i-Business Resources (i-BR), in conjunction with UK Recruiter, conducted an online survey of UK recruitment professionals during October 2010. The survey covered attitudes on the current state of the recruitment market, the main challenges faced today by recruiters, and the views on the importance of IT solutions in facing these challenges.
Some comments on the survey results are provided below. The full copy of the 2010 Recruitment Market Survey report is available free to download.
Agency market recovery and buoyancy
It looks like the recruitment market has started a recovery, all be it a tentative one. 53% of Agency recruiters feel the UK recruitment market is more buoyant than this time last year. However, there are marked differences in regions and also sectors in terms of market confidence. London and the Midlands reported less of a recovery than other areas, and within sectors Education is looking the least bouyant, and IT the most. Also of note is that Perm business is doing better than Temp business in terms of recovery.
In the short term 78% of recruiters felt the market would remain the same or improve, and this seems realistic when looking at the recruitment plans of employers where the majority reported there recruitment levels would increase or stay the same in the next 6 months. These increased recruitment plans is also something that is reported in HR Magazine when looking at recruitment on a global scale.
In the longer term recruiters felt a full recovery seems to still be a long way off, and some believe it will never return to the levels we saw pre-Credit Crunch.
Technology views from Agencies:
In terms of technology, this is becoming increasingly important to agencies, and is seen by many as a pre-requisite for success to face the key challenges they face. Social Media, for instance, is increasing in importance for recruiters, but there are also fears that this could mean employers increase their own direct employment. This though will not necessarily be the case based on the views employers gave in the survey for using Agencies.
The basic system set-up that recruiters feel is important for them is having a good front-office recruitment system, accessible in and out of the office, which is simple to support. In addition, Job-Board advertising and a good back-office system complete the suite of tools that are the most important IT for recruiters to have in place. Points to note were:
- Three quarters of recruiters rate access to systems out of the office as important or extremely important. This perhaps illustrates the growing importance of mobile working and more desire for work flexibility in working from home.
- Despite the buzz that Social Media has received, and the predicted demise of Job Boards, Job Board advertising is still seen by 75% of recruiters as one of the most important aspects of their IT toolkit, and more important than Social Media.
- 1 in 5 recruiters believe they need to improve their basic IT set-up in some respect as it is not fully adequate for their needs.
Cost saving technology:
The next IT solutions in terms of importance were areas that can assist in delivering Agencies aims of achieving cost savings, namely:
a) Integrated front and back-office systems
b) Low-cost flexible telephone systems
These were seen overall as important or extremely important by approximately 60% of recruiters, with approximately 20% wishing to improve in these areas.
Use of Internet services (Social Media, Email Marketing, and system access for Clients and Candidates) were seen as the least important aspect of technology for recruiters. However, these services still received an average rating of between ‘Helpful’ and ‘Important, and were the areas that the highest percentage of recruiters thought they needed to improve in.
- Social Media – 29% of people felt that their use of Social Media was already good or excellent, and 33% wish to improve their use of Social Media. This illustrates a growing adoption of Social Media as a useful recruitment tool.
- Email Marketing – This area has grown considerably in terms of importance to recruiters in the last 12 months. 41% of recruiters now recognise a need to improve in their strategic use of email marketing. This perhaps shows a growing recognition that email marketing can be a useful part of an agencies overall marketing strategy to attract clients and candidates and build brand.
- Internet services for Clients and Candidates – Although seen overall as the least important area of IT usage (rated on average as ‘Helpful’), 42% of recruiters rated this area as Important or extremely important. This is an increase of 18% on last year’s i-BR’s survey and is the biggest increase in importance on any of the areas we asked to be rated. In addition, 32% of recruiters believe they must improve in this area.
This seems to suggest a growing recognition with agencies that both Clients and Candidates are now expecting Internet Access to services. It may also signify a growing appreciation by Agencies how these services can also help reduce Agency costs and improve efficiency.
Areas of IT rated by level of satisfaction by Agency Recruiters:
For more information on the survey results, and to download a free copy of the full survey report from the i-Business Resources website.