The research, conducted by professional recommendation platform AnyGood?, found that 41% of respondents were worried about recruiters putting them forward for jobs that they weren’t interested in or suitable for. Other key concerns about using agencies included receiving insufficient feedback about their application (19%), the lack of direct contact with a potential employer (19%) and having the control taken out of their hands (12%).

This is troubling for businesses given that the Office of National Statistics recently revealed that the employment rate is at a record high of 75.4%, meaning that hiring activity is rife.

This combination of concerns resulted in an overwhelming 95% of those surveyed stating that they would be more likely to apply for a role if it was recommended to them by a peer rather than a recruiter.

According to Juliet Eccleston, Co-founder of AnyGood?, there needs to be a shakeup of the hiring process in order to alleviate the concerns of candidates and to provide HR teams with more efficient ways to access talent.

Eccleston comments, “Although many businesses use recruitment agencies to find talent, our survey shows that the professionals they seek don’t find this method particularly effective. The fact that so many of the respondents said they’d be more willing to consider a role if someone they knew suggested it to them than if a recruiter presented them with the details means that HR teams need to rethink their use of agencies.

“Our research indicates that having a recruiter acting as an intermediary creates additional problems for many jobseekers. It’s now time to turn the traditional method of recruiting on its head and use an approach that works better for talent pools and companies alike, increasing the chances of a successful hire. Today’s candidates are well-connected and digital networking has made it easier than ever before to keep in contact with our peers. In fact, our survey found that the majority of individuals – over 71% – connect with their professional network at least once a week. Businesses need to harness the power of these networks to not only create a process that truly works for candidates but also ensure that they are speaking to the right people at the right time. After all, nobody knows an individual’s suitability for a role better than the people who have worked with them before.”