The Birmingham Recruitment Expo 2018

Written by the Editorial Team

On the 3rd October, members of the Clearly team attended this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo in Birmingham. The event, the largest of its kind in the UK, provides a unique opportunity to bring together a wealth of keynote speakers who share their knowledge and insights from which agency owners can apply some of the learnings to their own agency businesses.

As one of the top agencies for providing PR and content marketing to recruitment agencies, we went along to network, learn and take away key factors that we can use to boost the reputation and success of our clients. Here’s the view of Kara and Dougie:

Kara Buffrey PR Account Executive:

This was my first time at the Recruitment Expo and I was very impressed. It was a busy and bustling event with lots of opportunities to network and chat with some really interesting businesses that are really making waves in the recruitment sphere,

With over 9,000 active recruitment agencies in the UK, and no signs of that growth slowing, it is clear that competition is fierce, and agencies are having to contend more than ever to obtain that great talent. For me, these were my three-top take-aways from the event which I aim to pass onto my clients and utilise in my work:

1.)  Hang out with your candidates (digitally speaking)

Not literally, but online. If you’re targeting the younger generation, it’s likely they will be using Snapchat or Instagram more than traditional sites and apps such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’re aiming for qualified professionals, LinkedIn and forums may be your in. Think like the candidate and you shall find them.

2.)  PR can’t guarantee ROI but it is a likely by-product

It’s true, PR can be hard to measure. But more often than not, it is your PR efforts that are prompting those website visitors, click throughs and bounce rates – in turn boosting your potential to be seen and attracting new business.

3.)  Traditional recruitment methods may be becoming outdated

One plucky speaker even came out with the phrase ‘ditch the phones’, in a room full of recruiters, that really is a brave statement. However, when you consider that most broker-led job roles (think: travel agents) are dying out, recruiters should be utilising all new technologies to ensure they are ahead of the crowd or not being left behind. This speech primarily focused around the benefits of using Apps and algorithms to your advantage.

Dougie Collier Content and Research Marketing Executive

This was also my first time at the Recruitment Expo, however, having been to trade events in the past, I did have some idea of what to expect. I definitely wasn’t disappointed! Some of the biggest names in recruitment were there and it was great to see.

What impressed me the most about the event, was the quality of speakers. I left after the first day with plenty of new ideas to approach our clients with. As was discussed over the event, the industry is changing, and recruitment firms need to evolve to stay relevant.

My three take-aways are as follows:

1.)  Finding candidates isn’t the issue, it’s finding the RIGHT candidates

We live in a digital world, as of July 2018 there were 4.1 billion active internet users and 99% of 16 to 34 year olds in the UK were recent internet users. That’s a lot of people. However, along with candidates lacking required skill sets and the British government cracking down on immigration policies, recruiters have to look further afield to find people with suitable skills.

2.) Recruitment used to be ‘Jobs for People’, now it’s ‘People for Jobs’

The role of the recruiter has changed, where it used to be to find jobs for people, there are now more companies looking to hire than people looking for jobs. As well as this, skilled candidates are in a position of power. In industries such as Cybersecurity and Engineering, there aren’t enough people with the proper skillsets, which makes finding the right candidates all the more challenging.

3.) Recruitment firms are sitting on a goldmine of data 

Your candidate databases are more than just filing cabinets. Whether you have a database of 500 candidates or 50,000 candidates, you can do a lot more with that data than just contact them. There are trends that can be spotted.

If you see that a certain skill or qualification makes a candidate more hireable than their peers, why not offer training courses in the skills that they’re lacking? It’s a win-win situation. The candidate could end up getting a position with a higher yearly salary, which means you get more commission.