How Colliers EMEA Reduced Agency Spending with SmartRecruiters

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The Need for Cohesive Talent Management

At Colliers EMEA, each country is responsible for its own talent management. When the company began a search for a new ATS, some offices were more mature in their processes than others. There was no standard tool for tracking job applicants and no easy way to share knowledge and best practices across teams, which meant that both the candidate and recruiter experience varied widely.

“Talent management operated at a ‘base level’ around the world”, said Ben Handyside, Director of Talent Management for Colliers’ EMEA operation. Individual teams would collect and evaluate applications and resumes for individual positions, but they couldn’t track trends across these applications. Each country was unaware of deeper insights into the kinds of people applying and what experience those candidates had when interacting with the company.

“The business wanted to mature its view of its people in general, and to provide that support centrally,” Ben explained. Its people transformation plan included implementing a solution that could bring consistency to talent attraction and hiring across locations—and help Colliers fill the roles with employees who would contribute to its continued business growth.

About Colliers

  • Industry: Real estate
  • Region: EMEA
  • Employees: 18,000 (4,000 in EMEA)
  • Offices: 119
  • Hiring Model: Decentralized

Colliers is a global real estate services and investment management company founded in 1976. Its EMEA business covers 42 countries and employs over 4,000 people in 119 offices.

SmartRecruiters is easy to implement and it’s easy to use. We were able to deploy it across different countries, all of which were at different levels of maturity, and we were able to do it in a straightforward way.

– Ben Handyside,
Director of Talent Management, EMEA

Standardized Processes Enhance Brand Engagement

Colliers used SmartRecruiters to standardize hiring tools and processes, introducing a level of consistency across the region that the company had not seen before. They also used it to advertise and promote positions, building bespoke campaigns with unique landing pages to drive high-quality applications. Recruitment marketing was supported with Colliers’ development of employer branding materials and content.

“We’ve seen a massive uplift in candidates,” Ben said. “More people are aware of Colliers and understand the benefits of working for an enterprising, agile, and growth-oriented organization.” The increased brand engagement enabled the company to attract candidates that it might not have appealed to previously. That includes new talent from outside the company’s conventional circles, such as advisory houses, banks, and major entertainment businesses. The expansion of skillsets has led senior executives to think differently about who Colliers hires, how they hire, and what the company can do to nurture that talent once they turn into employees.

In the first six months of 2022, visits to Colliers’ EMEA careers page reached 90% of total visits for 2021.

SmartRecruiters Makes it Easy to Hire Key Positions

In a recruitment campaign for an EMEA Head of Finance, Colliers received over 300 applications. It held 11 interviews and settled on a stellar candidate. Compared to before, “it wasn’t a struggle at all,” Ben said.

Analytics Help Improve Performance and Drive Value

Managers use SmartRecruiters data to measure Colliers’ hiring performance. The analytics help Colliers evaluate its current talent acquisition operations and understand where and how it needs to improve. Ben’s team also uses the data from SmartRecruiters to educate leaders on Colliers’ recruitment performance and help them understand the ROI of the system.

So far, the ROI has been stellar. Agency spending has been significantly reduced, and the company achieved a direct hiring rate of more than 80%. As Colliers EMEA looks toward the evolution of its talent acquisition practices, Ben said, “we will continue to leverage the insight, skills and knowledge that SmartRecruiters provides us.”

Key Outcomes

By investing in SmartRecruiters and driving consistency across its talent acquisition function, Colliers EMEA achieved the following:

  • A consistent direct hiring rate of >80%
  • Agency-based sourcing to no more than 7% of hires for the year
  • 25% year-over-year increase in retention for first-year hires
  • Transitioned 88% of relevant personnel to use the SmartRecruiters technology

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About SmartRecruiters

As a global leader in enterprise recruitment software, SmartRecruiters offers a cloud-based global Talent Acquisition Suite that allows teams to attract, select, and hire the best talent. 4,000 companies worldwide rely on SmartRecruiters to achieve hiring success—including brands like Bosch, LinkedIn, Skechers, and Visa—using recruitment marketing, CRM, AI, ATS, and a marketplace of 600+ connected vendors all within one scalable platform.

True to its mission of connecting people to jobs at scale, SmartRecruiters was recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Employers in 2020. For more information, visit or follow @SmartRecruiters on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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