USA Today: How Far Being a 360 Recruiter Will Take You in America

There are more recruitment models coming to the fore with the natural evolution of the industry. There’s the classic 360 degree model, a British institution. Then you have the opposing 180 recruitment, which is more likely to be seen in the USA. This is where focus is split into BD and candidate care.

Then you have ‘Account Management’ which may sit between the two.

Working with one client but developing relationships and going directly to the candidate market. There are also more and more ‘RPO models’ being offered by agencies.

These are on-site solutions, sold to one client. The work’s retained and project based. This is more aligned to 180, but a lot more strategic than a Resource or Research role.

Internal Recruitment‘s a different game entirely. The once maligned off-shoot, where you’re salaried by the company you’re recruiting for. Again, more strategic than 180 recruitment, but essentially still 180 in discipline.

Charge Sword Infantry

The Invasion

Working in a certain part of the world may be an indication of the type of recruitment you’re in. For example, up until recently the grand old US of A was almost solely 180. Until the Brits invaded. Again.

Though this time in a perhaps less revolutionary manner.

When they did, they brought with them a UK-centric 360 style practice that, seemingly, candidates and clients appreciate across the pond.

If you’re looking for a recruitment job in North America you may want to shy away from an ad titled ‘Recruiter’ if it’s with a US outfit. As it will almost certainly be a resourcing or research position.

Interestingly, the US are the world leaders in a vast amount of industries. This isn’t the case with recruitment.

The maturing of the market is still a long way off, meaning opportunity is genuinely massive. And there’s obviously a reason for the continued dominance of the 180 model.

There are certain factions in the UK industry that operate in this way, and some that argue it’s the future of recruitment.

There are even some that suggest a further breakdown is likely, with agencies operating on a 120 degree basis.

So a BD Consultant passes the client to an Account Manager, who then works with a Research function to manage delivery and success.

And you can carve an advantage in this approach.

Speed to market is probably the most obvious. It’s pretty hard to get on the phone quickly to available candidates when you’re en route back from a meeting. Certainly on a contract desk, that can make or break you.

In reality any desk that’s contingent is always going to be about speed to market to some extent.

Another advantage with candidate and client facing roles is the depth of knowledge a Recruiter can gain when time’s not split. The mapping of any network is much more deep rooted when you can dedicate all efforts towards it.

The Missing Link

The issue with a 180 or 120 model in a lot of instances, is that as a Sales or BD Consultant, you’re completely reliant on the ability of your resource team.

You have another person in the chain of information. Another opportunity for mis-direction in delivery.

Talking to successful British invaders, client’s really appreciate expertise in one niche. Offering knowledge of available candidates, expected rates and salaries, what competitors are offering and true market intelligence can be a key differentiator that’s missed if the full 360 approach isn’t taken on.

James Lafferty at Austin Fraser says “Every single day in Austin, there’s a business hiring staff.”

“The demand for tech talent is incredibly high but luckily, given the 360 model is rare here, the consultative approach will win you a lot of friends.”

The downside for the agency in a 360 model is that training is twice as hard. In reality, it’s no different talking to a client instead of a candidate. But if you’re a Graduate it feels more daunting.

The best Recruiters build relationships with anyone, and follow that relationship up with business advice. In a 180 degree model the conversations are typically more transactional meaning the relationship piece can be missed.

But even if you have great a relationship with everyone you speak to, it’s hard to personally guarantee action when another Consultant takes the reins.

Lighthouse Dark

The Beacons Are Lit

If evidence from the Hunted Worldwide series is to be believed, clients and candidates are not just thankful of the 360 practice to their shores but extremely welcoming of it. They love a recruiter who can offer a high level of expertise.

Harry Sliufko at Hamlyn Williams, “In comparison to the UK market, recruiting in New York means higher salaries, higher margins on placements and higher percentages. Not only that, but start dates come quicker, meaning money’s in your bank quicker too.”

David Dolman from Spencer Ogden in Denver says “cultivating relationships and being seen as a reliable partner for clients is the best practice. It’s taken Spencer Ogden from unknown newcomers to heady aspirations of being the main supplier for Engineering staff in the region.”

This isn’t to say that you can’t cultivate a relationship or consult when your business is split into 180 degrees.

But if you’re in a client meeting and are asked what the candidate market’s like at the moment, not being able to answer immediately is obviously a drawback.

The benefits of the 360 model are plentiful, and North American companies are now seeing them. But it will take time for the widespread infiltration of this practice and 180 businesses will be around for some time to come. We’re even holding a free event at our office in London next week to talk all about recruitment in the USA.

However, the rise of UK companies expanding into the US, winning clients across the land, is likely to change the landscape somewhat.

So, against the backdrop of the often cramped London 360 market, it’s a wonder there’s not been a mass exodus of UK recruiters heading to US shores to live the American Dream.

As Harry expands, “Due to the size of the country, the possibilities for new clients and candidates here are endless. Equally, because a large amount of the native recruitment consultancies are generalist in nature, vertical specialists able to differentiate are welcomed with open arms and open cheque books.”

Proof’s in the pudding

Just in case you need further proof of an investment over the pond, interestingly, the majority of spend on recruitment services goes to just a handful of agencies.

The large agencies who’ve been there from day one are also agencies who’ll be operating almost exclusively in 180.

So, it seems, the invasion of UK recruitment talent to the US is a welcome one.

At least from the perspective of clients and candidates. It’s naturally only a matter of time before native agencies change their offering to mirror the new trend.

Want to know more? Why not come and meet Hunted next week for an ice cold beer and a chin-wag over how to arm yourself for your own invasion.