Never a better time to cross the divide

Simon HuntFirstly, a ‘thank you’ to Tara Lescott for connecting the Oakleaf team with Recruiter about the opportunity to take over from Andrew Mountney.

It is a pleasure to take the opportunity to provide advice, counsel and commentary on the in-house recruitment world for Recruiter.

Oakleaf Partnership is a boutique HR recruitment business, working across all industries and at all levels.

In-house recruitment is one of our core HR function deliverables. In-house recruitment jobs amount to 15-20% of our annual vacancy numbers, according to our data from the past three years. And given the breadth of our technical specialism in HR, it means that partnering with our customers to source talent or vacancies in this space is a significant part of our day job.

Permanent hires make up 50% of these mandates, around 20% being fixed-term contracts and around 30% interim hires. We tend to see relatively consistent volumes of hiring up to manager level and, indeed, up to senior manager level too.

The main exceptions in senior manager hiring volumes are those for EMEA region heads or global heads. There simply hasn’t been the demand for these roles. Hence the number of talented individuals open to new opportunities is making competition fierce. In regard to specialisms, the greatest demand is for outstanding tech recruiters, and their price mirrors this.

Technology opportunities

The in-house recruitment market has been evolving with the rapid improvement of technology over the past few years. This improved ability to source and deliver has alerted organisations to the benefit of larger in-house recruitment teams.

“The demand is for experienced agency recruiters who have performed at the highest level”

These teams are being populated by recruiters with more niche skill sets – with specific depth of market experience, networks, talent pools and black books – aka the best agency recruiters. For the first time in an age, we are being asked for agency experience, over and above in-house talent acquisition experience.

That said, the demand is for experienced agency recruiters who have performed at the highest level – top billers with excellent placement volumes and conversion rates. These innovators understand what technologies can be used to gain competitive advantage and form multichannel brand awareness.

We have had nigh-on 300 recruitment mandates in the first half of 2018, and the vast amount of them will look at outstanding agency recruiters who can manage tough briefs and volume hiring, and have the resilience to deliver at pace.

The in-house executive resourcing market is also growing, as organisations see the benefit of building out their own functions. This is also a step change in the market, as it was always difficult to make that leap from pure search to in-house.

This trend offers a welcome lifeline for individuals looking for a change. Even smaller boutique firms are considering search consultants to build high-touch, in-house search offerings for them.

Simon Hunt chief operating officer, Oakleaf Partnership Executive

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