is as or more important yet it rarely gets more than a passing mention within most recruitment agencies.

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  2. Ross, have a look at Workpac's site I think you find they tick all the boxes you have discussed. One of the reasons they are where they are at after a relative short period.

    Tony

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  3. Jessica Leslie13/12/11 2:36 PM

    Really interesting blog post Ross. It made me do a quick analysis of my companies website - we actually have a whole separate website dedicated to recruiting potential consultants which covers the areas you have discussed.

    http://www.buildingbetterfutures.com/

    I may be slightly biased though I think it's pretty good. I would be interested in what you think of the Ambition Building Better Futures website.

    Jess

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