Options for CIPS in the recruitment market

We featured the news recently that CIPS and GPA had amicably parted company, marking the end of their recruitment joint venture. We don't have the full story, but part of it is we suspect around CIPS' increasingly international focus, whereas GPA were and are very much a UK firm.

So what might CIPS do next in this space? My guess is that CIPS are looking at four possibilities.

  1. Do nothing – it is not as if the market lacks decent recruitment firms, and Supply Management will still do good business from that market, particularly through its on-line jobs board.
  2. Look for a JV with another firm, perhaps one with a more international focus – that would seem a pretty straightforward option, although the recruitment industry is not particularly international in the 'middle ' levels. Firms like Adecco and Manpower are highly international but may not have quite the cachet CIPS would look for. At the top end, my guess is that head-hunting firms may not be attracted by the idea as they work very hard on their own brands.
  3. CIPS could set up an in-house recruitment arm – 'back to the future' as it were, as CIPS had a recruitment service prior to the JV. Unlikely I would think, given the cost, the need to find or develop expertise quickly, and the competitiveness of the market.
  4. Build relationships with a number of recruitment firms, perhaps different ones in different countries. There might be some sort of licensing agreement, with some financial return to CIPS in return for a 'seal of approval' from the Institute that the firms could use in their marketing and positioning.

The last sounds attractive; and in some countries the CIPS label would certainly be a marketing tool for a firm – less valuable perhaps in the UK, but in the developing world I could see it being very useful. But CIPS will have to be careful about reputational risk – a firm that proves dodgy, or even just not very good at doing recruitment, using the CIPS brand, won't do the Institute any favours. So I wouldn't rule out option 1 either. But as CIPS is in a pretty commercially aggressive mood at the moment, my money is on some variant of option 4.

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Voices (4)

  1. Barry Henniker:

    I concur with Pheonix – I struggled to understand the (apparant) exclusivity CIPS/GPA set up – I fail to see the logic of a professional corpus aligning itself with what is inevitably a single self serving organisation. Also it is dificult to devine whether this diretion of travel is mandated by Council or revenue generating senior management in CIPS.

  2. Phoenix:

    CIPS has never made any money out of the JV with GPA and in my opinion the termination was overdue. It sat awkwardly with the Supply Management on-line jobs site, from which CIPS also stood to gain through its profit-share agreement with Redactive. I don’t think recruitment is an area CIPS will be going back into in a hurry. It’s quite possible GPA will fare better with the freedom to determine its own destiny.

  3. Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2:

    Nice analysis, Peter! It will be interesting to see how it shakes out!

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