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To Survive and Thrive, We Must Specialise, Specialist Recruitment

Why RLC is a Specialist Recruitment Agency?

Since our founding eight years ago, we’ve worked extremely hard at RLC to build our brand and establish a reputation as a niche recruitment agency that punches way above its weight.

The key to our success is no secret: in a word, it’s Specialisation.

Companies with significant Engineering, Manufacturing, or Supply Chain operations in Thailand know that RLC, as a Specialist Recruitment Agency, consistently finds the most talented and motivated candidates for positions that require a high degree of technical expertise: from high-potential engineers to CXOs, and everything in-between.

The Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, Food/Agribusiness, and CG/Pharmaceutical industries have been our bread-and-butter for the past decade.

Why do we remain so laser-focused on our technical niche?

Why is RLC a specialist agency? Well, the answer is:

“Because of necessity.”

For example, in the UK, where I am from, there are more than 40,000 recruitment agencies. It’s a more developed market, with a granular level of expertise. In London, you could have a successful two-person agency that specializes in HGV drivers … or replacement engineers for day contracts … or short-term relief nurses for a particular type of hospital.

Even though there may only be several hundred candidates to contact for any of those jobs in a particular region, a single company can manage it. Clients in this niche market know which agency to call; they know which agency will have ready-and-able candidates, and all the candidates know which recruiting company specializes in their particular field.

With a highly specialized recruitment model, the hit rate is virtually 100 percent, and it works for everybody. Candidates know that if they come to you, they are guaranteed to find work with an agent they can trust. Clients depend on efficient service: with a Specialist Recruitment Agency, the results and delivery times are more predictable. As a result, costs are reduced. Agency fees can be lower because consultants are not wasting much time looking for the right candidates.

Compare this to Thailand, where there are only 1,200 registered agencies.

The biggest ones, the generalist recruitment agencies, dominate the market.

Let’s say a motivated consultant for one of the big, umbrella-style agencies closes 20 percent of his or her mandates. That’s not an unusual hit rate for non-exclusive, contingent assignments. The agency can get by with that relatively low success rate. But that also means the consultant has to work five roles hard, to make just one placement. They have to work a lot harder to reach their targets.

That’s a big waste of resources and energy, especially in a market where multiple contingency agencies are all jockeying to fill the same roles for the same companies. Ultimately it is the clients which are paying for all that time and energy, and it’s time and energy that does not contribute to a tangible result: four out of the five candidates being pursued are not going to work out.

The current environment

In the current environment, job orders come in at an unpredictable rate. So the large generalist agencies will sell their service at whatever price it takes to attract the client. In many instances, the clients choose the agent who offers the lowest cost.

But here’s the rub: the recruitment company never commits their best resources to projects that yield the lowest returns. Clients often think they’ve got a big global agency with massive resources being harnessed to fulfill their HR needs, but the behemoth recruitment agencies generally aren’t putting their top consultants on these jobs.

The actual performance and results

It’s important to remember that in our business, low fees generally equate to low performance. The ad hoc approach of the big generalist agencies means that because of the nature of the business, the client has unwittingly taken a crapshoot. The actual performance and results the big agency provides will be unpredictable — regardless of how many consultants the agency has on its payroll. It essentially comes down to whether the consultant at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy, who is tasked with doing the search, is any good.

I call that a non-strategic approach. A strategic client — whether their business is just starting out, or expanding its global footprint – is better off seeking the help of a specialist Recruitment Agency with a proven track record of relevant specialization.

The ultimate goal should be to forge a sustainable, mutually beneficial, and long-term partnership.