Recruitment Fees Ep- 14


Hello and welcome back to the Skills Provision podcast. On today's episode, we are discussing recruitment fees, what they mean, what are they for? What's the purpose? Can things be different in the future? On today's podcast, there's myself, Francesca, and there's also Pete. Hi. If you haven't already, we ask that you subscribe, follow, listen to all of our previous episodes and you'll have an idea about what we here at skills provision talk about on these podcasts, which are all employment recruitment and international recruitment focused for all of our clients, future clients, potential clients, job seekers, or anyone out there interested that may be wanting to listen. So first of all, what are recruitment fees and what are the purposes of them now for anyone new listening out there? Pete and I have very different responsibilities within the business. I'm more on the recruitment side and Pete is much more on the online business and development side. So we often have different opinions on this, but it's going to be really interesting for our listeners out there to hear about how we view the different aspects. So a question we often get is, why would I pay you to find me someone? What does that actually involve? So what are you as a recruiter? What are you charging for? Now, there are several aspects that make up this. One of the obvious things is the actual searching for people. Now, searching for people is not as easy as just, oh, yeah, that's it. I'm just going to go look for someone. There's a lot of processes involved. Now, if I break this down into how we and how we at skills provision are different and how our services are key and instrumental in making us different, so when we have a client that comes to us and says, look, we need x skill set and we're looking for this amount of them, once we've gone through and negotiated terms, our first port of call is always to generate a unique and bespoke advert. Now, from a technical perspective, Pete would be much better to explain this further. But for us, the reason we want to have something different out there is to ensure the visibility is there for the job seekers being able to actually find the job, but also us as a business so that potential future employers may also come across our adverts. Pete, do you want to further expand on that from a technical perspective for any of those people listening out there that will understand that side much more? Yes. Well, with everything that's written and uploaded online, it needs to score heavily, be unique, not stolen, copied, plagiarized and added to strong website. So the visibility is high. Important on jobs job adverts, obviously to be seen, which is probably a whole new subject in itself in terms of how am I seen? How are my adverts seen? Do you pay pay per click paper advertising organic as we do, or you believe that where probably 90% plus sit in terms of it's a game and a battle they don't want to participate in. So they hang around the places like LinkedIn and some are successful, which we'll get on to during this podcast. They're very good at using LinkedIn, often at no cost to their benefit. And so why should they participate in writing adverts when they could just make a post, a small video clip, an infographic, get it out there? Because they're already tied to their target audience. So it is a massive subject, certainly online. But from our point of view, we go down the sort of more of a traditional route, I guess, with terms of the production of job adverts, the syndication of job adverts, and from that we like throwing a rock into a still lake. It produces ripples. And those ripples are job seekers employing for positions that we've got a massive database and the website is highly visible as well. It's all about the reaction, I guess. In the end it doesn't really matter what you do, how you go about it, it's what reaction you produce when you're servicing the needs of a planning employer. And with regards to where we place it on our website, our job board has got real strength and visibility, often performing higher than some of those more well known job boards. Pete, recently, what kind of data or statistics could you give in terms of the visibility of the job board, how many sort of views or visits have we had within. Probably in the region of 3 million in the year just passed January to the end of December, probably around about 30,000 per month. Unique views which can also move into hundreds of thousands, 150,000 page views because people don't just visit one page, visit multiple pages to look at multiple adverts. In terms of online visibility, the job board of Skills provision, it's a very interesting technical subject where we are an agency, not a job board, but we're competing with job boards. So it's job boards by nature of the way they are set up, certainly the major ones. They deal in an insane amount of duplicate content, some of which can score and rank heavily, most of which won't score and detrimental the development of virtual strength. But that's not in their hands because other people upload the adverts, they facilitate this so it's a bit. If you look at the pure, the pure element of online, if you owned a job board and you want it to be massive, you would want everyone to upload strong, unique content onto that platform. But it doesn't happen, and it will never happen, because people place their adverts in multiple places, so they're not going to rewrite an advert. Whereas the way we operate, we produce a primary job advert that goes onto the website. It's totally unique, well written, and this scores very highly, certainly in comparison to the junk that's out there, which is regurgitation times a million of something. And this serves us very well. And the job board ranks massive very strongly. And in time, we will open things up to allow employers to post the job on our job board. There will be some criteria involved in terms of allowing quality to shine through, so that it's almost like helping them help themselves. Where there'll be quality, unique content will need to be produced and employees will benefit massively. So it's all about, in a way, with many things online is do things right, do things well, you will benefit. But more often to do that, it's more difficult and takes time. It's a lot easier to just go to a website, copy someone else's work, change a few words and post it as your own, obviously. And this is what's been going on in the job market for a long, long time. Yeah. It's pleasing the people that play and have the rules, really, isn't it? And that is the online environment. And that's the bit that you know so well, rather than what seems the obvious solution is not always the obvious solution, but further then from the advertising, in supplementing the advertising, we do also then syndicate it onto job boards and social media to further our reach, to get it out there, to get it as visible as possible, driving everyone back to then apply now. Also, something that we have been doing for the last year or so I think it is now, is adding a short introductory video about the role. Kind of a short summary video is another way of getting it out there on social media. As I think Pete understands as he has children, the way that people consume content now, it's very different. And a lot of people quite like that visual aspect rather than necessarily just the written form of an advert. Would you agree, Pete? Reels and all this short format, videos, reels, all this kind of stuff, it's changing, everything's changing. We've got to keep on top of it, we've got to keep ahead of the curve, and we got to keep banging our content out there. So it's consumable, probably the best word, whereas people want to engage with it. We're not asking them to go and get a coffee and spend 25 minutes reading a massive long page of dribble. They can just have it delivered to them in various formats. Yeah, absolutely. And then something that we have found that all agencies do this to a certain extent, but it's the level at which they go to that. This is where I think we go above and beyond, is where candidates come in and carrying out the prescreening and initial interviewing of candidates for a job. So some agencies, their role, and then this may be just what they offer, is that they will simply find candidates and send cvs to an employer. But we think that that's not good enough, and we don't think that that justifies charging the levels that we are looking to get from employers out there or justifying the cost for our services if we just offered that. So when we have a candidate and they come into the recruitment pot, as we call it, they go through three stages. The first stage is stage one where we will remove them if they are not suitable at all for the advert or for the role. So that may be that the role is for a chef and this person is actually a mechanic, so they don't have the actual skill set or background. And for this particular role, they needed to have had, say, three years of experience as a chef. But what we won't do is discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, disability, anything like that. If someone has the ability to do the job and can meet the minimum requirements as set out by the role, we are very much for advocating and getting the most widest variety of candidates through as ethically as possible. So if a client comes to us and says, we need three years, if we've got someone that's got two years, but they're a really strong candidate, we'll very much advocate and put them forward because we believe that the employer should see the full strength of what is out there, and that just because someone has, on paper, the requisite skills doesn't mean that they're actually necessarily the strongest candidate. It can often be those characteristics and aspects that are not outlined or not written in an advert that actually are the things that can make someone to be the best candidate for that job. And that is actually kind of something that I just wanted to touch on about the difficulties and often why companies come to a recruitment agency. And one of the justifications of why recruitment agencies do charge is that we alleviate that stress and that process for employers out there in terms of the shortlisting and vetting of candidates and going through, but also taking the time to get to know candidates further and being able to see more of what is out there, because a lot of things, and I've got a personal experience from a family friend of ours who they'd applied for a role, and the AI system that was used by the company simply vetted her cv as not suitable because it didn't mention certain keywords, when actually this individual had all the requisite skills they were looking for. But because certain keywords were not put in, it means that they missed out. So, fortunately, she did make contact with them and they moved things forward. But it just shows you that without that support, sometimes employers or whoever is out there may not have that time to invest in actually going through and looking further forward at the candidates and seeing beyond what is just written, but to get to know a better understanding of them. What we then do is take those shortlisted candidates and pre screen them and gather additional documentation to further support, because Pete will be able to expand on this further. But often people, when they're either writing their cvs or creating their profiles on our website, which there's a separate podcast on profiles, if you want to go and listen to that, you'll have a better understanding of what they are, is that people don't always necessarily write or write about themselves or are able to articulate things in the best way in a written document. So all of those supporting documents be that certifications, proof of previous work, references and also introductory videos to them, give a chance to further bat for themselves in terms of. For a role and be able to get themselves out there and be visible to the client. So we think that those things are all really important and help us offer a more well rounded and full view of a candidate beyond just. Here's a cv. Have a look. Do you like this candidate? Anything you want to add on those points, Pete? In terms of. Obviously, you see profiles day in, day out, so you do see some of the challenges that are out there. I see many challenges in multiple directions. What I'd like to do is to move us back to the actual theme of the podcast, which is the fees. Almost the elephant, obviously, which you started off there. A big justification of, and rightly so, in terms of what your team do to justify the fee. Questions related to this, and a lot of this is the elephant in the room. Are the employees bothered? Do they care? Are fees fair and reasonable. Do they even matter? And why is it such a contentious subject to break this down? A lot of these areas, it depends on the type of recruitment that people are out there looking for. So can use my son as a good example. Self employed contractor in the oil and gas sector goes on to LinkedIn, sees post contacts, agency sends his cv in, more often than not gets a job. Off he goes. The employer, the end employer may have to vet the cv. Most of the time it's no problem at all because the agency know who they're sending forward and pushing up the chain and there's not much the employers don't really get involved in. The people that the contractors that end up going on the rigs or into the refineries, they do the work for a short space of time and they're gone. Big movement of traffic and people and that in itself causes many quality issues. The unqualified being employed in areas they shouldn't be is one that happens all the time and the fairness of it all. This is where it all starts to become very murky. Where the employer pays 50 pound per hour for the worker or workers, team of workers to go and do a task. The workers themselves get 20 pounds an hour. The agency pockets the difference. Now, yes, in the early stages it's the agents that find the workers by putting a solitary post on LinkedIn. So all they're doing initially is they set themselves up, which takes a lot of time and effort. Popular, linked to the right people and thereafter posts go out, people apply, fill in the basic paperwork, get sent the induction court tests that need to be set, sort out the administration, and from that earn an absolute fortune more than what the workers are actually earning, so that the fee side of it doesn't really affect the employer. They're paying a fair reasonable rate and from that they expect everything to happen. No one really bats for the worker. You get paid what you get offered, take the job or don't take the job. In more traditional recruitment there's a set fee, 20% of the annual could be like as a ballpark figure, could be a lot less, could be a lot higher. 20% the annual fee is charged. Is it fair and reasonable? And it might be. It might be because of the processes involved within that recruitment task, or it may be that it takes 3 hours to source this particular worker that the employer is paying 1020 30,000 pounds for. And I have friends who in other companies that work in recruitment and they will say, well, challenge on this subject and question on it and they will say, but you don't see all the recruitment tasks that don't work out. And that's the thing, it's the loss of, to which I counter with, so your current employee client, where there has been a positive transaction, they're paying you for all the losses and loss of time prior to that, and it all becomes very murky. I think it's quite unethical. There's a lot of top quality, amazing people that work in recruitment that are dragged through the mayor by the shysters, that are just trying to just portray themselves as something they're not. And they're just spending all day on LinkedIn trawling around looking for people they have no quality standards. They don't do. It's just two arms, two legs. Yet you'll do. Let's go. There's a lot of money can be earned in recruitment which will lead into towards the end of this podcast, which should there even be fees paid at all? And what is the alternative to paying fees which hopefully will cover come the end of this podcast? I guess in my work, sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. I guess I have the capability to see both sides of the coin and sympathize or appreciate with both these elements, the recruiter and the employer. I do a lot of targeting work towards employers, so I need to know how they think, what they want, what they are after, how to impress them, how to move them from being interested to being a client. I work with recruiters and I see the way they, without realizing it, always talk about things from their point of view, less so. It's almost the seller, the buyer and the seller situation where they all think they're aligned, but they're actually the opposite. The seller does not even think about the needs, wishes of the purchaser. It's a cold. Transaction fees is a skills provision. We offer a lot. We go well above and beyond probably what any other agency does in terms of providing value for money. Are we appreciated for that? Possibly, maybe not all the time. And I think you made a point though. I think it very much depends on, I think it was your opening statements. It depends on the situation, the task. Every task is different, every client is different. And you know, when you've sat in on demos that I've done to clients, you've get some that buy into all of the information that you're putting in front of them. Be that about profiles, our reach, the views, the visibility. And then there are some clients who don't care and all they want to know is, have you got someone? Can you find someone and don't care about the process at all? I think if we could waive the magic wand and just remove fees. So we worked for something to do, let's say, and there was no changing hands of money, recruiters would be a hell of a lot more busy. They're busier because there's a lot of shortfall out there, massive shortfall of manpower, skills shortages. I believe that the biggest problem that we have out there is people don't want to pay the fees. So they will try and do it in house and then they will do it poorly and then they will have massive churn rates. They can't find anyone. They'll get temp agencies involved and it's just the sticking plaster over the dam. Yeah, that's a really valid point. It's the avoidance of the fees. We don't want to pay 20% because I just don't see it as being valuable. I need a lot of manpower. That's a lot of money. I don't see it as being valuable enough. And in some instances, that's a valid argument. Not all, but in some. But it's all fees. I think if you break it all down and you look at things objectively from both sides, the employer and the recruiter, everything is fee related. The recruiter wants to earn the fee. The employer doesn't want to pay the fee. The jobs need to be filled. So ultimately, the loser in all this can ultimately be the worker because they're stuck in the middle. They don't care. They just want to get a job. So it's a very interesting subject where recruiters, as you saw when you started this podcast on this trail of justification of why we charge what we do and we do this. Yeah, of course, everyone does, or everyone thinks they do, even if they're not going to say, we earn a fortune by doing nothing. No one's going to turn around and say that suicide. But the employer, it's a very difficult. It's almost like the ultimate game of round pegs into square holes constantly, but all you're doing is using a bigger hammer to bang them in there where the recruiter can say, yeah, we pay the fees, but the manpower is no better than what it was when we did it ourselves. And there's so many, I think, on our behalf, where we do actually win. We get so many more people, which is continually increasing, asking for more manpower. And they wouldn't be doing that if they weren't impressed. In fact, they wouldn't be staying, they'd be going. So that's shown that we're doing things right, but we are different in terms of the way we set up, the way we operate, the way we think, the way we look to produce and deliver value. What do you think about fees? You're on the front line of placing. What's your thoughts? I think there are some key things that you said there. I think it kind of leads me onto a section about so what are the complexities or the challenges and sourcing candidates? So a very valid point that you mentioned about is that they can come to a recruiter and get the same type of people that they were getting when they were doing it in house. And there are some scenarios where that is the case where, unfortunately, either based on maybe what they're looking for, the package, where they can source from, so if it's, say, only a local or national recruitment, and maybe they can't offer that international offering, that the pool where they're sourcing from that may be the only pool that's available. So the availability of a different workforce that we can access internationally with our database, for example, I think there are limits as to what can be done and how it can be done differently. I think the, the cost of recruitment in terms of the actual amount that is charged, I do think obviously for your smaller organizations, the cost of maybe permanent recruitment and an upfront, rather not upfront, but a lump sum payment is more of a challenge, which is why a lot of them do go to the temporary sourcing and temporary workers, agency workers, but actually over time that can then prove to be more expensive. But it's all about that initial hit that perhaps it's not suitable. But also the temporary workers there is obviously their ability to potentially then have them transferred to your books and become permanent workers, which is something that we've had in the past, I think. I suppose it's like with anything in multiple situations, I'm sure employers have situations themselves where perhaps they've bidded for, I don't know, an award contract or they've bidded for something and maybe they've put in a lot of effort, as in weeks and weeks of effort to win a contract with X, Y and Z company and they don't get it, but they could put in less effort with another company and win that contract. And I think in terms of the point you make is a really interesting one because I can see it from the other side in terms of, well, you're saying about all the work that gets done on a task for, I don't know, say a client comes to us and say we're looking for welders. That task could run for three months and we find two or three candidates of which the client rejects them for whatever reason. Perhaps they're not interested in them or for whatever reason. But then you can have another task that runs for a week and because perhaps, maybe that package is really attractive or there's lots of other selling points to it, you close that within a month. So you make nothing from the other client, but you make your money relatively quickly from another client. And I think in all walks of life there are elements where you have your wins and you have your losses. But I think a point you raised to me, actually earlier in the week, it was either this week or last week about the fact that for most things that maybe get outsourced by a company, be that like bringing in a contractor of some description or bringing out a specialist, they're often paid by the hour or by the day. So you are paying for their time, whereas this, you may not actually end up paying for the time if you are not working on, say, a contingency and you're just working on traditional recruitment, permanent recruitment with you're working on contingency rather than being a retained recruiter, where you are getting, you're guaranteed a certain amount of money. There is that risk, and it might not work in you as the recruiter favor. It might work in the employer's favor, but equally the other way around, it might work in the recruiter's favor. But at the end of the day, the main point should not be missed. That the reason you've come to a recruiter or agency or whatever is that you need the manpower in order for your business to run. And I do think often a recruitment agency is people's last option because they have, as you said, they've maybe tried internally, they've used temporary workers, and now they want to go down a different route. If people don't have those workers in place, their business does not exist. And I think that that is something that sometimes gets missed. And the point you made about it being expensive for companies, is that okay? Yes. For certain jobs, it's a scalable system where certain jobs, skill sets, the cost is higher in terms of a fee versus a different role. But how much does that person bring to the business? And by you not having them in the business, are you then missing out? Here's a question, okay. Where are fees set from and what's the criteria of the sliding scale. So, for example, let's set this moment in time. I have no idea. Guess 20% is considered pretty much the norm. Why isn't it five or ten? And then again, why isn't it 35 or 40? It's almost like if you don't know how long, if time is a measurable, is a metric, important metric, within the complexity, within a recruitment task, then the money paid should be reflective of this. But it seems that, and it's not just skills provision, certainly even in the major companies that they have this, where it's 20%, 18%, it's 22%. Why? Because the other thing as well, when you consider it, is that money has to come from somewhere. And this I will get on to later on, in terms of, if you didn't have to pay the fee, you could pay the workers. Obviously it wouldn't happen, because the way corporate is set up and the self greed element that comes into it, shareholders, all this pressure. But if you don't pay the fees, you can pay the workers more money. Course. So those that don't use agencies and recruit in house, they should offer a lot more pack. They should offer the workers a massive package because they've not had to outsource for recruitment. No, they don't. They just pay the same as what the other people. Everyone pays the same sort of way. So it's almost like this mathematics game that's going on where clever people, really clever people, are trying to split the atom in terms of numbers, figures, finance for their benefit, never for someone else's benefit. Where I want to come from is to turn this completely on its head, so that we're not the beneficiaries and we bet and everyone else benefits. Totally unique concept in recruitment. A world where there are no fees because the workers benefit. No one's paying for pain. It's the pain in a different way, but hell of a lot less than what it is. And what is the ethics of paying to employ people where there are massive shortages and it affects people's lives, like people's livelihoods and their aspirations, their sort of desires to better themselves if everything's got money attached. And I strongly believe that PlC agencies all around the world are the drivers of the big time greed, followed closely behind by the rest, where money for them has become the absolute number one driver. And it started moving everything out of sync. I had a friend who recruited into it. Why it? Because the fees are high. Because I can place one person and make 80,000 pounds. Wow. Plus the contractors may be placed three times a year and make 120,000 pounds. Nothing was ever about the quality of the work or the people themselves, or it's always the money, the money, the greed factor, worked on this area, continue to work on this area in terms of questioning everything about the fees and how can it be done differently. I believe that we will eventually make moves to start changing. Certainly how we do things, how it will be perceived grow, will be interesting. It won't be a popular move with some people, but they are sort of at ods in terms of what they can do. Let's say the PLC companies in the UK won't name them, but we all know who they are. They're not especially happy with LinkedIn because there's a hell of a lot of recruitment goes on in LinkedIn that they would like the business, and there could be a lot of undercutting, a lot of singleton operations, a lot of recruitment going on, a lot of where the employee goes directly to the worker. And as the stronger LinkedIn gets, the more business they do, the more they're taking the money off the PLCs. And the PLCs are big, massive business. Billions of pounds in fees, rather than just operating as they used to within their own location, they're moving into the international market, which we see ourselves. But they're struggling, and they're struggling because their ad budgets are having to just increase. They're slitting each other's throats in terms of ad spend. Google, sit there smiling. Everything related to that just keeps just. We'll just keep putting the prices up. It's got implosion written all over it. It's a bit like these housing market bubbles, where the cost of the housing used to be related to the earnings that people actually, the money that people actually earned, say, three, four, five times annual salary, was the average price of this right out the window. Certainly where I live, where housing is not affordable to under 30s, bubble and all, bubbles eventually burst. And some can just deflate slowly, some can go over right back. And I want to change. I have a burning desire, because I don't actually like fees. I don't like the way fees are the whole subject about fees, along the lines of, I listen to what the recruiter says, I appreciate and sympathize with a lot of it. Fundamentally, I disagree. Whereas many friends with recruiters, along the lines of, you don't see the time we waste on projects where we don't make any money. Yeah, I get that. So you're saying that Mr. X, he's got to pay for all that loss then. Yeah, I guess so. When you say like that, yeah, in a roundabout way, yes. But at the same time, it isn't necessarily always enough to cover those things, is it? Because you could have ten projects on the go of which only two you end up getting successful with, and eight that don't work. So actually only winning on those two doesn't necessarily negate the costs and time you spent on those eight. So there is always potentially the chance of loss. But from a literal point of view, that statement of you're paying for those ones that don't work, it makes sense. And I can totally see, and that is where you are not in the coalface, if you will, in terms of doing the recruiting aspect. I can totally see how from that perspective, it is a warped system and a weird concept, really, when you think about it. And the question you were asking me about, where did the fees and justification come from in terms of where do the numbers come from? I think, like with anything, I think it comes from sort of the industry norms for different things. And there's certain levels that people charge and obviously for certain different types of recruitment, it might be different rates and the amount of percentage you charge and different things like that. Similar to using your analogy about houses, there'll be certain levels that solicitors charge in the process, or certain percentages for different things, or whatever it may be. But you do have people that will be offering a significantly lower rate, for example. But sometimes that can mean that the quality of what you're getting or what you're getting as part of that is not out of a standard where we see ourselves anyway. I can only speak for what we do internally, but you might get some that do just as good a job or are able to find the right people. Recruitment is such a. I don't know what the right word is, but it's such a unique industry in the sense of you're dealing with people and the way that people work can be so different and the way that something can come about or the success or the failure can be so different and so drastically different from case to case. That pigeonholing it in a way of saying, well, this role means you charge this. This role, you mean you charge that. Thinking about it, it does sound stupid, but you're guided by what the industry and your competitors do, because obviously you just make numbers up depending on what you think. Yeah, for us there are factors. We consider that the type of role, the amount, the volume, the scalability, the challenges that may lay ahead, what the time frames, the resources that we're going to have to put in. There are various factors that we have to consider. It isn't just, well, yeah, there we go. Let's just pluck a number out of thin air. There are margins that we consider, but there's flexibility with everything. But, yeah, you've really got my head spinning now. Whilst I am not a fan of fees as such, they have their place and I believe they should only have their place where the service provider pays everything off value for the paying customer, not ease greed. I will charge you x, y and z, but I do believe there is a place for normal fee. So if we move on to no fee recruitment, subjects like this term can quite emotive, as we've seen internally, there's just the subject of fees can get people revved up, can mean that they're good debating subjects to cover as well. No fee recruitment, something I'm massively involved in in terms of probably two systems, one where we are able to unlock, as such, our profile database, availability database, and allow these people, like they do on LinkedIn, just to be contacted and employed. All we do is facilitate the visibility of highly skilled workers. And the next one being allowing jobs employers to take benefit of our massively powerful and explain why. Because we're competing with people of massive size, where quality of work and quality of adverts is not even considered and can never be considered, giving people the capability to make best use of our job board, international job board, for themselves. So both of those areas do not require. There'll be payments, not high level payments, there'll be payments, money exchange in hands. But it's all automotive. It's almost the self drive car. Where other people are in charge, they have the control, they have the wheel, they post their job, they deal with the inflow, they deal with everything thereafter, or they visit our website and they see all these people and think, I love him, I'll contact him today and see if he wants a job. We're just going to be the facilitators of everything. Yeah. Almost like a supermarket, isn't it, in terms of people being able to pick what they want. Yeah, exactly. Chris, 15 years ago spoke about bidding for work as well, the biding process, such. But as you say, just go in and pick a mix. We'll have some of these and we'll have some of those and we'll speak to some of these people and we'll speak to some of those and we'll post our job adverts here. And blimey, this is about 20 times more powerful than these massive job boards. Well, obviously because we built it in a very specific Google friendly manner from the ground up and stuck to the rules of the game and not filled it with rubbish. And we now benefit by, as you said at the start, which is a little bit insane, our adverts outrank massive organizations on a like for like basis because bots are measuring, not people. And I play to the need of the bots and understand the bots and I live with the bots, I guess, daily, so that's where it comes in. But eventually. Do I see no fee recruitment at skills provision? Probably not, no. I think there's always going to be a need for people to use our services in a sort of failure is the reason why b recruitments will not die off and it's failure of HR. Failure of HR because there isn't enough of them. They're not the right people. They failed previously constantly. They just can't find options, I guess. Whereas at this moment in time we don't offer that many options. We will and we will offer many multiple options, multiple streams, and people can do what they want. And there's more organizations and businesses, social media, LinkedIn skills provision start offering alternative to strict and rigid fee based recruitment, which can be vague at best, as like, what are you actually doing for this money and where these people are actually coming from? Obviously we do demonstrations and show openly what we're up to. Most people don't. They don't write adverts that are totally unique to go onto a job board, they just bang a post on writing a text. It's all become this. Everything's foggy. And now I've built myself a big wind blowing machine and I'm starting to blow the fog away. So people, not only we can see where we're going, jobs, candidates can see where they're going, and more importantly, the employers can start seeing where they're going as well. I just need more of these wind blowing machines. I guess that's the way I see it. But I'm just one person in the organization, so it's to say, we're going to do, these are my ideas, they may not. I think what you said is kind of as accurate as it can be at this point in time, because we could have this conversation in ten years time and it could be completely different because the landscape that's out there may have changed. I think where we currently are in terms of the industry, this is not just us. I think there is that need for the services that come behind the fees, not the actual fees themselves. It's the things that you often go to a recruitment agency for, which is the searching, the advertising, the shortlisting, their expertise, their reach, the connections that they have, the database they may have, that's the reasons you go to them. Whereas potentially, if you were just offering the candidates that were there, they still have to go through all those processes of going through shortlisting. And that might be that you're going through thousands of workers to try and find something, whereas you are getting people to do it. But do I think that there is a place for it within the realm of services? I can see, yes. As we say when we talk about all of these things, Pete, you don't know what the response would be, you don't know what the uptake would be. It may be that it's a good thing for those where cost perhaps is a prohibitive reason why they don't choose to go down the recruitment agency side of things. And they have the facilities or the resources to be able to go through the people, but they just can't access the people. And that is where our database does help us, especially from an international point of view, that we've got a lot of wide skilled variety individuals from across the world that can support employers in many, many different countries, across those many different sectors. And that's often the challenge, is connecting the job seeker with the employer and a facility such that may be a good route. You just don't know all of these sort of things until you go to market. You never know. I expect when the first person went and or the first recruitment agency came about, when they were putting their finger in the air and guessing how much they were going to charge, did they think people would buy into it? You just don't know. What do you think that governments should do? Um, do you mean in terms of governments, what with recruitment fees or what they should do with a. I'll give you my take on it. So governments want to reduce the numbers of unemployed across globally because they're a burden and it can bring social problems. It's unhealthy. The young should be out there working, should be developing, doing things, developing. Now, there can be issues. Recruitment, the recruitment process, the fees charged can be a headwind for governments in terms of getting people into work. They have their own, they're interested, they've got their own website, we use ourselves and so do most agencies, but it can at times only really be targeting the longer term unemployed, whereas everyone that's not in work is in somewhere like, my son currently isn't working, he's unemployed. See his girlfriend in a week's time. Then he'll be back working again and on and on. But the B game does affect him and the contract, as I spoke about before, the contractual elements and how much is he offered when times are good for him. Work is plentiful, the price of all is high and the hourly rate high as well. So all is good. But it does go. Everything cyclical can go the other way. Governments want people into work. They want the long term unemployed into work, as many people as possible into work. What helps are systems that facilitate this. LinkedIn helps governments get people into work. The government's own website. So what I mean by this is that governments really should get behind organizations like skills provision and financially support to get more people into work, which then would reduce the burden of the fee. So if governments turn around and say, we will throw a lot of money at your organization, they'd be like, right, that's good, because we don't have to charge the employers. We don't have to charge employers anything. We could reduce the fees and we can start getting more and more and more people into work. So it's almost like recruitment is related to benefits, taxation and the whole thing of the more people you got into work, the better. Fees, high fees, unfair fees, greed, are all a negative in terms of getting people into work. So it's almost like this game where the governments have a duty to support those that are trying to get people into work ethically. And maybe we like what we. I've discussed no fee type systems, getting behind LinkedIn, getting behind whatever to get more people into work, to get more people out there earning tax, because then they become taxpayers. It all feeds itself, isn't it? It's all the game of self feeding type, whereas we've become a little bit. It's almost like the games become skewed slightly where you've got the winners, the mid to the high earners and the losers the low, and a lot of unemployed that shouldn't be. I think with that there's the element of the recruitment agencies or calling us an intermediary or whatever you want to call us, that, yes, there is an element of, if there is a campaign or a movement to change the whole landscape of the unemployment side of things, that yes, there should be potentially different rules or mechanisms in place to try and get those long term unemployed employed. But I think it goes beyond just the recruitment aspect in the fact that there's probably got to be other things that go with it, such as the training and employers being able to facilitate the ability to take on some of these candidates. There will be some candidates where they will have the skill sets that are required for the role, but there'll be some where there's going to be a heavy amount of investment that's probably needed by the employer, which is where the government would need to come in to help of training and or retraining candidates to fulfill the needs of the role. But I also think one of the challenges is with all of these sort of things of the unemployment being an example, it's the same thing with visas. And is governments managing a process and being able to manage what candidates are doing in terms of, for the benefits side of things that perhaps the candidates only need to apply for or show that they're applying for jobs. And if they don't get it, but you'll have. And this is not just true of unemployed, this is true of many people will be applying for jobs where they don't have anywhere near the level of things that are needed for the role on a basic, in terms of the minimum requirements of the role. But they're doing it just to show that they've made the attempt to apply for jobs full well, knowing that they're never going to get it. But I think it's a discussion for another day in terms of how it's a big problem. It's a very big problem. I think minimizing the costs involved on all sides would be needed to get the maximum chance of the most people back into work. But I also think it's as much to do with the mentality of people and wanting to get into work, which I'm not sure how much level of investment will be needed in that they're all big subjects and they can only be tackled internally, ethically, by large plcs. They're going to charge more money, the fees are going to go up. Five years time fees could be, what, 40%? They're going to go up because everything else is going up. And the inflationary element to all of everything as well is fees are going to go up. I want a world with no fees because believe that that becomes massively powerful online. So my vision as such is not just a world with no fees. It is a massive international network of workers where we have hundreds of million people all colocated and all wanting the same thing, work, opportunity, fairness, and it's difficult challenge. We're on the road and probably not too, in many ways too small to be seen, but in time we will see and we're making strides, making headway and making difference. We're also putting people into work. As you see, you and your team, you're improving people's lives, you're giving opportunity, you're being fair, reasonable. The problem with the fees and the whole fees subject is it can be twisted round to produce negativity for recruitment and people that work in recruitment. It's not really the bigger picture of the fees where I don't like, well I just think that it could be better. Puts more people into work than a world of higher fees does. Yeah, I suppose with everything, isn't there, there's costs with nearly associated with everything that is done, isn't there? There's very few things that can be free these days. In some ways I think in order for there to be no recruitment fees there would be no recruitment agencies. You just need a process or something in the middle that allowed. Which is why I'm looking at a network, not an agent. Yeah, because I think that is the thing, isn't it? Everyone or a lot of people, anyone who starts a business there is the element of it may not always be the key factor, but money and becoming successful and money is just one of those key aspects that people determine success by. If you remove that then the reason for having the business like that doesn't really exist. But I think it's interesting, it's made me think more and if I'm honest I don't really know how I feel. I feel yes in one way, no in another. But then you ask me in five minutes I'll probably think in something different and I can see both sides. I just think it's a difficult one. I honestly don't think there's a right or wrong answer because I think every scenario and situation calls for a different approach. I just think it's how. Yeah, I don't think. I feel like I'm just waffling. I don't think I've got anything else really to say on it. I'm a little bit. It doesn't matter in the end that it's almost like it's the direction that we will go in that's important. So now we move in, what we're going to do, the direction we're going to move in and then how successful are we going to be? And then from that, if you become very successful and you start making a big difference then other people will replicate it, obviously. Yeah, that's true. It could be a pipe dream that Norfi recruitment is laughable and it will never work. And probably, other than LinkedIn, where has it worked? Yeah, I think that's the thing, isn't there? There's always got to be a first, and LinkedIn does it to an extent, but there's always got to be a first for something and you don't know how it's going to be received, but there's no reason why something can't necessarily be tried. But you just, yeah, it's a really interesting, well, debating conversation, isn't it? Because if you were to get ten agencies in here, I'm fairly confident most agencies would be like, no, that's never going to work. But you might get some where they're like, oh, actually give them six months time to think about it a bit more and they might be like, okay, I can see the other side. But it's just changing the formula, if you will, of the industry. It's difficult. It's difficult. And people don't necessarily always like change. And that also could be from an employer's perspective. People have become accustomed potentially, and also maybe job seekers to the way it works and you just don't know. That is very much true and probably why we're still dealing in cvs that well past the sell by date. But it's an archaic system where online is slowly taking over, moving on. There's no big strides being made. If you look at it, what's in the last ten years, what advancements have there been in, let's just say recruitment video presentations? Yeah, I think also being able to have prescreened questions done and like pre recorded interview as a medium has come along and LinkedIn has become more powerful in terms of the amount of recruitment that goes on within there is growing and growing and growing and probably continue to grow. The world is getting smaller internationally, which allow organizations like skills provision to market and battle on all fronts in all locations. But if you just looking at it in terms of where have the improvements come Google jobs made live was going to change the world, hasn't really scuppered. A few larger companies probably indeed felt the pinch and total jobs maybe, but it's not changed that much really. It may not last. No. And I think probably where it has changed is the ability to connect with people on a larger scale is probably the biggest advancement with the online in terms of us being able to have a conversation with a candidate in Nairobi that's not changed in the last ten years. We're talking about what advancements have we seen in recruitment in the last ten years video, Google Jobs, then you're like, so it's almost like the receptor as a whole. And in many ways you also consider that the big boys don't want change, they just want to dominate the market. They want to have the lion's share of the placement activity. They don't want no change because change might upset their place in it and their dynamics. So it's almost like we'll just leave it as it is. We will charge the employer 2020 5% annual income and we'll just keep placing people hand over fist because we've got the money. To be the most visible is sort of the game and it's not changing. So it's almost like, how will it change? I have plans to change things, but they're very out there and quite just one company. Who else is looking to use bots? How bots to write adverts produces more crap to feed in, low scoring crap that gets fed into the machine. Bots to write cvs. Can't write a cv yourself. Why should you get a bot to write it? Is it defeating the object? Is it showing you to be the kind of person that shouldn't even be employed in a decent ish position? I see a lot of it, as you know. So bots don't think they're helping forgive anything. They're hindering than helping. Yeah, I suppose. AI and recruitment in the last ten years has definitely been something. And it becomes harder and harder to know what is real versus what isn't real. Exactly. Yeah, that is the subject. Plus with bots, it's all about if you're wanting to play and feed, the game of everything has to be easier and easier and easier, then great. The copy and paste merchants can copy and paste and steal whatever they want to do and use bots to the heart's content. But what they'll never do, they'll never be highly visible online and understand or be able to utilize virtual strength for their benefit. It'll never be there because these things are the opposite. But ease of doing things, the next best shortcut. People are killing themselves over these things. And maybe it's just games I don't play. I don't play because I know where it ends up. Failure online, big failure. And I've played these games many times in the past, I've played them, supported the people in them, played them, and I won't do it again. Do it right, do it well. And the quality of something, that's the thing. The quality of the work will shine through, not how long it takes, how easy it is, because the easier something is, this is probably why recruitment and fees and everything, it's easy as a process. Easier something is, the more people buy in and the more people like it. Just contact the agency, give them the heartache, pay them the money, ease. Everything's ease. There we go. It's been an interesting, debated subject where we'll go, maybe have a follow up in a year or two's time and see where we're at. Did we make any strides in terms of no fee recruitment? Has it worked? Has it changed? Did we do it? Did we move forward with it? How have our ideas materialized? Have we changed our thought process in terms of journey of online continues? Or are we pretty much the same as we were? Time is the most interesting, measurable metric, because how do we change with times and how are we going to change? Yeah, and you never know how the industry will change, you never know how rules will change things. You just don't know. And there's lots of external factors that we can't control and there's obviously ones that we can control internally. But no, it's been an interesting conversation and as I say, I think in some ways I've left with more questions than I had before, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's just, like I said, can have a follow up in twelve months time and see if you've still got those questions or if your ideas. And it's good to be challenged and to think in ways that you not normally think and not to know the answer. This is the thing as well, not to be afraid of not knowing. So you're not trying to bluff the answer, you just say, I don't know. Some of these subjects, especially you, get into the government side of things. The lack of apprenticeships, the skills, void the generational gaps that we're producing. The fact that the lack of skilled workers is only going to get worse is where is it all going to? And they're massive subjects and we're just on the journey of the same as everyone else that works in the sector. The answer is, who knows? You don't. No one can know. If everyone had a crystal ball, a lot of people would do things, do a lot of different things. But any other final points you want to leave people out there listening with? I guess the only point that I've really got to make is don't settle for following the status quo. Like if you work online, challenge, challenge things, even if just in your brain, challenge the way you work, the way you think, the way you operate and try and be more customer biased as opposed to self, that will bring success, okay? For candidates and job seekers, or anybody for that matter. The more we can improve ourselves and develop, the better we'll be. Okay, well, I just want to say to if there's any employers out there listening and you want to be able to see firsthand what we offer our clients in terms of the services, the lengths we go to to help support, please do contact us utilizing the details provided for a non obligation demo for job seekers. If you're interested in any of our positions, don't forget to register and apply on our job board. And just in general, for the podcast, please don't forget to like share, subscribe, follow whatever platform you may be listening on. So from me, Francesca, it's goodbye from EP. Have a nice day. Take care everyone and we look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thank you and goodbye.