Posted on 26/05/2021 by Matt Fox
The Boutique Difference
What is a boutique agency? Well, we know the word ‘boutique’ may conjure up images of impossibly fashionable people sipping macchiatos and typing feverishly on immaculate silver laptops. However, that’s only partially true.
Being totally serious, what a boutique agency is in recruitment terms is a small, laser-focused team trained on getting you the right candidate to fill your vacant role. All as efficiently and quickly as possible.
As we enter a post-pandemic world, having that focus has never been more important.
The current climate
The reality of the current jobs market is that finding the right people for the right roles is a serious challenge. That’s true for every company, seeking candidates at every career level.
In mid-senior level roles, for example, job security is now a huge issue for the majority of employees. Many tenured staff are choosing to stick with stable positions rather than take their next exciting career step into an uncertain probation period, in a new role, at a new company.
And the other end of the spectrum, the effects of Brexit mean the pool of candidates for entry-level customer service roles has shrunk immensely.
As a result – and despite what recent news reports may suggest – we’re currently in something or an inverted recession. Companies are keen to fill roles, but the number of available candidates has never actually been lower. And the number of quality candidates who are truly suitable for those roles is even lower still.
In that recruitment environment, the boutique difference can be invaluable.
This blog covers that difference; offering some compelling benefits of working with a boutique agency over larger nationwide names, or trying to recruit for a role by going it alone on jobs boards.
Smaller means more personal – and more agile
We’ll start with the most obvious difference between boutique agencies and large recruitment companies. The big recruiters are generalists. They have tons of staff in each office, handling hundreds of vacancies between them – often across every industry there is.
With the best will in the world, each recruiter in that position gets precious little time to dive in to your company’s culture, really take time to understand the role requirements, or to build a real rapport with candidates. All of which means the right person for your job is much more likely to get lost in the shuffle of drawn-out processes and target chasing.
At a boutique agency, none of that applies. They run lean, focus on a few industries, and work with fewer clients at once. All of which gives boutique recruiters the chance to build better relationships and devote their time and attention to your industry, job spec and culture – rather than rigidly following a process.
And because they care more about quality than numbers, boutique agency recruiters are typically far less target-driven. Instead, they’re much more concerned with finding the right fit for your role. The boutique belief is that a job well done will earn repeat business – something that plays out time and time again in our experience.
Experience you can trust – right across the board
If you’ve ever met with one of the major UK recruitment brands, you’ll know they have some incredibly experienced, knowledgeable and professional people on board. People you’ve probably trusted in the past to get the job done and find the right candidates.
The issue is, despite attending the important client meetings, those same people often aren’t the ones who end up actually doing the recruiting!
That’s because the big-name recruitment companies follow the typical corporate progression plan of promoting people out of the job they did amazingly well, and into a more senior role where they have to adapt.
That might be fantastic for the individual recruiter’s personal career progression, but it means that the people doing the day-to-day work of calling candidates and spinning all of those plates are far less experienced. And that typically means they’re less able to spot the small details on a CV or in an initial screening call that can make a big difference.
Because boutique agencies are more focused, they tend to staff their teams with highly experienced recruiters at every level. And on the very rare occasion you do deal with a more junior member of staff, you can be sure they’ll have been hand-picked due to a pin-sharp mind and bags of promise.
The boutique difference is not just quality over quantity, then. It’s experience, energy and dedication over a formula that’s tried and tested, but lacks a little inspiration and misses some of the magic.
A pool of quality candidates you can pick from
Where the benefits of working with a boutique agency really show up are often in the candidates they have access to.
Because they’re experienced, agile and given time to build a real rapport with candidates, a recruiter at a boutique agency is much more likely to have someone in mind the moment they hear about your vacancy. And if they don’t, the fact that they’ve got access to a more focused network of top-tier talent means they won’t waste time finding someone who knows someone who’s perfect for your role.
This is also one of the best reasons to work with a boutique recruitment agency rather than trying to fill a vacancy yourself. While online jobs boards let anyone advertise a vacancy, they’ll also let anyone apply. In a normal jobs market, that might mean you’d be inundated with tens or hundreds of unsuitable CVs, and spend unnecessary time sifting through for the one or two that stand out. (And in the business world, time is money). In the current jobs market however, you’re more likely to get next to no responses – unless you have a pre-existing pool of candidates to pick from, or the in-depth knowledge of where to look for them.
A recruitment specialist at a boutique recruiter will speed up your talent search no end by giving you exactly that – without sacrificing the quality of candidates that get to you for interview. In other words, the people who will benefit most from a boutique agency are you and your staff. That leaves you with only two difficult choices – the first of which is, which candidate will you go with?
The Dynamite difference
The second potentially tricky choice, of course, is deciding which boutique recruitment agency to work with in the first place.
There are many great ones out there – and at Dynamite, we can confidently say we’re up there with the very best in the Hampshire and South UK area. (Our long list of awards and nominations speaks to that, too!).
We started out determined to build relationships and avoid the typical recruitment industry clichés, and we’re proud to say that some eight years on we’re doing exactly what we’ve set out to. Our people love finding that ‘golden nugget’ candidate, and they go about it with a passion and purpose our clients love us for.
So whether you’re recruiting for roles in Commercial, Financial and Accountancy, IT, Outsource or Prestige Retail sectors, we believe we can offer you all the benefits of working with a boutique agency. In fact, we’re sure of it.