Last time out I reviewed the recruitment challenges being discussed by Senior HR & Recruitment leaders at the Talent Leaders Connect conference in London. The issues holding most weight in the conversation included agreeing on and disseminating the right employer branding, and the ability to find the right talent for highly skilled jobs. During the same conference, I also found time to take a moment to discuss with John Paul Caffery, co-founder of the TheJobPost (a recruitment agency marketplace, connecting employers and specialist recruiters via one platform and one contract), how agile recruitment could begin to solve some of these challenges…

John Paul spoke at length about the internal and external challenges facing in-house recruitment professionals and the HR function as a whole. From training staff on specialist subjects to fill existing skills gaps, to changing the purpose of your Preferred Supplier List to ensure you do the same and delivering process efficiencies through the effective utilisation of technology, he was frank, passionate and insightful.

“Future proofing your supply chain to ensure you can hire the best specialist talent is essential” declared John Paul, “Not just for current needs, but for future workforce demands and to enable you to address the skills needed for job roles that don’t even exist yet. “

In terms of external factors affecting recruitment, John Paul stated, “The recruitment agency model is changing. In the UK especially there is an increasing level of polarisation between recruitment agencies in response to this trend, with 75% of the 19,500 recruitment agencies typically employing less than ten people, according to a recent survey conducted by TheJobPost. The survey of 158 employers representing 200,000 hires also found that these smaller agencies are focused predominantly on niche and specialist roles.  But we know that finding agencies to help with these roles can be challenging, with almost 1 in 2 were unable to fill specialist roles via their Preferred Supplier List.

Increased pressure for faster time-to-hire has seen the rise of the online marketplace to facilitate this essential supply chain extension. Based on sophisticated algorithms, these platforms allow brands to match an advertised job position to the right recruiter, with the right fee-level, location, and sector specialisms using just a few clicks of a mouse. While this may have opened up even more competition in the recruitment market, agency recruiters can win too; with brands operating on a ‘pay to play’ model – they pay a fee upfront with the assurance the recruiting party is confident they will find someone for the position.”

While this type of platform-technology will prove vital for getting talent into the business quickly , it becomes even more valuable, especially for large corporations, when new recruitment platforms can be used collaboratively with existing talent acquisition systems, offering greater efficiency transparency and control of open positions. For example, if the platform is integrated with an applicant tracking system (ATS), jobs are only posted once to multiple channels, removing the duplication of effort while still tracking engagement and leads through the posting.

Businesses struggling to hire talent should look to adopt these new and innovative technologies. And as these come to the fore to solve recruitment pain points, integration will be essential for the continual flow of data to inform decisions not just for the recruitment process but through the entire employee lifecycle.