Are Recruitment Agencies Heading for a Perfect Storm?

Are Recruitment Agencies Heading for a Perfect Storm?

A recent report from the consultancy firm Deloitte suggests that up to 47% of highly skilled EU citizens are considering leaving the UK within the next five years. Where will UK companies turn to for help in sourcing staff to replace them?

While a significant skills shortage is looming, post-Brexit, there is also a growing crisis of confidence in recruitment. There have been several news stories and reports associating recruitment agencies with dishonest practices and exploitation of workers.

This has the potential to become a perfect storm, where businesses cannot find the skilled staff they need, while some recruitment agencies are failing to provide the kind of guarantees that will make them trusted providers of these resources.

Here, Lucy Atkins, co-founder of Trusted Agencies, talks about recruitment agencies and the need for them to build trust.


Bad Reputations in Recruitment

“There are misunderstandings about how regulated the recruitment industry is. Recruitment agencies are bound by certain standards, if they are members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). However, you don’t have to be a member of the REC to start a recruitment agency.”

The problem for many agencies is reputational, through perceived guilt by association – many people now see recruitment agencies as aligned with the gig economy, and with unregulated practices associated with it.


“At a time when UK businesses should be able to rely on recruiters to help fill the skills gaps they face, their trust is being undermined by bad practices in certain instances, especially around temporary and zero-hour contracts.”

Lucy Atkins, Trusted Agencies


The problem is two-fold:

  1. For recruitment agencies, they must demonstrate that they are trustworthy in a competitive marketplace where there are some dishonest players
  2. For businesses, they need to find an agency they can trust to source their staff.


The Searchable Solution

“Like any other enterprise, recruitment agencies must build trust through brand recognition when it comes to being found online. Similarly, those employers searching online for an agency can benefit from having a one-stop source that will give them reliable information to help them make a choice.”

Could the solution be a recruitment search engine for recruitment agencies that goes beyond simply listing them, by also providing them with credibility?

Without the element of trust, and initial vetting, companies are struggling to find the right recruitment partner.

“Coming from an experienced marketing background, what we’re aiming for is the perfect combination of raising brand awareness and building trust for our clients, and thereby increasing their business.”

The Trusted Agencies approach is about ensuring the visibility of recruiters, but on condition that they meet key standards in how they operate.

“There are a lot of recruitment agencies out there, both big and small, that are doing amazing things we’d like to promote and shout about.”


“Our aim is to align brand values with brand promotion, and use practical search engine tools and online marketing to help the right recruitment agencies prosper and, in so doing, help the wider economy”

Lucy Atkins, Trusted Agencies


“We want to work closely with recruiters, and are open to suggestions, about how to enhance our offering, making the Trusted Agencies search engine a really effective tool for them.”

If you are interested in making your recruitment agency more marketable, and in ensuring your reputation is a brand asset, please call Trusted Agencies on 01254 447050 or register your interest here.