I wrote a blog entitled ‘Why Use a Construction Recruitment Agency to Find Permanent Staff’ for the Maxim Recruitment blog and newsletter around a year ago.
Reading over it again a year later, I still feel that the blog makes some good points that construction employers planning to recruit should consider. It makes the case that using the services of a (good) recruitment agency will:
- Save construction industry employers time – time that they can then spend doing more of their core business activities
- Most likely provide a higher quality pool of candidates to consider for their construction job vacancies
What I mention in passing in this blog but don’t elaborate further on as I will here, is that a successful partnership between a recruiter and an employer requires a trust and commitment to keep working until the recruitment exercise has been successfully completed. It is worth pausing for a moment to ask how many vacancies ‘taken on’ by recruitment agencies are actually filled by them, versus the number of jobs that are worked on for a bit by recruiters and then abandoned to be filed under ‘too hard to fill’?
Why are Vacancy Fill Rates So Low?
So, what is it that is going wrong with the recruitment process when the levels of failure to fill vacancies is so high? Could it be the simple consequence of neither the recruiter nor the intending employer actually putting ‘skin in the game’ – neither party have actually made the commitment necessary to make a successful outcome actually happen.
So, what if the construction recruitment agency and the employer did make a meaningful commitment to each other that would make the recruitment partnership a success? The agency could promise to do everything possible to fill the job vacancy while the employer could agree to give the agency the job exclusively to fill, and to contribute up front to the business costs of making this commitment to fill the role.
Executive Search Works!
Executive search or headhunting is not new. For many, executive search has a mystique about it and comes with a perception that it only works for very senior level CEO or Managing Director roles – and that just isn’t the case.
Let’s demystify construction executive search and headhunting. What would it look like if the recruitment of a Senior Estimator, a Senior Quantity Surveyor or a Clerk of Works job vacancy was worked on and filled in the same way as an executive search assignment? The employer would make a commitment to the agency with a modest advance payment on the fee, and the agency would hold itself fully accountable for its strategy, activity levels, progress reporting and for the successful completion of the assignment in a timely fashion. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Is the Executive Search Method Too Expensive?
The executive search approach would be too expensive compared to the contingency recruitment model you might think? Well, no, not really. It’s a well-kept recruitment industry secret that the fee charged for ordinary contingency (no candidate placed, no fee) recruitment needs to be at the level it is, because the fees that are secured must subsidise all the unsuccessful recruiting outcomes and time wasted where no revenue is earned. Imagine all the jobs that aren’t filled because the client wasn’t serious about recruiting, or they weren’t paying a good enough salary, not forgetting all the scenarios where a client gives their vacancy to perhaps 5 recruitment agencies and in doing so gives each agency a 1 in 5 chance of succeeding in making a living out of doing the work of trying to fill it with a candidate.
Executive Search Service at a Contingency Recruitment Price
What if all this inefficiency was cut out, and the recruiter’s time was spent just on filling live fillable jobs on an exclusive and committed basis, rather than trying half-heartedly to recruit for a great many jobs that they will never succeed in filling? It is for this reason that when the experienced recruitment consultants at Maxim take on an executive search assignment, we can successfully conclude assignments for the same fee rate as we charge for contingency recruitment.
Maxim Has NEVER Failed to Successfully Complete a Search Assignment – Here’s Why
Even better however, Maxim won’t take on a search assignment unless we have already checked it over and feel certain that we can fill it – and we have never yet failed to do this for vacancies that have passed the initial audit stage. It’s not in anyone’s interests to work on a job vacancy that no candidate is going to want to accept. So, to avoid wasted time, for clients signing us up to do an executive search for them, we will do a full vacancy health check before the search gets fully underway. The salary and package will be assessed and benchmarked against competitors, and the level of experience needed, and appropriate qualifications required will also be reviewed and agreed and checked against the remuneration banding. What a fit with the company culture looks like will also be agreed, and a comprehensive list of companies to approach and avoid will also be drawn up.
Get First Refusal on the Best Candidates in the Market
To further strengthen the working relationship with the intending employer we would confirm in writing as part of our executive search agreement, the right of first refusal on all suitable candidates researched, identified, and shortlisted. A weekly or fortnightly progress meeting will be scheduled to update on progress, tactics, successes and any challenges or concerns to overcome.
A Win-Win Opportunity
Deploying executive search methods for all recruitment assignments is a win-win for both the client employer and the recruiter - the client gets the certainty of their job vacancies being filled, and the agency gets the certainty of revenue coming in as long as they deliver on their carefully made promises.
As you can see from my LinkedIn profile, https://www.linkedin.com/in/maximrecruitment/ I have almost 25 years experience of recruiting QS/estimators and related construction professionals for the UK, Hong Kong, Canada and all around the world. I only want to take on recruitment assignments and tasks that give the client, the candidate and Maxim a successful outcome.
Are Your Competitors Already Using Executive Search and Should You?
So, the final question surely must be, given all the advantages, why do so few employers want to make a commitment to work in partnership with a recruiter that can offer executive search outcomes for the same price as a low commitment and unreliable contingency recruitment arrangement?
Well, perhaps many actually do, and your organisation is currently missing out on the benefits of close collaboration with an experienced executive search recruitment agency that can offer you a tried and tested method to realise your recruitment and business objectives.
Please get in touch for a confidential discussion if you would like to consider joining the growing list of Maxim’s satisfied customers around the world.
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada