How Can Innovative Practices Benefit Recruitment Agencies?

Published on

September 21, 2018

Written by

Alison Humphries


Alison Humphries will be speaking at Innovation Breakfast, an event co-hosted by strategic consultancy Recruitment Leadership and leading video technology company Odro, on October 18th at The Studio in Manchester.

The morning networking session aims to answer the question – how can Innovative practices and tools benefit recruitment agencies?

Here, Alison discusses the concept of innovation within the recruitment sector and how far you should take it in this increasing digital world.


The recruitment industry is evolving and technology is fast-becoming the go to hot-topic for a lot of business owners looking to take their company to the next level.

With the advent of recruitment-specific chatbots, automated communication processes and data analysis by machine learning, the role of the recruiter is becoming questionable.

So, does innovation mean replacing all your consultants with robots?


Absolutely not! Implementing systems and processes should not be seen as a replacement for existing frameworks but as an opportunity to enhance and benefit your current operations.

Quite often there is innovation for its own sake which can fail because it doesn’t consider the value to the customer. I’ve seen fantastic innovation that isn’t based on technology ‘add-ons’ or digitised processes.

Instead, I’ve worked with businesses to develop a genuinely different methodology and pricing model that optimises their performance and makes them stand out from the competition.

Ultimately, innovation is about thinking differently and introducing new methods to existing processes. It’s not about cutting down the human workforce!


How important is the concept of innovation in today’s recruitment businesses?


The industry is one of the most fragmented substantial sectors in the UK economy. In 2017 alone, Companies House recorded the launch of 5,824 new recruitment agencies which is a 20% increase on the previous year.

Recruitment has always been competitive but now it’s rivalrous – it’s never been harder to grab the attention of a client or a candidate – so standing out from the crowd is integral.


If you had to pick three areas of the recruitment process that could benefit from innovation, which would they be?


The recruitment sector still has a long way to go before it catches up with the vertical industries they are hiring for.

Take, for example, the interview process. In an age where video calling is available on nearly every social channel available and at the touch of a button, why do we still put the emphasis on physical meetings with our time-pressured clients?

Implementing a video interview process into your operation will save both your client and candidate’s time as well as freeing your consultant up to get more billings!

Then, take an innovative approach to your pricing models. If developed with guidance from someone external to your business, implementing a new strategy for pricing will elevate your business without the need for investment in tech.

Thirdly, vacancy marketing – lots of job ads out there are truly awful so it’s no wonder companies are struggling to get the applicants!


What advice would you give a director/business owner who is looking to be more innovative?


Don’t suffer from group-thinking or rely on your clients to tell you how to do things.

As Henry T Ford is reported to have said: “If I’d asked my customer what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.

And the same goes for your team – everyone has an agenda that may not be in line with the overall direction of the business.

The market never stands still so if you’re at the critical step of moving your business forward, seek outside advice and guidance from an experienced external view so you can start thinking differently about your business.

Innovation Breakfast is brought to you by Recruitment Leadership and Odro. Alison will be joined by Odro CEO Ryan McCabe and founder of game-based psychometric assessment platform Arctic Shores at the event on October 18th starting from 9am.

If you would like to attend the Innovation Breakfast or access strategic consultancy regarding innovation, contact Alison today using the form here.

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