At a recruitment agency, recruiters are your livelihood. They are the single most important component to running a successful business. That’s indisputable.
Given their importance, it’s surprising that once a recruiter leaves the business, many agencies never give them a second thought. What happens to those former employees? These Ex-Employee Recruiters (EERs)?
Out of interest, we analyzed a sample of our data, and found the following most common roles immediately after leaving a recruitment agency:
47% - move to another agency or start their own recruitment business
31% - move to a corporate recruiter or hiring manager role
22% move into a non-recruitment related role
Based on the numbers above, about 78% of an agency’s EERs remain directly relevant to an recruitment agency’s business. In short, over three quarters of EERs will have some direct impact on your business after they’ve left!
All in all, around half of the recruiters that have worked with your agency will go on to be direct competition. No major surprises here - however it does highlight that agencies need to ensure they are protecting their intellectual property as best possible.
As a spoiler alert, many agencies are not great at protecting their IP.
Quite often it's an email redirect and a handful of phone calls. A month later, that EER is a distant memory. In a fast paced recruitment environment, it's difficult to look anywhere else but forward.
What's required is a deep dive on the information. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, but it is vital to:
Keep abreast of the EER’s candidates and re-generate relationships;
Ensure any EER submissions are being tracked and jobs don’t go cold; and
Re-engage/maintain hiring manager relationships.
Being proactive is crucial in mitigating the relationships walking out the door with the EER to a competitor.
The more subtle and arguably more valuable finding is that almost a third of your EERs could become your agency’s future clients. What does this mean for recruitment agencies?
If you look around the office, your potential future clients are currently surrounding you.
Whilst some may also become indirect competition (internal recruiters), the likelihood is, these people will will remember your agency when they need help. If you build a great culture and dedicate some time to engaging your agency’s alumni network, it can be an incredibly powerful and frictionless business development tool.
People are most valuable asset. Whether client or competitor, your former employees plays an important role in your agency's success. It’s worth making the most of them.