Recruiters: The business case for change
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

To all independent and agency recruiters. I would like to hazard a guess, that like the rest of us, you have considered making changes to the way that you work? And when you have, its because you probably built up a compelling business case in your head to justify it?


Time for change

I have personally spent many years building the business case for changing the way that recruitment should be done. And I would like to invite you to join me for just 15 minutes of your time so that I can share this with you.


Agency reseller


In the next 15 minutes, you will discover that everything we do at SRO is justified and backed up by many years of research and data analysis and takes an evidence-based approach to every stage in the recruitment lifecycle in order to build a very compelling case for change.

We combine our knowledge and understanding of what corporate clients actually want and are willing to pay for. With a deeper understanding of the human behavioural science that drives applicant behaviours.  From this, we have developed a unique suite of technology and tools, complimented with tried and tested processes, that are enabling us to out-perform every other online recruitment service.

What we are subsequently able to offer you, is the opportunity to become an approved reseller of the SRO platform. That will perfectly complement what you already do well.

During the last 20 years, I myself have transitioned from high performing recruiter to successful agency business owner. And now into a recruitment technology innovator. Smart Recruit Online won 5 international awards last year. I emphatically believe that products like SRO will revolutionise the way that all recruiters work in the future.

I hope that you find the webinar interesting and relevant.
You might be surprised how easy it could be to adapt your current recruitment business to include 3 new key revenue streams and completely change the perception that corporate clients have of you and the way you work.

Mark Stephens
CEO & Founder of Smart Recruit Online

Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.

5 Tips to Improve Communication in the Recruitment Process
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

HR professionals need to balance a couple of very big essentials during the recruitment process. Speed and proper communication are two of those that can be challenging to implement at the same time.

Effective communication, however, plays a role in boosting effectiveness. By zooming in on the right candidates and making the onboarding process seamless.

Talent shortage is a massive issue today and almost 73 per cent of employers report difficulties in filling positions. At the same time, employee engagement is lower than ever before. Disengaged employees cost businesses up to 550 billion dollars per year – a massive amount that can be reduced through better communication about expectations and roles on both parts.

So, what does it take to make the recruitment process more informative, more tailored and more effective? Here are some of the strategies that HR professionals can rely on to improve their communication efforts.


Data Collection

Good communication is heavily dependent on going into every meeting fully prepared.

Luckily, various technologies can be employed today to gather relevant data.

The recruitment process needs to be digitized and optimized, reducing the paper clutter that HR professionals go through. When the right HR software is utilized, it can also analyze current metrics and candidate trends. This will ensure better preparedness over the course of the recruitment process.

Gathering information about candidates to advance is equally important and there are multiple strategies to employ for the purpose.


Online Communication Is More Important Than Ever Before

Everyone is online – a fact that recruiters need to account for when communicating.

If seniors can meet each other online on dating websites, recruiters also have to be present across platforms to streamline and speed up the collection of information.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn have already pretty much become the standard in the recruitment realm. It’s also common for companies to employ live streaming and video calls, making it easier for candidates to schedule interviews in a comfortable way.

The current worldwide situation and the coronavirus pandemic are changing the way we live and the way we work. It is anticipated to have a profound effect on the ways that interviews are being carried out and onboarding is occurring.

Making use of digital technologies right now will exponentially maximize communication capabilities in a cost-efficient, tailored way that all businesses can benefit from.


Maximising candidate engagement


Automation for Some Immediacy

Certain aspects of recruitment process communication can be automated, freeing up human resources for the more strategic tasks at hand.

When a human being has to go through every single step, some processes can be needlessly prolonged. This is why tech can be employed once again to automate a few steps and give HR professionals a breather.

Here’s a very simple example of how communication automation can occur.

After a person has sent in an email with their application, they could receive an automated response. The automatic email can shed a bit more light on the company culture, the onboarding process and the additional steps that the candidate will have to go through in case they’re considered relevant for the position.

While this is a very basic example of how recruitment communication can be automated, it paints a clear picture of how everything can be sped up and simplified for the purpose of simpler, quicker and more efficient processes.


Always Have a Timeline for Replies and Processes

Many people who apply for specific positions complain that they never hear back from recruiters or that they hear back too long after the initial contact.

Every recruiter needs to set strict timelines for responding and for staging out the recruitment processes.

Having automation in place will take a lot of the administrative burden off your shoulders. This way, you can focus on setting a timeline for responding and completing every single step of the candidate filtering out process.

While such timeframes are more or less guidelines, they create a sense of urgency and move the communication forward. Our minds are wired to perform better when a deadline is in place and the rule does apply to corporate communication.


Clarifying Roles within the Hiring Team

The final tip is purely organizational but it can have some impact on the quality of communication within the recruitment team itself, as well as with candidates.

It’s very important to clarify the role of every single member of the human resources department.

Very often, there are implied roles and responsibilities that may be taken on by more than one person. Not only are such processes ineffective, but they can also lead to reduced productivity and serious mistakes down the line.

If there’s a lack of clarity, the department will need to address this internally before a recruitment campaign is initiated. What’s the role of the hiring manager? Does the team have a senior leader at all? Who’s leading the interview process and how are they communicating with everybody else?

These are just a few of the key questions that need to be addressed for proper responsibility allocation. When recruitment team members have a clear idea about their role in the department, they can start communicating more effectively with everyone involved in the process.

Improved communication can speed up recruitment and save a company tons of money. The recruitment team must work to address any ambiguities as soon as possible. Such processes are far from expensive and when carried out correctly, they can contribute to profound operational efficiency in the future.


Author’s bio

Ben Brown is a freelance writer and a content manager at dating site DoULikeSenior


Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that can streamline and revolutionise your recruitment. To discuss what we can to for your recruitment strategy, and find out more about our fully integrated communication tools, book a demo by clicking here.

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Ben Brown

Ben Brown is freelance writer and a content manager at dating site DoULikeSenior with top notch communication  skills. He enjoys learning new things and learning more about people from all over the world. His passion and diligence enable him to consistently grow and improve both himself and his career.

Are you concerned about your future as an independent agency recruiter?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Will COVID-19 influence fundamental changes to the traditional agency recruitment model?


Even if we push aside the extreme market conditions that we are currently experiencing, most industry experts will agree that an overhaul of the way that the traditional independent agency recruiter works is long overdue. Contingency recruitment, in particular, has encouraged bad practice in many areas. This has subsequently lead to ‘the recruiter’ receiving its unfair share of bad press.

To appreciate how radical this transformational change could be, we need to quickly go back to basics. Starting with the genuine pains, challenges, frustrations, bottlenecks that clients say they endure and the recruitment objectives of what our prospective clients say they want to achieve.


Agency reseller



Analysis of over 10,000 completed client surveys by the team here at SRO, highlighted the following items firmly and consistently in the corporate clients top 10 recruitment objectives:

  1. Recruit more efficiently – less time and less effort for better results
  2. Attract more quality Direct Applications to Jobs (Not via a 3rd party)
  3. Deliver a better user and applicant experience
  4. Keep recruitment hiring costs to a minimum
  5. Fill more jobs first time and in less time (<20 days)
  6. Apply better due diligence hiring decisions to reduce attrition
  7. Centralise & control recruitment processes whilst enabling hiring teams
  8. Be more agile in adopting new technology, products and services
  9. Improve reporting and better understand what is working and what isn’t
  10. Recruit ethically, improve diversity and remove bias from the recruitment process

The consistent elephant in the room for many professional recruitment companies is that their clients see them as the lesser of two evils.  Simply put – they use them because out of necessity, not because they want to. This strains the relationship at its foundation and any positive transformation must involve a radical shift in perception.


Repetitive rhetorical conversations need to dissolve, and real conversations backed up by actual change need to emerge.


This does not mean that there isn’t a role for the ‘independent agency recruiter’. In fact, according to the CIPD, REC, APSCO and the Office of National Statistics, UK business during the last 10 years, have consistently recruited around 20% of its staff via 3rd party service providers. This includes temporary and permanent staff.

Another more recent global report by AI market leaders, Burning Glass, confirms that around 80% of all hires now come via applications made online. That statistic reflects the increasing number of job-related searches taking place each month via Google. This is now in excess of 17m searches coming from unique UK IP addresses each month.


That’s more than 50% of the working population doing a job-related search online every month.


Subsequently, ‘prospective applicant’ behaviour is making the trend of recruiting online easier and more effective and when done properly, can dramatically reduce a company’s dependency on using agency recruitment services with a contingency fee model.

When we factor in the current market conditions there is a very strong business case for independent and agency recruiters to consider making that adjustment to their business model now.


independent agency recruiter


So, what is the plan?

If the independent agency recruiter is going to successfully reinvent themselves, they need to provide solutions that accurately reflect client demands first. Savvy entrepreneurs & investors will tell you that you must solve a real problem worth solving for customers first and develop your business model second.

That may sound straight forward and logical but that does not mean it’s easy. There is a good reason that most disruption comes from start-ups; they simply do not have the baggage of incumbent ideas and are not entrenched in yesterday’s models.


 If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down

(even if it has made you money in the past)


Of course, it’s hard to change the way we do things, especially when we have been doing things a certain way for a long time. That is why Smart Recruit Online has made this our mission – our raison d’etre is to devise solutions that accurately reflect client demands.

We achieve this by continuously innovating at the intersection between technology and phycology, between computer science and behavioural science. Whereas the recruitment ecosystem evolves constantly – this intersection remains the frontline.

As developers of recruitment technology solutions, we have drawn significant inspiration from the marketing sector in the last 10 years. Digital Marketing Consultants and Recruitment Consultant work in very similar ways. One is generating leads, while the other generates candidates. However, the marketing sector gets a lion’s share of investment and can rapidly embrace the fluid changes and uses of technology so much more effectively and quickly.

They are masters at developing evidence-based approaches and evolving creative new business models born from real data and focussed on true ROI.

Think Hubspot, Marketo or Infusionsoft for Digital Marketeers. These platforms and their advanced tools and methodology have become an integral part of the marketing arsenal, to the point that they simply would not be able to perform without them now.

Professionally presented dashboards, segmented with layers of detail and evidence validating each stage of the process are the norm. They highlight areas for improvement in real-time, enabling those real conversations we talked about.


This is how you can transform your business and elevate above reactive tactical recruitment and into strategic talent acquisition.  


Also, we must think about the one-dimensional commercial terms that an independent or agency recruiter typically offers. It’s a major part of the reason that only 20% of jobs go to this sector of the recruitment supply chain.



independent agency recruiter


So, how do you access the other 80%?


With some adjustment to your commercials and delivery models to reflect the level of difficulty and the work involved, you can quickly access the other 80% of jobs and increase your probability of commercial success.


You must be able to provide clients with a full suite of services to meet their needs on attractive commercial terms.


Here is the full range of services that you COULD be offering. They cover every possible type of job and all the transactional options that the client has:


  • ATS or Recruitment Platform: provide a low cost, yet highly effective technology solution to the client, that allows them to do everything else for themselves.


  • Recruitment Advertising Media: The client possibly has an ATS or recruitment solution in place, but is interested in buying media more intelligently and to get better value for money against their limited recruitment budget.


  • Applicant screening: The most time-consuming aspect for internal recruitment teams is the screening and selecting of the applications, especially on high volume roles. If you had effective AI tools that accurately rank candidates for relevance, against the job details, this time can be reduced by around 80%.


  • Fixed Price Solution: Most companies can attach a value to each recruitment campaign, but for 80% of jobs that doesn’t support an agency fee. Getting paid for the work you do, is a sound business model, so if you can make £300-500 profit on each campaign for what is typically between 1-3 hours of your time, then the cumulative effect, when you do this 12 times each month, is between £3600-6000 in guaranteed revenues.


  • Contingency & Retained work: When you can provide the full range of services outlined above each time that the company needs to recruit, you will always have advanced or exclusive visibility of the jobs that are struggling most and that presents you with the opportunity to gain either an advantage or to negotiate an exclusive or retained arrangement with your clients. Your successful fill rate will subsequently go up and the overall revenues that you generate from success fees will potentially double or treble. You already know this model of course 😊


  • Agency & Vendor Management: If the client still wants to use a network of 3rd party suppliers, perhaps you can provide a solution that outsources and removes all those unwanted agency sales calls? There are going to be a lot more of them over the coming months.


So what is stopping you from adapting your current model?


To get started you will need a technology partner, that can provide you with an advanced recruitment delivery platform (not a CRM) with a suite of best-in-class tools so that you can deliver the full range of services that actually meet the clients need. Services that have been developed around the 10 objectives highlighted at the beginning of this article.

Select a partner with the right technological capability and an understanding of the talent acquisition ecosystem and wider recruitment industry.


Every journey begins with a single step, but the best journeys are those you embark on with the right partner in tow. Even the best climbers in the world don’t attempt Everest without a trusted team of Sherpas. With that in mind, we have done the heavy lifting for you.


independent agency recruiter


We are a technology partner that can support you, develop the skills required and adapt to this more advanced way of working, with on boarding, training and ongoing support.

We will also help you access better online client branded media advertising packages, that you can resell media to clients, and that will ultimately help you and the clients to fill more jobs from direct applications whilst making you a profit.

It is important to note, that this is not an abandonment of the old ways, or a discarding your existing client relationship style. It’s a reinvention of your business and the services that you are prepared to take to market, in order to not just survive, but thrive within the Post CV19 world.

The first movers in this space will undoubtedly be the major players in years to come, so getting a head start in this traditionally slow to respond sector is an opportunity for those who want to capitalise on the inevitable rebound.

Remember the 3 types of people in this world, those that make things happen, those that get on board with what is happening and those that wonder what just happened.

Steven Covey states clearly in the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, that the most common trait amongst highly successful people, is that they tend not to procrastinate once they identify something that makes sense.


Click here to find out more and to arrange a call with one of our systems experts. Ask about our 3 month Free Trial package, to help get you started.

Book A Demo

Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.

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