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Are recruitment firms doing enough to keep candidates engaged and retained?

Are recruitment firms doing enough to keep candidates engaged and retained?

In a past life, I worked for one of the UK's leading and largest recruitment firms. I was in the back office looking after the software the recruiters relied on to do their job. From my position, I saw exactly what happened during the candidate journey, the onboarding, the engagement, the workflow.
This recruitment firm is no different from any other in the UK. The same fundamental processors happen in every single firm, big or small.
A list of roles and a list of candidates, both being managed by a group of people that see a CV and a Role as a figure! Let's not shy away from the facts here. Recruiters are here to help a candidate and hiring manager, more importantly to the recruitment firm, is they are there to bring in a profit.
This blog isn't about challenging that or saying it's right or wrong — ultimately its business and that how life is. What I want to explore is what recruitment firms can do to improve their offerings to candidates?

A job seeker has a whole heap of choices to make when they start job searching. Do they focus all their efforts with a recruitment firm? Do they hire specialists to help them with their CV? Do they cruise the job boards applying to every role with a particular keyword in it... where do they start?

I've been through the recruitment process myself, and although it was many years ago, not much has changed, from a candidate perspective.
When I was looking, I chose to hit the job boards with my CV. No outside help, no real guidance. I found a role I was interested in, sent my CV and was contacted by a recruiter who phone interviewed me.
That was my first and only contact with the recruiter. I later received an email on my birthday, wishing me all the best from the recruitment agency.

I've spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of people regarding the job seeking process since back then, and this story repeats itself often. Minimal contact from the recruitment company, if any, after the initial job application.
I'm not blaming recruiters; I know some excellent recruiters who are fantastic at what they do. I'm accusing the firms themselves and the pressures that the 'margins' put on the recruiters.

Thankfully times are changing, and recruitment firms are starting to take a look at their candidate management engagement and retention processors.
Many firms are now seeing the value in providing value-added services to candidates. We're seeing recruitment businesses implement candidate engagement systems, increasing the number of times candidates are in contact with a recruitment firm and candidate feedback being sought.

Many recruiters will also 'assist' with employability issues such as interview training, CV re-writing and general assistance with the actual job search process.

Where I still feel more work can be done is on the educational side of the process. We live in a digital world where just about everyone has a digital footprint. From Social Media to blogging there aren't many people that don't have an external facing digital presence today.
Years ago, you were hired based on your CV, interview and references. Nowadays, there is an additional 'checkpoint' to get through. Your digital footprint.
I believe that recruiters who can help candidates navigate this often problematic area, giving value and educating candidates on best practices will be the successful recruiter of the future.
Think of it this way which recruitment firm would you go to. The one that sends you an email once a month of the roles they are recruiting, with the odd one that fit's your search criteria.
Or the recruitment firm that not only actively searches for the roles you are looking for but also offers training, support and guidance in all aspect of your job search?

LinkedIn for Job Seekers is a program, developed by Chris Williams, that helps candidates improve their chances of being employed through a four-week LinkedIn training program. Recruitment firms are starting to offer this to many job seekers under their own branding. These forward-thinking recruiters are wanting to improve the chances of their candidates finding work and understand that having a better-prepared candidate is only helping the process.

Does your recruitment agency offer you this? If not, take part in the FREE program directly. Visit