The Lion City welcomed me with open arms during my brief visit a few weeks back and although I was in town for what felt like only a split second, I managed to catch up with a long time client of ours, David Cox from Archer Recruitment.
I put together a few short questions to ask David about what’s currently shaping the recruitment industry in Singapore. Here is what he had to say about it.
- What trends are you observing in the recruitment industry now?
David: That clients are becoming more sophisticated is an obvious one, especially in their positioning for ‘active candidates’. This has been going on for a number of years now and this is something that will continue, especially with the amount of information accessible in the public domain with the development of social media.
I believe recruitment businesses that are looking for scale will need to combine a service offering of being a niche specialist but in areas where scale is possible, this may come from multiple geographical locations or by following a multi-brand micro specialism model or a combination of the two.
- Where do you see the future of recruitment heading?
David: In Singapore, I feel there is a great opportunity for contract/temporary recruitment services as this is still very much in its infancy here at the moment, apart from in the traditional contracting industries such as Oil and Gas. This will be a big opportunity over the next five years.
Overall, the demand for our services (good recruiters!) is still extremely high, to maximise this opportunity and to stay relevant in the recruitment space it’s important to offer a deep level of specialisation in niche markets and have a strong connection to the passive candidate market. Ultimately, we need to be able to provide a better service (in our case that tends to be a higher quality candidate) than what the client can access and we need to be able to provide that service in a quicker timeframe.
- What do you love most about recruitment?
David: I think it’s said a lot but you genuinely never know what challenges you will face on a daily basis and it offers a variety that you won’t see in many professions. The need to adapt to your chosen markets and locations is also something that constantly changes, I am now working in my third country and you never stop learning. Working in London, Singapore and Sydney all has its own unique challenges and you need to stay open-minded with your approach. I have been fortunate enough to set up businesses in two of them, so it’s definitely a ‘trade’ that you can take with you globally.
Outside of this I think seeing our staff develop and succeed is still one of the best things in my role, training and developing staff and see them move forward offers a high level of satisfaction and I think focusing on professional development for your staff should also be high on every company’s list.
- What is the most valuable piece of advice you have for recruiters?
David: Specialise, follow good practices and don’t skimp on quality to both your clients and candidates. If you do these you won’t go far wrong. It’s important to challenge yourself as well, as a lot of people stagnate in this industry.
I think it’s also really important to work with like-minded colleagues and in an environment/culture that suits you for the long term, working with people that share similar values and goals is key and will help you maintain the motivation levels required to succeed.
- Without giving away all of your secrets, how do you use technology to stay ahead of the competition and recruit the best talent for the industry you source for?
David: We try to automate as much as possible, as this allows our consultants to have more time in undertaking activity that will help them service our clients and candidates.
We always look for technology solutions that are cloud-based and evolving. Our staff are becoming more and more tech savvy, so we need to make the most of this as well and offer them access to instant access to the database and emails on the move via apps and web portals.
A big thanks to David for his time and great insights!
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