What makes a recruitment agency ‘the best’?
Well up until recently it was seemingly based purely on how many people an agency could get to vote for them in the SEEK awards. Whilst there are other industry awards, the ones run by SEEK have arguably been seen as the biggest, and therefore in a lot of people’s eyes the one to win.
But the awards were just a popularity contest, and the agency that could put together the most effective marketing campaign to get votes would win. It had little to do with actually recognising the best… in the same way that the winner of X-factor recognises the best singer!!! A lot of very good agencies would never get close to wining because they simply didn’t have the resource that their larger competitors had to run a campaign… or more likely just couldn’t be bothered involving themselves in such a ridiculous game.
But that has all changed now.
SEEK have thrown the reality TV show-esque popularity contest out of the window and replaced it with a judging panel. I admit that I don’t know the ins and outs of how this new system works and what specific criteria they are judging agencies against… (you can view it here)…but I think this makes the awards far more credible and valuable.
But how do you define what being ‘the best’ actually means in recruitment?
Is it the amount an agency bills, their profit, service levels, client list, staff retention, community involvement… the fact that they have a pool table and dress down Friday? Obviously, it will mean different things to a candidate who will be more interested in the quality of service, than it will to an employee who might be focused on how lucrative the commission structure is. For the owner of the agency it might be all about profit, where as the client is more interested in the strength of their candidate database. For the office administrator it is the fact that he or she is given flexibility so they can pick their child up from school every day.
It is probably impossible to get a consensus on what being ‘the best’ agency actually means. But surely it has to be more about being good and successful at recruitment, than just a popularity contest. So well done SEEK. Maybe those agencies that don’t agree are a bit annoyed that they will now have to actually show why they are ‘the best’ if they want the right to wear that label.
So, if you were on the judging panel, what criteria would you be using to determine which agency is ‘the best’… and how would you score?