Nearly half of recruitment business owners in the UK are struggling to recruit quality consultants, with 1 in 5 saying this presents the biggest barrier to agency growth in 2015, according to a recent survey.
The survey of recruitment directors conducted by RIDA, the recruitment investment, advisory and consultancy house, found that despite over half (59%) of recruitment agency owners reporting overall growth in 2014, 45% of recruitment directors said that recruiting top talent for their businesses is the greatest challenge they face this year.
Despite unemployment standing at a record low and billings in the industry at an eight-year high, agency growth remains a major challenge for one-fifth (23%) of recruitment directors.
One in five (18%) said increased competition between agencies and talent retention will affect potential growth, whilst more than a third (36%) felt candidate shortages will continue to be a key issue this year.
In 2014, 41% of recruitment directors reported increased efficiencies, with more than a quarter (27%) saying increased staff performance directly impacted on their agency’s bottom line. Almost half (45%) of agency owners said they saw increased billings overall – a factor most anticipate will continue throughout 2015.
Indeed, 63% and 41% of recruitment directors stated they are optimistic about growing their permanent and temporary billings respectively over the coming months. Part of the expected growth will be a result of an increase in their agency’s online presence (27%) and improved access to a wider candidate pool (14%).
Online activity will play a key role for recruiters this year. One in six (14%) said they increased their online presence in 2014, with 27% planning to invest more on digital marketing and employer/recruiter branding in 2015.
Social recruiting (45%), mobile recruiting (27%), and to a lesser extent video interviewing (9%) were said to have the greatest impact on recruiting in the second half of this year.
Commenting on the findings, Helen Reynolds, CEO RIDA Group, said, “What this survey shows is that despite the challenges being faced by a number of recruitment business owners, many of them are being overcome – and to great effect on their bottom line.
“Online marketing and increased branding have seen a sharp rise in activity over the last 12 months, as agencies seek to counter increased agency competition. At the same time, agencies have increased their use of social media and mobile recruiting to better engage with a shrinking candidate pool.
“The industry saw strong performance in 2014. This survey has shown that while recruitment director confidence remains high overall, those who adopt more savvy practices such as optimising their online presence will be the eventual winners in the continued war for talent (and clients).”