Pioneer Series: What are clients looking for in recruitment agencies?

Mar 6, 2019

infographic title



Recruiters are always looking for better ways to serve their clients. But sometimes it’s important to step back and look at the big picture: how are clients using recruitment agencies and what really matters to them?


To get a sense how UK businesses really perceive the recruitment industry, we questioned 100 medium-to-large employers across all industry sectors.

For information on our Agency Back Office software, download our brochure


Our respondents work directly with agencies and typically use a large volume of contingent workers or have frequent recruitment needs, so they know what they need and what they don’t.


Take a look at our findings below to discover what your clients value most about recruiters and the areas where improvement might be in order.


What Recruiters are Looking For - Infographic


Key Takeaways for Recruitment Agencies


A number of obvious themes emerged from the responses, providing a clear picture of what clients want from their recruiter partners. Here they are, ranked in order of importance:


  1. Quality, not quantity

The vast majority of respondents made it clear that the quality of the candidates that agencies provide is the most important factor in whether or not they’ll work with them again. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s worth remembering that a thorough initial sift is worth the extra time for you, your clients and prospective candidates.


  1. Compliance made easy

The second most prized service provided by a recruitment agency was dealing with compliance. Agencies can leverage this by taking care of as many of the required checks as possible and then making sure the necessary documents are digitised and easy for the client to access. No fuss, no lost papers, just a simple, transparent process for all involved.


  1. Deep client knowledge

Employers want a recruitment partner who knows their business inside and out. If recruiters truly understand a company, they can provide candidates that are a good culture fit as well as being good on paper.


  1. A valuable niche

Our respondents were ambivalent about recruiters fulfilling a wide range of roles. Many used a variety of agencies to address different needs. This opens up an opportunity for agencies to embrace specialisation providing they can deliver on compliance and candidate quality.


  1. Trustworthiness

Client servicing lives and dies by its relationships. It’s important to remain honest and transparent with your clients by keeping the lines of communication open throughout the entire process.


  1. Easing the admin burden

Clients looks to recruitment agencies to make the hiring process as pain-free as possible. Simplify their experience by giving them quick, easy access to candidate information and make it easy to quickly execute tasks like posting briefs, approving timesheets etc. This is where the right technology platform comes into its own.


The overall picture from our survey respondents was promising. Clients were largely pleased with recruiters’ services, even as they craved a more streamlined administrative process.


Even those who had issues stressed the importance of recruiters – 81% either agreed or strongly agreed that agencies played a key role in their success, a testament to the value of longstanding client relationships.