A recent survey of UK hiring managers showed that most of them plan to ramp up recruitment this year – but 84% said they struggled with a lack of relevant talent. As someone who recruits for the tech and IT markets, which are among the most candidate led in the country, this didn’t surprise me.
On top of that, the process has become a lot more complicated over the years, with more stakeholders involved and the cost of a poor hire rocketing. The days of looking at CVs, calling in people for interviews and then hiring them are long gone!
Throw in Brexit, plus the Government's IR35 legislation and you see major challenges. And guess what? The number of hours in a day are still the same as they’ve always been.
Onsite and on hand
This is why Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Managed Service Providers (MSP) are becoming so popular. Let’s be clear – this is not outsourcing to someone who’ll be juggling other clients and projects. This is embedding someone into your business. Someone who is onsite and works solely for your benefit. Basically, they should be you in the external market.
But what are the key things to look for when outsourcing your recruitment?
Supplier vs Strategic Partner
The first question to ask yourself is this: Do I want them to be a supplier or a strategic partner?
There’s a big difference and it has a direct impact on how successful your business will be. A supplier will help you get access to talent. They’ll be onsite, ready to fill your recruitment needs, and get your headcount to where you want it to be. But that’s where their remit pretty much ends.
A partner, on the other hand, will help you gain a genuine competitive advantage in your market. They’ll make sure that what they provide is strategically aligned to what the people at the top of your company want. Remember, hiring isn’t just about getting talent through the door – it needs to be the right talent at the right time.
Whenever I go to meet a new client, the first thing I want to know is their top three strategic objectives. What are their overall business goals? The more I know about these, the easier it becomes to provide tailored advice and recruitment solutions.
Immediately, the conversation then becomes about me being a business enabler rather than a supplier.
Usain Bolt is the 100m and 200m world record holder. But if you had millions of pounds riding on it – would you back him to win a 400m race ahead of, say, Michael Johnson? (Just imagine for a second they were both competing in the same era!).
You wouldn’t. Just being a great sprinter wouldn't be enough against a specialist in that field. Likewise, why would you ask a recruitment company that doesn't specialise in your market, to deliver the talent you need?
Sending your jobs out to multiple agencies is what I call hedging your bets. It may land you a few decent wins, but you won't grow to the level you should. The only way this happens is when you work with recruiters who are best in-class for delivery within your sector. They can also help you with your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Years ago, someone would take a job at the age of 21 for a good salary, stay there for 40 years, pick up their Long Service Award, and then their pension. Not anymore!
Your recruitment partner should know your particular market from top to bottom, and have an in-depth understanding of candidates. That's how they add real value and show they're not just an extra seat in your building.
One of the biggest reasons businesses choose an RPO or MSP model, is to have 100% visibility of all recruitment activity. Believe me, this is music to the ears of every CEO in the country!
You sometimes hear of businesses making decisions based on gut instinct, or because somebody had a brainwave while at the pub. While there may be a time and place for gut decisions, the majority of strategic moves should be based on data.
Almost every CEO, CIO, or CFO I’ve met wants to hire talent that will help them deliver their objectives or priorities faster than their competitors. This gives them a quicker ROI, and as I mentioned earlier – a genuine competitive advantage.Your recruitment partner should be able to provide all the data you need, allowing you to make informed workforce decisions linked to your business objectives. You cannot underestimate how important this is. Quality data really does make a huge difference to your business.
Time is money – save both
The cost savings of outsourcing your recruitment are well-known. But equally important are the time savings. If you’re being honest, things like screening CVs, managing invoices, and checking compliance shouldn’t really sit with you. You should focus on your core areas.
Always look for a recruitment partner that has a dedicated back office team, which carries out all the administrative functions. This is especially important if you work with contractors – with legislation constantly changing, it’s important you tick all the relevant boxes.
Recruitment outsourcing is growing at three times the rate of traditional methods, which shows their effectiveness. And as with most things, the best results will always come when you opt for a partnership approach.
To find out more about the right recruitment solutions for your business, get in touch with me or learn more about our services via our website.