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Many travel industry people assume that similarly to the retail high street, recruitment agencies are in a declining market. Never has this been further from the truth. Some of our clients have professional in-house recruitment teams, and their strategy is wherever possible not to work with recruitment agencies and instead search social media channels such as LinkedIn. We are aware of this but we have devised our own strategy, which I would like to share with you. We are seeing retained job assignments making a comeback as many of our clients see the value of search. The contingent models will stay and we are mindful that we need to retain solid client relations. We work smart as modern-day recruiters to act more like a broker commercially and creatively between our clients and social channels. We are able to negotiate advantageous deals. As well as the financial savings, we also have an extensive talent pool and pipeline available on our database and through our social channels.

Whilst LinkedIn is often seen as a threat to recruitment agencies, we see it as a massive opportunity as candidates are easy to find and track. However despite LinkedIn reporting vast number of registrations every minute of the day, members are in fact leaving in droves as they are fed up with the scatter gun approach by the lower end of recruitment market. As they say content is king, and unfortunately there are many out there that send irrelevant and ill-timed career opportunities. Soon to follow probably is Facebook and definitely Twitter. Another factor to bear in mind with LinkedIn is that you cannot unearth candidates who have decided to remove themselves from this social channel. Like a CV that lands on your desk, how believable is the content on candidates’ profile. Can you also interpret the ridiculous “endorsements” on these profiles and filter out the genuine form the fantasy? So how will an in-house recruiter be able to find talent when it can no longer be found on LinkedIn? Their job is to save money and time when recruiting. Appoint an agency to work exclusively as we know this market, and can move forward to a shortlist quickly and efficiently. Whereas when you post jobs online or through social media, you may wait up to a fortnight for responses, and quite often they may not be suitable in any case. Having spoken to a number of line managers within our client’s businesses, they are restricted to only using the in-house recruitment team. The teams rarely know the travel sector, who’s good and who is not, and some even just print out PDF CVs from LinkedIn and hand them to the Line Manager for review. I have been recruiting for far too many years that I would like to remember, and my prediction is that this will go full circle and the value of a reputable recruitment agency will be appreciated and understood.

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