By John Paul Caffery - Founder of TheJobPost

Last week over 180 in-house recruiters gathered for TheJobPost’s first Talent Leaders Connect event of the year.  Acting as a forerunner to the Candidate Experience Awards (CandEs), an organisation’s candidate experience (or lack of) was hotly debated among some of the recruitment industry’s leading professionals, including Global HRD and Author Peter Wright; Forward Partners’ Matt Buckland, who recently gained national fame after blogging about an abusive fellow tube passenger who later turned up for an interview at his organisation; and Intel’s Sageet Tidhar-Akerman.

Leading discussions included; the point at which the candidate experience becomes the employee experience; how important the onboarding process is at supporting employee engagement; what role the wider supply chain plays; and who owns the process. On the spot polls showed that:

  • 50% of the 180 delegates were measuring the impact of a poor candidate experience
  • 18% owned up to no one in their organisation being primarily responsible for the candidate experience

And most importantly for TheJobPost:

  • 77% had struggled to find a specialist recruiter to fill their roles
  • 42% considered the candidate experience when selecting/managing their supply chain

With the number of recruitment agencies in the UK increasing to 19,440 and most larger organisations running a tight Preferred Supplier List, why are so many employers struggling to find a good agency recruiter? 

In recent years, an increased focus on direct delivery has meant that recruitment agencies will, inevitably, only ever receive niche or hard to fill roles. Candidates will typically have a skill set that is hard to find or who are in short supply in the market. Of those 19,440 agencies in the market, 75% have less than 10 people working for them resulting in most of these smaller, often highly-specialist recruiters going under the radar of many businesses.

So a big part of the challenge lies with the Preferred Supplier List (PSL).

PSL’s were originally set up to ensure strong relationships, good performance and a reduction of administrative burden for the in-house team. They were designed to be a small list of suppliers who are signed up to terms, who can deliver on assignments, who understand their brand & EVP and can represent that effectively in the external market, and who can engage, compliantly, with them as an employer.

Are they able to deliver this in today’s increasingly polarised recruitment world? Surely the main performance measure is the quality of the candidate they are submitting?  If this is the case, why would you limit yourself to a small group of larger, well-known and mainstream agencies to find these candidates?

PSL delivery is based on 1-2-1 relationships with individual recruiters who may or may not have access to the best candidates, and who may or may not have the capacity to deliver. What happens if those individuals leave? Surely, as an employer, provided you continue to manage your brand messaging, you would want access to the best and highest quality candidates irrespective of where they might come from?

TheJobPost supports this by connecting in-house recruiters to those specialist agencies that often don’t feature on a standard PSL. These agencies become fully compliant via TheJobPost as they agree to an organisation’s terms and fees before they can engage on a role.  From a candidate experience point of view, TheJobPost’s commercial model is key.  Agencies pay an access fee to participate and are often only one of two that are working on the role, so they are highly motivated to give in-house recruiters the best candidate and ensure that the candidate is fully engaged in the process.  We also build an employer briefing (ensuring full understanding of an organisations EVP) into the process and agency feedback on some of the more challenging roles.


Isn’t it time for something new?

John Paul (JP) is Founder ofTheJobPost the UK’s leading online supplier engagement platform. Connecting employers with 42,000 specialist recruiters. He is responsible for driving the development, partnerships and strategic positioning of TheJobPost to maintain its cutting edge. He is the face of TheJobPost and has developed key relationships and strategic alliances with some of the industry’s most respected technology providers and influencers