IT employers continue to feel the pressure of the skills shortage with a government poll indicating that 46% of small tech business ranked lack of staff with the right skills, and difficulties hiring, as their top two concerns.
However, it’s not just small businesses that are affected by the tech skills shortage, with niche skill requirements, rapidly evolving technology and varying company service, product or geography needs, businesses of all sizes often struggle to fill their roles. This is when a recruitment agency can help. When looking to find the right supplier, a popular question that gets asked is, ‘should I use a generalist recruitment company or is it better to choose a specialist IT recruiter?’
The answer to that question is – it depends. You need to consider several factors when making that decision, including the skills you’re recruiting for, your budget, and the volume of hiring.
In this article we discuss the benefits of each option, so you can make an informed decision about which path is best for your company.
The benefits of using a specialist IT recruitment company
As organisations strive to stay ahead of the competition, especially when hiring difficult-to-find talent, partnering with a specialist recruiter is an efficient way to overcome recruitment challenges.
Reduce time to hire
Increased quality of candidates
As already discussed, a specialist recruiter will have in-depth expertise of their niches. This enables them to provide a higher calibre of candidate. Strong IT recruitment specialists focus on one area, building a deep understanding of the unique requirements and nuances of their sectors. This understanding enables the recruiter to understand exactly the type of candidate you need right from the start, greatly improving the quality of candidates provided.
A specialist recruiter should be up to date with the latest trends and best practices, and able to provide your business with valuable insights and advice on things like remuneration, competitor trends, and EVP. This industry knowledge helps you make informed hiring decisions and stay ahead of the competition, to help you stand out.
Quality and personalisation
A reputable specialist IT recruitment company should be able to offer you a better quality of service, attention to detail, and tailoring of services, because they work in partnership to understand your requirements, culture, and business goals. Personalised and tailored recruitment strategies, result in a higher calibre of candidates, fitting your company culture, requirements, and long-term goals. By reviewing resumes, screening candidates, and scheduling interviews on your behalf, it will lead to increased screening accuracy, as well as relieving the time-consuming and resource-intensive tasks. The importance of quality and personalisation, often leads to finding candidates that are not only a better quality as discussed, but also a better fit for your organisation, in turn increasing future retention rates. Retention through efficient, quality hiring, cannot be emphasised enough with the average cost and time to hire costing between £2,158-£12,780 approx. not to mention the cost of the time reviewing, interviewing, processing, as well as the onboarding, training and HR costs associated.
The benefits of using a generalist recruiter
Whereas a specialist recruiter hones in on a selection of specialist areas, a generalist recruiter often covers a little bit of everything. If the talent you are looking for is relatively easy to find or you have huge volume of unskilled or semi-skilled positions to fill, then a generalist recruiter might be for you. They often have recruiters working across multiple specialist areas, for example, they might have an IT recruiter working across a broad range of IT roles.
If you are going to make a decision to use a recruiter largely based on the lowest rate you can find then it is worth looking at a generalist recruiter.
Generalist recruitment agencies tend to be much larger in size, tying all of a company’s recruitment requirements together, or all the hiring within a department. Having all your recruitment managed in one place, can bring the cost down. For large volume hiring, with a low skill level, this can be an effective route for hiring, introducing greater efficiency and direct cost savings. However, the pay off is that you will likely compromise on the quality of professionals for your more specialist or senior level hires, as this team won’t have the specialist knowledge or networks needed to understand their roles, experience, and skills. You may also sacrifice on time to hire when you have more niche tech roles, as their candidate pools tend to be too broad and low quality, to find the more passive senior candidates. As their talent pool is so large, it can mean they aren’t in regular contact with their specialist candidates to build relationships, understand their needs, and when might be a good time to help them with their next role. You may find that your point of contact changes regularly, and the attention to detail, with the ability to be agile, suffers as they are working across multiple projects, sectors, or accounts.
Reducing administrative workload
Reviewing resumes, screening candidates, and scheduling interviews can be time-consuming and resource-intensive tasks for organisations. Generalist recruiters will also take this administrative burden over as part of their process especially when acting as a centralised recruitment resource for a business. By outsourcing these responsibilities to a recruitment partner, whether specialist or generalists, companies can free up their internal resources to focus on core operations, saving time and effort in the recruitment process.
Reduce hiring mistakes and set a solid hiring strategy
In summary, using a recruiter, whether a generalist or specialist will save you time and money overall. To get the most value from your recruitment supplier you need to consider your budgets, hiring needs, the roles you recruit for, and the outcomes you are expecting. For specialist, mid-senior level hiring needs, you should aim to use a specialist recruiter; when you have generalist, low level, high volume hiring needs, use a generalist recruiter.
Overall, when looking for IT skills, especially those that are difficult to find, partnering with a specialist recruiter reduces the risk of hiring mistakes and time to hire, increases quality and cost/time efficiency, and ensures value for money.
At Gravitas we offer specialist IT recruitment services across both contract and permanent positions. Each of our consultants only specialise in one area, within their geography, providing a deep understanding of the sectors we specialise in. Our extensive networks and resources mean we can tap into a diverse range of mid-senior level tech candidates across the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Hong Kong and mainland China, and Singapore.
Our rigorous screening and assessment processes ensure that only the best-fit candidates are presented. In fact, we’ve won numerous awards for our support teams high quality processes and compliance.
Contact our team today to find out how our team can help you with your specialist IT recruitment needs.