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Innovating recruitment

by Nitha Coetzer, Founder and CEO of iMaven


What a buzzword. We hear about it and read about it daily, so much so we feel pressured to be part of this “Innovation thing” or we may miss out!

But what is innovation and why should we care?

If you ask Google for a definition, you get more than 300 million results, however its own definition is: “The action or process of innovating.” Not that helpful! The Oxford dictionary isn’t much help either: “Make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products.”

That said, should we adopt innovation for the sake of being seen as innovators?

Nick Skillicorn, CEO and Founder of Improvides Consulting, amongst many other things, has the right idea when he says: “If your client doesn’t perceive the changes as having value, then they won’t be compelled to buy into your innovation, and after all, it is all about the clients, and that includes candidates and employees!

The recruitment industry is notorious for being called dinosaurs and not being open to change and innovation. It is interesting to see how many large iconic agencies have not made any big changes since inception, and somehow they still seem to prosper, for now!

The problem comes when you are thrown a curve ball or two, such as COVID! How much have we been forced to change the way we do business in the past year?

What about the new generations?

Millennials and Gen Y, which will comprise three quarters of the global workforce by 2025, are exposed to technology and business innovation on a daily basis and they expect more! They certainly will follow where practical innovation leads. These generations are your future clients, candidates and employees and to attract them, we need to innovate in the right manner.

At iMaven our response to innovation in recruitment is to provide an online marketplace that provides employers with a more manageable and transparent recruitment process. We provide a platform for connecting specialised recruiters to premium employers and in doing so, opening candidates to more opportunities, all in a faster, more streamlined and consistent way.

An innovative platform should provide Consultants at recruitment agencies a different way to access qualified jobs, opening more opportunities to present to their candidates. Many agencies have been members of NPAWorldwide for years and I daresay when it was first introduced, people would have been sceptical. A recruitment marketplace such as iMaven, is not a new concept, but is innovative in a way that benefits clients, recruiters, candidates and agency owners.

Benefits to Employers

Specialised recruiters get access to more qualified jobs with large clients, leaving them time to build the candidate pools that are so important to their success. Clients realise more and more agencies are not specialists but the Consultants they employ are the specialists and having access to pre-qualified, expert Consultants for every job, no matter the category, provides peace of mind. Clients are looking for value for money and through a competitive bidding process they can be confident that is what they will receive.

How Recruiters Benefit

Every recruiter wants to work exclusive or on retainer, but the reality is, that is not always realistic in today’s market and to be successful, recruiters need to look at smarter ways to help them make their targets and provide their candidates with more opportunities. By working on a competitive bidding system, recruiters are not subjected to Preferred Supplier Agreements (PSA’s) where the fee is fixed or very low. The iMaven marketplace also acts as a market indicator to clients through the bidding process.

Choices to Agency Owners

Agency owners have tough decisions to make when growing their business and having to employ Consultants. The industry is slowly moving away from the 360-degree recruitment model to a 180-degree model where the business development and the sourcing is segregated and it is important to get the mix right so that they have enough sourcing support for their business development. Finding experienced Consultants is getting harder due to immigration limitations and a general shortage in the industry. Engaging through a marketplace such as iMaven can be the answer to agency owners providing the choice to possibly engage more resourcers at lower salaries who are more adept at building candidate relationships.

Innovation through Marketplaces

Marketplaces are the largest innovative growth area for start-ups globally and marketplaces such as Uber, Amazon, eBay and Airbnb has made the model more familiar and very popular with the new generations. More and more clients see the value of marketplaces for conducting their business and recruitment should be no different.

Nitha Coetzer is the Founder and CEO of iMaven - A tech startup focused on reducing risk and adding value to companies human resources strategies through dynamic sourcing capabilities

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