Over the years in recruitment, particularly from hiring managers in Engineering and Manufacturing, we hear of dissatisfaction with a number of their permanent recruitment outcomes. Why is this? Why is it that many other sectors have really positive outcomes and relationships with recruiters?

Michael Hamson, Director of Recruitment and Executive Search at ChandlerWoods, and a Recruiter with more than a decade’s experience inside Labour Hire, Recruitment and Search firms, believes the answer is clear and it comes down to the skill set of the business you use – you shouldn’t go to a job search firm for labour-hire and you don’t go to a labour-hire firm for permanent employees.

Here’s why.

Labour-hire companies, for the most part, operate in fairly small skillsets – labourers, welders, drivers, assemblers and trades. They target people not looking for permanent work but instead are after the casual loading in their wage. Labour-hire consultants have very different skill sets from recruiters; they manage and search databases and react to adverts on job boards like Seek. They are not trained to headhunt, make approaches to the passive job seeker.

As such, their efforts will result in finding people not currently working. There is a definite role for Labour Hire companies but they are not best suited to finding you long term stable permanent employees. Many will tell you they can do Permanent recruitment but their systems, processes and people aren’t ideally matched.

Labour-hire companies are often much cheaper for permanent hires than a specialist recruiter, but the results are often telling.

Permanent recruitment consultants are trained very differently from labour-hire practitioners – they focus on cultural fit and stability – essential traits in a long-time permanent employee unlike a casual who, let’s be honest, can be a little more transactional – valued absolutely, but passing through nonetheless.

Permanent consultants also have access to very expensive search tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, Seek Talent Search and Indeed Talent pools. They are trained in building job communities on the passive job market and can approach them quickly. Lets’s face it – many of the best people are already in jobs and this is the key difference between the two.

Yes, a recruitment business will charge a larger fee but the difference in the outcome quality you’ll experience is significant. They are proactive in approaching people, not reactive (awaiting a response on Seek or searching a database for anyone that ticks the boxes). What is the true cost of a bad hire? A common argument for labour-hire is the try-before-you-buy mindset, but any recruitment company that backs its work will offer a 3 or 6-month guarantee so you get that comfort, backed with a sound search regardless.

Again, it’s important to stress that labour-hire companies have a vital role in many manufacturing businesses, but you don’t go to see a pharmacist when you need a surgeon.