Clients no longer buy into recruiter value: Savage

Source: Shortlist, 18 October 2012

Employers throughout the world now have a “very deep pervasive cycnicism of the value of third party recruiters”, Firebrand CEO Greg Savage told a conference today.

The veteran recruiter told the RHUB meeting in Auckland today that he had spent the past year visiting heads of recruitment and HR at media, marketing, PR, retail and finance companies, and all had a similar message.

“In boardrooms across this country and the world there is a universal intention to drive cost out of recruitment as much as possible.”

Cost-cutting was nothing new, he said, but among recruitment clients it was increasingly “accompanied by a very deep, pervasive cynicism of the value of third party recruiters.”

Savage recalled a time in the past when he met with a CEO who bemoaned the cost of photocopying, seemingly without realising that he was spending $1 million a year with Savage’s then company, Recruitment Solutions. That sort of “non-recognition” of the cost of recruitment was long gone.

He said companies didn’t believe agency recruitment added value, and saw the rise of social media sourcing as “a godsend… a channel to cut you and me out”.

At the same time as margins were being driven down, business leaders were also more focused than ever on the value of getting the right talent.

While this was good news, he said, it also meant “we won’t be able to slip under the radar anymore”.