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Survey Says: When compared with other professions Majority of Professionals rank Recruiters 3rd in Importance behind Doctors and Dentists

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The majority of mid-to-senior professionals deem their relationship with recruiters important, but are more loyal to a consultant than agency

When compared with other professions, respondents rated recruiters third in importance behind only doctors and dentists.

Four-fifths of professionals (81%) deem their relationship with recruiters important or very important. Only 3% feel the relationship is insignificant or very insignificant, and a mere 16% are indifferent.

Indeed, when asked to rate a variety of professions in terms of importance to them, respondents placed recruiters third – behind their doctor and dentist, and ahead of their lawyer, accountant and mortgage broker.

The survey of mid-to-senior finance professionals, conducted by Communicate in the second quarter of 2013, sought to examine whether a recruiter is a partner for life. Respondents were asked to be frank about their experiences of dealing with recruitment agencies, both as jobseekers and employers.

A majority 72% revealed that they are more loyal to their preferred recruitment consultant than to an agency, with 63% indicating they feel there are too many recruitment agencies in the market. Despite this, 81% of respondents turn to several agencies when jobseeking or filling a vacancy, with only 19% using just one trusted firm.

When asked how they feel about filling vacancies in their business, 78% indicated that they find the process time consuming, 34% annoying, and 34% inconvenient – perhaps explaining why four fifths turn to recruitment agencies for assistance.

However, 42% revealed that working with a recruitment agency does not ease the pressure of filling a vacancy, 37% feeling staff turnover within recruitment is too high and 63% believing recruitment consultants do not have enough industry/sector knowledge.

In an open-ended question asking what individuals like about working with recruitment agencies, answers included:

• Ability to see market trends and the general backdrop to recruitment.
• They find roles we otherwise wouldn’t hear about.
• Useful networks.
• Honesty and frankness.
• Their ability to provide a personal assessment of candidates and their strengths/weaknesses.
• Initial filtering of candidates to ensure shortlists meet role requirements.
• They save time and hassle.

Conversely, when asked what they dislike about working with recruitment agencies, respondents listed the following gripes:

• The transient nature of some recruiters gives the industry a bad name.
• Sometimes I am mis-sold roles.
• No feedback.
• The silos of interim v. permanent and industry/sector – you get pigeonholed, restricting the opportunities you hear about.

James Lock, Founding Partner of Communicate, comments, “Recruitment is a people-centred industry, so it is gratifying to see the importance professionals place on their relationship with recruiters. As a sector, we work hard to build relationships and deliver a service which really makes a difference to people. Clearly, this is highly valued by clients and candidates alike.

“As with every profession, there are things which can be improved, but I definitely feel the industry – historically plagued with a poor reputation – is mending its ways. Certainly, to take Communicate as an example, we rigorously train our consultants in-house to ensure their industry/sector knowledge is tip-top and they understand the importance of client/candidate experience.

“With economic prospects improving and employment figures increasing, confidence in the recruitment sector continues to grow, both amongst leading agencies (who continue to find the very best candidates) and those making hiring decisions.”

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Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.

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