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Is the recruitment agency here for the long haul? ‘You bet’

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

There seems to be some contention about whether recruitment agencies are here to last. When we asked Elizabeth Kingston if they were here for the long haul, she replied: “You bet.”

CEO of Arete Executive, Richard Triggs, told HR Leader recently that “the recruitment industry has died, never to be resuscitated”, as the need for the profession has faded.

“LinkedIn has now completely changed the landscape in terms of the ability to be identified by employers and the ability to identify your employers … So, therefore, we don’t need to rely on third-party recruiters nearly as much as we used to,” said Mr Triggs

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However, Elizabeth Kingston, executive director of Kingston Human Capital, disagrees. She believes the need for recruiters will prevail, and the rise of technology in recruitment is a benefit to agencies, rather than the killer.

“In the wake of AI and tools like LinkedIn and SEEK, some fear recruitment agencies are on the endangered list. Instead, AI and automation tools are making us more effective. At Kingston Human Capital, tools like JobAdder are not replacing us — they are freeing us from the administrative burden and low-value tasks, allowing us to focus on what we do best: finding great talent for our clients,” said Ms Kingston.

“So, is the recruitment agency here for the long haul? You bet. As technology advances, we’ll keep finding efficiencies and improving client and candidate experiences. We are here for the long haul, and we’re excited to deliver more quality and value.”

According to Ms Kingston, part of the reason that recruitment agencies will see longevity is due to the change in the relationship between them and the businesses they represent. No longer are they considered a separate entity; they’re now joined to the processes.

“We’re seeing a real shift in Australia, as businesses are no longer just using recruitment agencies to fill vacancies in a reactionary manner. Instead, they’re forming strategic partnerships and considering their recruitment partners an augmented extension of HR teams. They’re helping to plan, attract, and map talent in alignment with the company’s strategic direction, making a big contribution to the organisation’s success,” Ms Kingston explained.

“Organisations are adopting this integrated approach on the back of talent shortages because they’ve come to recognise the tactical benefits of accessing the expansive talent pools that recruitment agencies have developed and nurtured, which are teeming with both active and passive job seekers. However, it’s more than just talent pools that’s driven this shift. It’s the advanced tools recruitment agencies utilise to manage talent reservoirs and deliver a seamless candidate experience that has been a significant game changer for many businesses.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation concern many professionals, as the fear of jobs becoming obsolete hangs over heads. Ms Kingston isn’t concerned about this evolution, however, and sees the advancement of this technology as a benefit to the recruitment industry.

“In the face of new technologies, there are always naysayers predicting doom and gloom. However, let’s take a step back and examine the facts. Remember when LinkedIn and SEEK first came onto the scene? There were predictions of the end of recruitment agencies as we knew it. But what happened? Recruiters adopted and leveraged these platforms,” she said.

Ms Kingston concluded: “Now we’re in the era of AI and automation, and the same alarm bells are ringing. But let’s be clear: automation, when used correctly, doesn’t replace recruiters — it allows them to spend more time on talent engagement and less time on administration.”

RELATED TERMS

Recruitment

The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.