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Three-quarters of UK Businesses fell ëripped-offí by recruitment agency rates

Survey reveals ëoverselling of candidatesí and ëunqualified CVsí continue to frustrate employers

Employers continued to feel frustrated by high recruitment fees, according to new research released today by TalentPuzzle, the online recruitment marketplace. UK businesses currently spend £2.6 billion on external recruitment each year, however 76% of the business owners and HR staff surveyed felt that they were not getting value for money. In addition, 77% were frustrated that there wasn’t any consistency in recruitment rates and rebates, with businesses paying as much as 25-30% in placement fees.

“With so little consistency and transparency when it comes to fees it is easy to see why employers can feel ripped off by recruitment agencies,” commented Virginia Raemy, CEO of TalentPuzzle. “Employers should have more power to set prices according to their budget. At a time when businesses are looking to reduce recruitment costs, the recruitment industry needs to start being more realistic and transparent, while ensuring the quality and targeting of CVs they send through improves.”

Despite feeling ripped off, employers do recognise the value of working with recruitment agencies, with 92% of the respondents saying that they were planning to use an agency in the next six months. Furthermore, the ability to fill specialist positions and solicit better candidates were cited as the main reasons for engaging with them. However, the research suggests that recruitment agencies need to improve their service levels, as business owners and HR staff invest precious time briefing recruitment agencies, only to receive a lot of poorly-targeted CVs that don’t meet their requirements. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that over half (58%) felt that briefing recruitment agencies can be a waste of time.

When asked about what frustrates business owners and HR staff most about recruitment agencies the ‘overselling of candidates’ and receiving ‘unqualified CVs’ were seen as the biggest frustrations, followed by the ‘constant chasing for candidate/CV feedback’. All of this further reinforces the current “love-hate” relationship between employers and recruiters. Employers often feel that recruiters don’t properly listen to them, while recruiters complain that they don’t receive timely feedback from employers.

“It is clear that both recruiters and employers need to improve the way that they work together. They should have a symbiotic relationship, rather than seemingly working against each other. By working much more smartly and effectively together this would help raise the quality and targeting of CVs. This is a win-win situation for both parties, as it helps employers to reduce their time to hire and helps recruiters improve their reputation, increase their quality and hopefully increase their new business,” added Virginia Raemy.

The survey of 250 business owners and HR staff at UK organisations, with up to 750 employees, was commissioned by TalentPuzzle to gain a better understanding of how companies are currently engaging with recruitment agencies. The research was conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne.