Is it Broken or do we need to Break it ?

by John Fingleton – Hospitality development and recruitment consultant.

I don’t know about you, but I am at a stage in my life where I want to be remembered as someone who was part of the solution not the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I am not ready to expire yet, but I am ready to stand up and be counted. You see I have worked, lived and loved the hospitality industry for as long as I can remember, however like any long lasting relationship we have had good days and bad days and currently we are definitely living in some frustrating and confusing days.

I have just recently transitioned into the next phase in my relationship with the industry and moved from being a candidate, transitioned to being a client, to now working with a recruitment agency. Over the last 12 months I have been working behind the scenes with a recruitment agency in the hospitality sector and like everyone I had some preconceived ideas of what went on behind the scenes.

There seems to be a lot of frustration within the industry when it comes to engaging with a recruitment agency and for most organisations. It becomes apparent that for most it is the last throw of the dice after exhausting the more favourable job boards or word of mouth referrals. Unfortunately, this is helping to fuel the candidate driven market that we are experiencing in today’s industry as many candidates are being overlooked or possibly not even being looked at all.

In a previous article, we discussed what are the benefits of working with a reputable agency. In terms of service agencies provide a far greater success ratio than some of the other options. Candidates placed last longer are better fitted to the roles and are motivated to take on the challenge. However, after a recent survey we conducted within the hospitality industry, I have to admit, we discovered one of the biggest frustrations and reasons organisations lean towards the world of online job boards rather than the, often better suited and value added, recruitment agency model. The issue: the fee structure agencies apply.

In my experience, recruitment agencies need to demonstrate their relevance in the marketplace by providing services that match the requirements of their clients, thus becoming leaner in their operations. The prevalence of a fee structure that most agencies currently employ is, with respect, symptomatic of an industry struggling to justify its existence, and not able to cope with the changes the marketplace demands. Let’s see:

The typical recruitment agency will quote you fees based on a percentage of the salary of the candidate they are sourcing for you. Most of these agencies will charge you anything from 10% to 15% depending on a few variables such as the seniority of the role, the specific services provided in the search for the right person.

Now lets just take a minute here to really try to understand what does our industry actually think, want and need from us as partners in the recruitment process.

Let’s start with the following situation:

The phone rings and an important client is looking to engage with you for your professional knowledge, experience and expertise to help them solve their recruitment needs. After all, the sign over the door says “Recruitment Agency”, so it is a fair assumption to think that the client is calling because they value your professional opinion and not because they have nowhere else to go?

Here is where I believe the frustration and confusion lies. What are they asking you to do?

Is it: a) To source and submit a resume for the most suitable candidate you feel will carry out the vacant role best, and potentially arrange an interview for them if the person is a good fit?; or b) To write the job description, search for suitable candidates, submit those most suitable for the role, setup the interview, complete three reference checks, brief the candidate on the role and company philosophy and challenges ahead, manage the flow of information between candidate and client , arrange second round interviews, arrange trial shift , negotiate contract and start dates is applicable?

Recruitment agencies can not complain about the lack of placements, when they provide services that the clients perceive not to be value for money. Recruiters need to ask clearly to their clients what they need and come up with an offering that matches the service provided.

I believe as part of our commitment to people we should explore the possibility of changing our recruitment model and moving towards a transparent fee system, where the clients have a clear picture of what they are paying for, and where we can best assist people to get the right jobs for their careers.

Introducing a flat fee model I believe will allow us to deliver for our candidates, who have trusted us to work with them to secure their long term career goals, while at the same time bring better value for money to our organisations for our professional recruiting services more in line with their actual requirements.
A more balanced model that aims to advance people through their career allowing progression rather than stagnation, resulting in a more satisfying work life for people and increases the level of professionalism in the service industry in Ireland.

Today we take a stance in favour of organisations and people.

About the author
John Fingleton is a Hospitality development and recruitment consultant with Bē a solutions company (formerly Ambassador Recruit) for the hospitality industry in Ireland. Their philosophy is based on the concept that talent is the center of the hospitality offering and needs to be nurtured and developed in alignment with technology advances, industry best practices and our Irish heritage. bē serves individuals and hospitality organisations alike, offering innovative solutions in areas ranging from career management to environmentally friendly hospitality programs and unforgettable guest experiences.  For more information, visit www.ambassador-recruit.com

Categories: Recruitment

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