A rating system would sort the good recruiters from the bad: Atlassian

Joris Luijke, VP of talent at software firm Atlassian, has called for a recruitment agency rating system for employers.

Speaking on a panel at the IT18 conference yesterday, Luijke said he wanted to see the introduction of a quality control mechanism of some kind, to help companies like Atlassian sort through the constant flow of recruitment agencies that called up with a sales pitch.

“Some of them are legitimate, high-quality recruitment agencies that we’ve worked well with in the past, but some of them are not, and it is just the sheer volume of them that is problematic,” he said.

“If there’s a top recruitment agency, they get the same attention from us as an employer, as a person that delivers absolutely poor quality.”

Luijke said he was not advocating for industry licensing, but rather a rating system that allowed employers to identify which companies delivered the quality they were after.

“We can rate an iPad app with a number of stars [but] there’s so little visibility for us in-house recruiters in terms of which agency is good, and which is not good.”

Luijke also said he thought the recruitment industry should target start-up companies, because the bigger organisations grew, the less they needed external recruiters.

Five or six years ago Atlassian’s recruitment function consisted of “one or two people” and the company was heavily reliant on recruitment agencies to survive and grow, he said.

“As our organisation evolved, you start to see that we hired more [of our own] recruiters and therefore we depended less on agencies,” said Luijke.

“It’s just [about the] maturity of the business and that’s why I actually think recruiters have a really important function to play.”

Recruiters aren’t headed the way of the dinosaurs: OBS MD

Also on the panel, IT services company OBS managing director Andy Neumann said recruiters who continued to emphasise value and specialist expertise, rather than price, would survive in the long run.

“As a business owner, I don’t see that agencies will disappear off the face of the Earth, dinosaur-style. There will always be a need and there will be great business for those who can demonstrate their value,” he said.

“You’re either the cheapest or the best. I don’t think you want to be the cheapest recruitment agency – you’re not going to survive that way.”

Neumann said he only wanted to work with recruiters that understood the OBS culture, and this was what the company had looked for when choosing its preferred suppliers a few years ago.

“One agency had a guy rock up in a suit of armour… and deliver their proposal. [I thought] ‘That’s cool. We want to do something different for our customers – they’re doing something different for us. They get the idea of it’,” he said.