Why Has It Become Such a Challenge to Recruit Recruiters?


The recruitment industry is not immune to the universal talent shortages experienced across the entire labour market. According to the 2018 Australian Recruitment Trends Report from Bullhorn, one of the most challenging candidates for recruitment professionals to find today is other qualified recruiters.

This is having a detrimental impact on agency’s growth and is, in many cases, minimising the success of what would otherwise be high-growth organisations.

But importantly, beyond individual agency success, this trend could, in the long-term, have a knock-on impact on the quality of the Australian recruitment industry as a whole.

Market-Specific Challenges Increase Pressure

In an industry already recognised for its high employee turnover levels, this challenge can’t be taken lightly.

However, given Australia’s distant geographic location from other similar markets, its varied demographics and changing government regulations, the difficulty in finding people should perhaps come as little surprise, particularly when trying to fill some of the more niche recruitment roles.

The major economic hubs of Sydney and Melbourne, for example, have traditionally relied heavily on the recruitment of foreign nationals employed under visa-entitlement and have rarely struggled to find qualified recruitment talent. However, given the recent abolishment of the well-known 457 Temporary Work visa and the introduction of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, assessment criteria for overseas recruits have been tightened significantly.

These regulatory changes have resulted in a large proportion of talent having to relocate or re-skill, and is deterring overseas job-seekers from considering Australia as a potential place of work.

Now, more than ever, it is critical that agencies do what they can to focus on attrition rates and minimise the talent they can hold on to being lost and having to be replaced.

Practice What You Preach

While any recruiter knows the best way to find a genuinely good candidate, that they are proud to place with a client, is by conducting a robust due diligence process, many may be letting processes slip in their fight to find their own staff.

As the talent pool dwindles and competition to hire the best people increases, the need to hire fast can cloud the focus on hiring well.

Despite the clear challenges of talent shortages, regulatory changes and traditionally high turnover rates there are steps recruitment agencies can take to ensure they build the best teams:

  • Hire efficiently but with confidence – according to the Xref Recruitment Risk Index, 41 percent of Australian organisations admit to losing talent due to delays in reference checking alone. Use tech-based solutions to streamline the recruitment process, bringing the best talent quickly through the journey with the data to support your final hiring decision.
  • Think outside the box – build an employer brand that attracts the best people. Not only those that are actively seeking work, but also the increasingly valuable passive candidate pool.
  • Look for new solutions – while many recruitment agencies will have adopted ATS systems in the past, they’re unlikely to have updated them to today’s modern alternatives – shop around!
  • Engage employees – According to Bullhorn’s Trends Report, a lack of professional development and training opportunities in recruitment roles has impacted job satisfaction and could be contributing to high attrition rates. Ensure that, once a recruitment position has been filled, the employee is less likely to look elsewhere.

Want to find out more? Register now for a joint webinar on Thursday 23rd, August as Xref and Bullhorn discuss the findings of Bullhorn’s 2018 Australian Recruitment Trends Report and Xref’s 2017 Recruitment Risk Index: Industry Perspective Report, as well as sharing broader recruitment trends insights.


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