By Daniel Chokoe
Back in 2008 when South Africa and the rest of the world were hit by recession, a lot of systematic changes were implemented to salvage the economy. As you may know many companies opted to reduce their staff count and started to explore the consulting business model, which in hindsight makes a lot of sense if saving money.
This is a time where we noticed an emergence of recruitment agencies being used by companies as a mechanism of hiring new employees. Companies opted to reduce their staff such as some HR personnel and only use the agencies when they have an open vacancy which means that they do not pay the agency unless there is a need. Again all these sound marvelous and is sweet music to the ears of business owners, however with my objective view I would like to question whether this is the best way of conducting business.
Views by University Graduates & Young Professionals on Recruitment Agencies
Nkululeko Litshane, Software Tester
They have in the past worked for me, I think I had about 10 interviews which were arranged by recruitment agencies. Unfortunately I did not get most of the jobs through experience however I am happy that I eventually managed to get a good job.
Nkosinathi Jiyane, Software Developer
Recruitment agencies are the last thing I would consider when looking for a job. I am not even registered with any at the moment. Based on my peers’ experience, they also had bad experiences with them.
Lucky Moseri, Software Developer
I have not used them before but if I struggle to find a job I will consider it because most companies advertise posts through the agencies. I know a lot of guys who are working decent jobs which they acquired through recruitment agencies.
Mamotse Makhanya, Software Developer
I do not like the idea of getting work through recruitment agencies, I have friends who acquired jobs through them and a certain percentage of their salary is deducted every month. This is daylight robbery.
If you analyse the above mentioned views, you will notice that there are mixed feelings regarding the use of recruitment agencies for job searching. Perhaps the fact that people feel that they are not directly interacting with a person from the company they could potentially work for contributes. Another contributing factor could be the long process one goes through when they are applying for a job advertised through an agency, the agency would still need feedback from the employer and the back and forth communication sadly does not work well for job applicants.
Use of recruitment agencies ultimately becomes a cost decision, if you are a small company of 25 people then hiring two HR personnel to handle the HR related issues including recruitment could work, however the same cannot be said about a 5000 employee count company. They would opt to use a company which they can only pay when they need them. Which eliminates the operational expenditure in hiring more HR people on a permanent basis.
Personally I believe dealing with an in-house HR person is the best and it eliminates uncertainty with regards to employment chances, also your salary might not be affected by as opposed to when a certain agency gets you employment and you pay them for the entire duration you spend on that role, perhaps going back to the traditional hiring process might not be a bad thing at all.