It is a case of “back to the future” in the IT recruitment business for Russell MacDonald, the owner/director of his own Melbourne-based recruitment agency, RMA IT Recruitment, with offices in Sydney and Singapore.
In the current environment, with many agencies in the recruitment sector in Australia feeling the pinch as clients tighten budgets and cut back on hiring of new staff, Russell MacDonald says agency recruiting is returning to the pre-job board days where a recruitment consultant had to be well networked, able to link high calibre individuals with a range of clients and offer value and “great service.”
By “back to the future” MacDonald is reflecting on the fact that at a time of cost-cutting and a retraction in hiring across both the private and public sectors, recruiters are having to deliver greater added-value than they might have done in the so-called good times when business was booming and hiring was moving along at a rapid pace.
Russell MacDonald’s recruitment agency, RMA, is one of the many small to medium agencies in Australia servicing various business and industry sectors, and in RMA’s case, specialising in the IT industry.
While MacDonald acknowledges that there’s clearly a place for companies – big and small – to handle their own recruiting, he is of the view that the best approach to hiring for any company is to have good, in-house people manage the process, balanced by the use of the “experts” in the company’s appointed recruitment agency.
“The ability to be quick to market, provided by job boards, social media and other channels, has created its own set of problems, particularly around volume and quality of candidates,” MacDonald cautions.
“Those organisations with thorough candidate management, interview processes and their own internal databases and networks are best placed to be efficient in the hiring process for their clients.”Public databases are valuable but I wouldn’t want to rely on them,” MacDonald points out when talking about clients who may want to handle their own hiring through the use of job-boards, rather than the specialised internal database of their recruitment agency.
“The other big concern for clients these days is compliance, including workplace safety, inductions, and privacy, and recruitment firms are geared to handle these challenges.”