Recruitment Agencies in Singapore: 6 Unexpected HRM Truths

April 27, 2017 2:21 pm

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human resource managementRecruitment is a scene that goes hand in hand with employment, the betrothed kin of one of the noisiest subjects in the world. With the global economy taking a slow tumble over the past 2 years, Singapore’s employment market has unsurprisingly had to take a hit, rising to its highest ever unemployment rate since December of 2010 at a current rate of 2.2 percent.

Now although high by our nation’s standards, this rate is still remarkably low, ranking as the 11th lowest employment figure in the world. Safe to say, the recruitment market having staved down, is still very much alive in Singapore’s 2017 fiscal year.

Undeniably however, as companies are pushing out retrenchments and more people are on the job search, the entire recruitment process has gotten a whole lot more competitive. Candidates are filing their portfolios out to recruitment agencies, and employers are engaging them to acquire only the cream of the crop.

With that in mind our team has created a timely report for all who are involved with the current recruitment market – namely both employers and employees. Here are 6 unexpected HRM truths that you should know about recruitment agencies.

1.     90% of Companies Use Recruitment Agencies

According to a study done by Frontline Source Group, there is possibly as many as 90% of companies that use a recruitment agency to manage their hiring processes.

Now that is an incredible statistic to demonstrate. What this means is that most of the recruitment action will be done through an agency. No matter how credible your portfolio or how amazing your skillset, if nobody gets to see your capabilities it will be of no means.

Individuals looking for jobs by this research should then be sending out their resumes to credible recruitment agencies out there that have the potential to land you a job more widely and more effectively than you can.

2.     Social Media is now the Biggest Vehicle for Recruitment

In today’s hyper connected world, the social media bug has spared no industry. With social media platforms evolving and growing rapidly, it now has a massive spread of influence to the corporate and hiring sector.

92% of companies use social media for recruitment purposes. This covers both professional social networks as well as personal accounts of candidates who are applying for jobs.

The most popular social networks used for recruitment purposes leads with LinkedIn, favoured by a resounding 93% of companies. This is followed by Facebook with a 66% favorability rate, and finally Twitter at 54%.

Individuals looking for jobs should make sure to keep your personal social accounts ‘dirt’ free, and your professional accounts polished up and the most presentable it can be. Employers should also make sure to do a background check on your candidates, as well as use LinkedIn to source the best talents.

3.     Recruitment Agencies Actually Work for Both Employers and Employees

Although technically employed and paid by companies to source suitable candidates, recruitment agencies also do look out for employees as well.

How a typical recruitment agency’s arrangements works is as such: A company enlists their help for a job vacancy, the agency sources the best candidate for the company, upon a successful and satisfactory hire they take a 10%-30% cut of the employee’s first year salary.

In this respect, the system is created to lookout for both parties. The recruiter looks to create a long-term relationship with the client and will find the best candidate they can, and as most humans typically do, the recruiters will also want a higher wage and will not shortchange the candidates to achieve so.

4.     Recruitment Agencies Do Better than In-house Recruitment and Saves more Money

Most would wonder, why spend the money on a recruitment agency when you can do it yourself. Well what recruitment agencies primarily excel over an in-house HR recruitment team is the marketing of your job vacancy. Most companies usually list their job openings on job directories whilst looking for a qualified candidate. What they get in return is normally a bunch of unqualified and time-wasting applicants.

Recruitment agencies differ in this aspect. They do the legwork by placing ads for your jobs in more viable areas, and they also actively source for suitable individuals through other means such as social media.

The result is a more streamlined list of competent candidates that meet your expectations over the ‘spray and pray’ avenue of free online job directories. No fee is charged until the recruiter succeeds in finding the right candidate for the company. In this same respect, by outsourcing this duty to a specialized team, your own staff saves time, effort, and can carry on with their own duties that derive a higher ROI.

5.     51% of All Employed Workers are Open to New Jobs

The shocking study done by Jobvite reveals that 51% of the employed workforce is actively searching for a new job, or are open to one. This is a huge pool of individuals out on the market who are looking for a job even if they are holding on to one.

This is positive news as well as negative news for corporations, because what this illustrates is a definite availability of talented people who are open to join your team – as well as a large sum of individuals dying to get out of it.

Employers, make sure to treat your people right.

6.     Candidates Looking for Jobs Should Work with More than 1 Recruitment Agency

Although generally advised against by recruitment agencies as a precaution to cover themselves, it is to a candidate’s benefit to submit your portfolio to more large recruitment firms, but not too many.

When you are a great candidate wanted by a company and more than 1 agency has your CV on their hands, whoever submits their resume to their client first clinches the deal. As such, there is a sense of urgency for agencies to want to help you, as well as a wider reach of companies.

It is best practice however to not ‘spam’ agencies with your CVs as too many duplicate applications will cause more harm than good.


So for all Singaporeans out there looking for a job and for employers as well who are looking to have fresh talent join the team, there are clearly some perks to working with recruitment agencies. Also with Singapore’s economy being adamantly resilient, it shouldn’t take long for any qualified individual to get fitted into a company’s structure.

Having said that, these 6 recruitment agencies HRM truths should now make you better equipped for Singapore’s hiring market.

This post was written by Payboy