Why tight partnering with your recruitment firm will see you win the war for talent in this labour short market.

Been stuck under a rock because of the pandemic?

You may not realise; the labour market has had a monumental shift.

Australia’s unemployment rate is now at an all-time low meaning the number of active jobseekers has nosedived compared to before and during the pandemic.

I continually get asked why this is.

There are many elements that have led to our current predicament:

  • We lost our internationals as our international population emigrated back to their home countries before the borders shut.
  • We locked our borders, both interstate and internationally so the mobility of workers plummeted.
  • Jobseeker payments were raised which prevented entry/base line workers from wanting to enter the job market as on weighing up the work and reward they were comfortable enough on Jobseeker without needing to work.
  • The economy had an unprecedented rebound. We see prices and interest rates going up. This growth economy requires more people to service it.
  • There is an imbalance in education and career pathways. Not enough of our population are gaining the requisite qualifications for growing sectors. Less still the skills for the future of work. We lack sovereign capability meaning we need to import skills.


What does this mean for employers?

Proven methods for employing people simply aren’t working. Even the biggest brands with the greatest employee value propositions are not gaining traction. Advertising campaigns that would have yielded 50 – 100 applicants are now lucky to yield five and for many roles those that apply don’t necessarily have the skills employers are looking for.


Recruitment firms are now the solution employers are seeking.

Employers are calling on recruitment firms to solve their labour challenge.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to lean on talent acquisition experts to gain talent for your organisation.


Engaging a recruitment firm.

Recruitment firms – who can assist you find the person you seek – have certain terms of engagement. This includes rate cards (usually a percentage of salary package for permanent placement and margin and mark-up for contractors/temps), possibly retainers and certain guarantee periods that apply to placed incumbents on which the supply arrangement is formed.

Recruitment agencies also seek a partnered approach where, based on their recommendations you take action.

This means interviews at certain times based on when suitable candidates arise. Making fast (immediate) recruitment decisions after interviewing to ensure you don’t lose a candidate in this ‘HOT HOT’ market.


When the engagement breaks down.

Employers feel they win by negotiating all of these things down or going silent on their agency during a recruitment process.

What does it mean when you have your agency compromise on their standard terms of engagement?

In short, you lose.


Agencies only have certain resources and every agency is getting multiple calls or “cries for help” from employers.

Many agencies will still work with you but how you engage them will determine how much time they dedicate to your brief.


A Tale of Two Clients

Client 1

Let’s call them “Ideal” – Ideal meets with their consultant, takes time to provide a detailed brief and is open to the advice and direction the consultant provides.

At briefing they’ve already locked in placeholder dates in their calendar for interviews and are prepared to jump when the right candidate comes along.

They agree on the fee and terms the agency presents knowing the value they will derive when they fill the gap/s they have in the organisation.

The consultant is in regular contact with Ideal demonstrating their activity and what they are doing to secure the right person.

If a shortlist doesn’t present the agency will present the “one” that is available and Ideal doesn’t hesitate to interview and progress things through to placement.

The client gains a successful placement. It truly is win-win.


Client 2

Let’s call them “Challenging.”

Challenging tells the recruiter to subscribe to their (the employer’s) terms of engagement. The fee they want the agency to work at are unrealistic and sometimes borderline “loss making”. They seek longer guarantee periods and they don’t engage with their consultant. They purely email a position description and use multiple agencies to present candidates.

Challenging is lucky if the agency will work on the brief at all. The recruiter gives Challenging the benefit of the doubt and presents candidates but Challenging goes cold – taking over a week to respond to the agency on the people presented for the role.

Challenging by name and nature sees their job brief languishing at the bottom of a consultant’s busy job sheet. The consultant is working tirelessly on the clients that want to work in a partnered approach and is pulling out all stops to fill these higher priority clients’ briefs.

Meanwhile Challenging’s  job brief gathers dust and after a week or two is taken off the consultants job board. Challenging  is no longer a “client of choice” for the consultant.

The result is Challenging is left with no-one to choose from.

The vacancy stays vacant for weeks or months and the business or division suffers.

Challenging feels the recruiter’s service is average at best.

What Challenging doesn’t realise is they negotiated the service, or lack thereof, from their consultant. They chose their destiny at the start of the engagement process.


Where to from here.

In summary, this unprecedented talent shortage is not going away and it’s going to be a rocky road ahead.

Shortly Australia will head into another harvest and hospitality season with not enough workers. White collar is suffering too where companies are now struggling to gain an Administrator in today’s market.

If you want to be at the top of the pack and get the talent you seek, don’t be Challenging, be Ideal.

Harvest Talent Recruitment. t: 1300 363 128

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