How placement agencies can still be attractive in a digital age
Written by: Nurit Agamy
It isn’t easy to be a placement agency these days. For placement agencies this is an age of uncertainty with many unanswered questions. Everything used to be a lot simpler 15 years ago – applicants would send in their CVs by fax after seeing a classified ad in the newspaper. The placement agency would be sent much fewer applications, and the task of matching the vacancy to the applicant was a lot easier. The power of placement agencies stemmed from their ability to attract a large number of applicants into their applicant bases. And this was what earned them their profit, as employers found it difficult to establish and maintain such extensive stores of information. However, the edge of these applicant bases slowly eroded as newspaper classified ad sections were gradually replaced by job search websites and social networks.Today, placement agencies are sent monumental amounts of applications for every vacancy, and the job of matching the vacancy to the candidate has become more difficult.Classified ads placed on the Internet and social networks (specifically Facebook and LinkedIn) allow employers to easily recruit their employees by themselves, and the challenge of providing an edge to employers concerning candidates is becoming more and more difficult.In my view, there are many more placement agencies today than there were a decade ago, and this competition does not make things any easier.Nevertheless, placement agencies who work correctly will be very successful, and employers will find it difficult to manage without them. Placement agencies are still exposed to a broader applicant base than most employers, as there are many more candidates that prefer to seek employment through placement agencies rather than applying directly.
How can a placement agency be an asset to an employer looking for employees?
1.Placement agencies can offer employers candidates who wish to maintain their application in confidence, such as those looking for a job while currently employed. Such job hunters prefer to seek employment through a middleman (placement agencies) they trust.
2.Small placement agencies can position themselves in a specific niche where they will have an important advantage – for example, recruiting candidates for one specific industry (such as medical instruments or bio-tech, etc.) or offering one type of applicants (software engineers, for example).
3.Placement agencies, especially small ones, can cooperate with each other. For example, one placement agency brings in the customer (an employer looking for employees) and the other brings in the candidates. It is worthwhile to utilize this kind of collaboration where both sides profit.
4.Placement agencies must become familiar with the most innovative recruitment technologies and utilize sorting software that facilitate the job of filtering. These software programs can be the difference between successfully accomplishing or losing the placement job. With the help of such sorting software that automatically sorts and stores CVs, no candidate will be lost.
5.Placement agencies must master the secrets of social networks in general, and LinkedIn specifically. It is useless to fight progress and technology. Placement agencies that can use LinkedIn correctly will provide themselves with a competitive edge.
6.Through LinkedIn, placement agencies can reach out to candidates who are discreetly looking for a job – including senior executives who do not have the time to look for a job themselves and prefer this to be done for them by a placement agency.
The Author, Nurit Agamy, writes the blog www.agamy.co.il, and works in the fields of career management, personal branding and social networks – specifically LinkedIn. She was formerly the owner of a placement agency and served as a hi-tech head hunter internationally. Nurit is a lecturer and holds workshops for human resources, recruitment and management personnel on the subject of employee procurement, LinkedIn and personal branding.[email protected]