I remember it well, it was four years ago and i was stuck behind a Peugeot driver and obviously he had no idea i was there, or he would have pulled over to let me pass. Instead of doing this he did what all Peugeot 506 drivers do on an empty open country A road, and applied his brakes, leaving me with no option but to overtake him. Sadly, the car I owned at the time was not especially powerful and as I pulled out to overtake him, and had passed the point of no return, I was met with an on-coming white van trying to break the Nurbergring track record. I escaped with my life by inches of good luck but is was infuriated with my cars poor performance and vowed never to be caught short on power again. The next day i went to see a man  about buying a new car. This man worked in a large dealership and so had many cars for me to choose from and because it was a BMW Dealership, all the cars were BMW – just what i wanted.

I was able to speak with the salesperson  and he was an expert in his field, with many years’ experience of selling BMWs; surprise, surprise he knew what model of BMW I needed. You see, this is the great thing about specialists. They tend to know more about what they do because they have spent years acquiring that knowledge. He established that i needed room for my dogs, space for the family and the ability to carry the Bikes and tow the Caravan but as I am going through a mid-life crisis, the car needed to be fast enough to challenge boy racers at the lights, when i felt a bit rebellious  – I bought a 530d Touring and it has served me well for four years and when I am looking to renew it, I will more than likely choose another Beemer.

Not all that long ago hiring staff used to be like this, you know. We engaged with a client, either an HR Manager or often the hiring manager and over a period of time we built a solid relationship with them by supplying the people they needed to run their business. Every client was different, and each had a different idea of what good looked like, so there was a job for almost every type of candidate. We were able to get close to our client’s business, to understand what they were looking to achieve, not from a corporate ‘look at our values’ perspective, but more local than that. As the majority of our work was on a contingency basis, and we were in direct competition with other specialist recruiters, it was that we were on the ball, and selecting only the most suitable candidates for the job, quicker han our competitors. If we did our job well and consistently beat the competition to a candidate offer and placement, by providing the best  levels of service, negotiating the best salary for our candidate and managing the on-boarding process effectively – keeping the candidate engaged throughout the recruitment process – then we’d expect the client would reward us with an ‘Exclusive Contingency Agreement’, proof that we had earnt the right to exclusively search for our clients business.

Many, many other sectors still work this way, and I am mindful of that and you might say that I should just man-up, stop dwelling in the past and embrace the way the world of FS Recruitment now works. And I would, if I believed that my old clients had done things right. I would happily say to Lloyds, Halifax and Barclays well done guys, the RPO model is the best solution to your recruitment dilemmas but it isn’t, and it can never be. The RPO Model separates the Specialist Recruiter from the Hiring Manager, it adds cogs where cogs are not needed and, in most cases, negatively impacts on the clients ability to attract the right staff. Most RPO’s now have their own ‘In-House’ teams of recruiters, it’s their attempt to by-pass the specialist PSL and retain fee income for themselves. They scour online databases and convince their clients that they are experts, but they’re not, they are simply watering down the valuable work specialist recruiters perform.

Final Statement

If I want to buy a new or nearly BMW I will go to a BMW Dealership, I won’t buy one from through a broker who until recently worked in ASDA as an HR Assistant. If my clients want to hire qualified and experienced Financial Services or Specialist Banking personnel, message me, engage with me. I won’t tell you what you want to hear, I’ll advise on the reality and work with you to fill the vacancies with the best people in the market, not those just available in the market.

Steve Ritson
Senior Partner & Partnership Development Manager

     07914 384 830

 01676 822 222


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