Many employers believe recruitment firms laugh all the way to the bank when there is a shortage of skilled personnel. This is not always true because recruitment firms have little control over the supply of talent itself. Sure, demand increases, but professionals recruiters have to fish from the same talent pool. And when demand exceeds supply there is very little the experts can do in the short-term. Moreover, it doesn’t help the cause of professional recruiters when new government policies restricts their ability to source talent from a wider pool.
Diana Eilert, CEO of Clarius, one of Australia’s largest IT recruitment firm, in an interview with MIS, said: “…… a skills shortage is not a good thing for recruiters because we can’t always fill the jobs”. In other words, recruitment firms are not the panacea, as some employers tends to believe. Just because you are willing to fork out money doesn’t mean recruiters can always deliver. Instead, like everyone else in the talent acquisition game, they suffer too.
There are no easy answers to the skills shortage problem. At play are a myriad of factors – social (retiring baby boomers, low birth rate, ageing population, the increase in part-time role), economic (GDP growth, low unemployment), political (immigration and education policies), cultural (the difficulty of attracting male teachers, women shunning the IT industry), business (investment in training by employers), education (university enrolments and curriculum) – which all combine to create a shortage problem. And how the problem is addressed will vary widely from employer to employer, from one industry to another, from region to region and from one state to the other.
If you are an employer faced with the challenging task of finding talent and engaging the service of recruitment firms, understanding their role – knowing what they can do and cannot do – is taking one step forward in addressing the problem of talent acquisition wisely.