The managing director of one recruitment agency told Cayman 27 she’s concerned by this remark from Premier Alden McLaughlin last week:
“We will also look again at the role of employment agencies, and their negative impact on the employment of Caymanians,” said Mr. McLaughlin Thursday (01 February) at the Fidelity CEO conference.
Milly Serpell of Stepping Stones was in attendance. She said when he said it, she was taken aback.
She told Cayman 27 over the last 5 to 10 years there’s been a shift, and now, she said nearly half of her firm’s placements for temporary and permanent positions are secured by Caymanians.
“Sometimes people may look at agencies and think we just, we import people and talent, but I would really like to confirm that that is not the case,” said Ms. Serpell.
Ms. Serpell is challenging the perception that recruitment agencies like hers are bad for Caymanian employment, and she told Cayman 27 the numbers back it up.
“Last year we had 57 Caymanians secure a permanent employment through Stepping Stones, and that represents 49%,” said Ms. Serpell. “Nearly half of our permanent jobs were offered and secured by Caymanians.”
For temporary support staff positions the figures are similar: 48% Caymanian placements in 2017, up from just 19% in 2012. She attributes that to changing trends.
“What I have seen in the last five, 10, probably 12 years is a significant shift,” she explained. “Caymanians now see employment agencies as a viable path way, or stepping stone, to securing temporary or permanent employment.”
Ms. Serpell told Cayman 27 her prospective clients, the companies looking to hire employees, generally tend to engage recruiters for senior-level positions.
“They are not going to pay recruitment fees for school levers, junior staff, unskilled staff,” she said.
And while she recognises she can’t help everybody, she told Cayman 27 her firm’s impact on Caymanian employment is certainly positive.
“The statistics I shared with you today say that we are very successful, but on the back-end of that, the work that we do with the chamber and the schools and the [employment] fairs and CIFEC and the young parents are social obligations that we take very seriously,” said Ms. Serpell.
Ms. Serpell said she has been contacted by staffers from the ministry of HR and Immigration. She indicated she would welcome a dialogue with government with regards to future policy changes.