When the economy starts to improve, will we ever see such a proliferation of Estate Agents or Recruitment Agencies again? I, for one, think not. I fail to see the added value they bring and how they can justify such large fees for simply connecting the searcher with the sought.
I have no doubt that there are specialist recruitment roles that require unique skills, and the same within the property market, but essentially the mainstream of both of these professions can easily be replaced by a good website – one with transparent mechanics that connects the buyer with the seller or the recruiter with the candidate.
Recently, we advertised a junior position in our marketing department using an online job portal. We received over thirty applications for the job and around 40 phone calls from recruitment “consultants” wanting to send us CV’s. The price of taking the CV and candidate from the consultant was a mere 18% of the first year’s salary of the employee. How ludicrous!
I want a candidate that is keen enough to do some of the legwork to find a job by performing research online. When it comes to property, I want to connect with the person selling their house to quickly see if we are going to be able to fulfill each other’s goals. I want transparency and honesty and most of all I want the convenience of just doing it all online.
As technology has transformed many businesses before, I fear that both of these industries have now peaked and will never return to their former glory. Connecting the searcher with the sought is exactly what the internet does, and it does so with ruthless efficiency, speed and none of the expense.
Niall McKeown is the CEO of iONOLOGY and author of the forthcoming book 'The 7 Principles of Digital Business Strategy'.