Recruiters love new things.

If you know, work, or live with a recruiter I am probably not telling you something you don’t already know. Whether it be the latest i-phone, watch or gizmo recruiters love new things. Oh, and don’t be thinking I am just talking about those people who work within recruitment agencies. Internal recruiters, I am talking about you too. Get an internal recruiter on a Trello board or a new way to take notes in a meeting which can then be zapped to you within an instant of the meeting finishing and they are in their element.

Don’t believe me?

Visit any recruitment business and you will more than likely see the leftovers of what in many cases looks like a slightly depressing Sixth Form Common Room. Pool table anyone? Check out the coffee machine, which has not been refilled since the original subscription ran out, and people realised the coffee tasted worse than instant. Look out for the empty beer fridge which now stores people’s lunch or out of date milk from the last time people visited the office. PlayStation? Oh don’t forget the PlayStation! All of this is left over from the last recruitment revolution when we decided to make the office a more ‘fun’ place to work.

Now this fascination with new things is happening on two fronts. Firstly, you have hybrid working and what this means for an industry which has historically and endemically been a face to face, in it together world. But this new thing is not unique to the recruitment industry, most of the business world is going through this process as the road out of Covid continues to unfold.

Secondly, and what I really want to talk about; RaaS, the other ‘new thing’ which seems to be picking up speed, momentum and more noticeably LinkedIn polls and debate; Recruitment as a Service. RaaS anyone?!

In short Recruitment as a Service is taking it’s lead from the range of subscription services which are now available in our everyday life. Products on subscription whether it be your coffee, your streaming service, your website, or a piece of software are all increasingly sold via subscription models. This means you pay a monthly, potentially set amount and you receive a volume of that given service in return.

Most people in their personal lives will have some form of subscription service without even potentially knowing it. The growth in E-commerce during the pandemic has really driven this. Many organisations are utilising this buying model for at least one areas of their business as it makes sense in many ways. Anything sold as a service should be able to demonstrate time and cost efficiency for an organisation, allows you to move quickly and avoids a full out-source.

To be clear, delivering products as a service in my opinion, is a good thing.

Why then do I have an issue with Recruitment as a Service (RaaS) being the current ‘new thing’ for recruiters?

To start, lets talk about the name. Surely it all starts with the right name and identity for a service offering? The name ‘Recruitment as a Service’ is the recruitment worlds attempt to produce a ‘product’ to sell to it’s marketplace. Again, this is fine and makes complete sense, the industry has needed to embrace a product approach for years. But the name? Isn’t all recruitment a service anyway? If your recruitment provider is not currently giving you service whether it be good, bad or indifferent, what are they actually doing? Those terming this newfound subscription model as the future in my opinion are undermining the business they are already doing. They will no doubt continue to do the contingent business they already do, long after they have given up on RaaS.

Secondly this model has existed for years, it’s called Recruitment Process Outsourcing and is delivered by hundreds of hugely successful businesses across the world. Ask a recruiter the difference between RaaS and RPO and they will ultimately end up selling against themselves in my opinion. It will be semantics about the things included within the service. Is this really a ‘new service’ or just another case of the recruiter’s new clothes

So, what is the answer? Isn’t my argument flawed by the fact you are currently on the website of a business which has this offering at its core? Don’t Digital 51 offer RaaS?

No, we provide a service as part of our recruitment offering, but we don’t sell a separate solution as RaaS. Service is just what we do and deliver, day in, day out. If we must put a name in something (I hate that everything needs a name or label) then I will put this name on what we offer:

Recruitment as a Partnership. RaaP.

That is what is important to us, Partnership. The way we deliver our service, the way you pay for that service and the things included within that service, these things are all to be determined by fully understanding the support a specific, individual business need. It is the partnership approach to delivering these things, understanding these things and ultimately supporting a business improve in these things that are important to us.

If you want to talk about Recruitment as a service, please just search the term on LinkedIn. There will be lots of people to talk you through the concept of the recruiter’s new clothes. If you want to talk about how a partnership can improve your attraction, retention, on-boarding and selection of talent then drop me a line on

This article was written by Simon Brown, Founder of Digital 51 and someone who clearly struggles to share his opinions.