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Australia – Jobseekers use of recruitment agencies jumps +80% in five years

01 November 2013

Jobseekers are increasingly turning to recruitment agencies in order to secure work, reports Northern Territory News. There are currently more than 7,000 recruitment firms in Australia linking the best workers for the job with the best employers with the work.

In the past five years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of unemployed people registering with a recruitment firm has grown by +80%, with 142,500 jobseekers using a recruiter in 2012 compared to 78,800 in 2008 when ABS first started collecting data.

Engaging a recruiter is still only used by 24% of all unemployed jobseekers -- the least-used method of any job search strategy -- meaning that those who do use recruitment services are gaining a significant advantage and learning about many job opportunities before their competitors.

Meanwhile, about 90% of companies will use a recruitment firm to help them source staff.

Hays regional director (NSW) Adam Shapley advised that the main advantage recruitment firms offer is that the consultant is a specialist in a particular area; whether it be a region, an industry, or occupation, so they know the available opportunities well.

Mr Shapley said: “A good recruitment consultant should be, first and foremost, a specialist or expert in a particular area. The benefit is they should be able to access and leverage the relationships and knowledge (of) that consultant to find the hidden jobs market.”

Sales and marketing has the greatest number of specialist recruitment agencies, followed by administration and office support, accounting, IT&T and engineering. However, boutique recruiters can be found in any sector, from property and retail to sport and beauty services.

According to Mr Shapley, recruiters have the skills and time to sort through job applications and narrow the field down for employers, from an in-tray of hundreds of applications to a select short list. With increasing numbers of people now out of work even advertisements for highly skilled roles are attracting hundreds of applicants.

It means sheer logistics make it difficult for the best worker to be found and for the employer to hire the right fit, Mr Shapley advised. “If an organisation advertises . . . you might be the one person who has what they need for that role but, if people have to find that proverbial needle in the haystack through 300 resumes, they still might not find you.”

“What a recruitment consultant does is work hard to understand their target clients and customers. They source the best candidates and best fit for their organisations, which should equally lead to the best fit for the candidates,” he concluded. 


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