Choosing the right professional partners is vital for business success, and in no area is this more important than recruitment. If you're paying for professional expertise to advertise, shortlist, interview or recommend new staff, you must make sure you're getting what you pay for.
A great partnership can provide enormous benefits to the HR team and the organisation overall. Here at Talent Propeller, we have been in the industry since 2002 and we like to think we've learnt a thing or two about what works, and what doesn't. Here are some of my handy hints if you are thinking about engaging help with recruitment and considering an outsource partner.
1. Industry and recruitment knowledge. Does your prospective Recruitment Business Partner (RBP) understand the nuances of finding and identifying the right candidate?
Recruitment is one of the few professional areas where there's no formal qualification, but plenty of experience, knowledge and best practice to abide by. Legal compliance aside, from how the advert is written, to how candidates apply and are screened, there is no 'one size fits all'. For example, recruiting a Truck Driver for your warehouse is quite different to recruiting a Copywriter for your marketing team. One person is likely to be in front of a computer most of the day, the other is harder to reach. One, by definition, has a great command of written English and will be happy to wax lyrical on an application form, the other, maybe not so much.
If your Recruitment Partner tells you that an ad on Seek and the same application form will net you the best candidate for both of these roles, it wont. Ask them for another idea.
2. “The Faceless Recruiter” Do you know the person who is doing your shortlisting? Are they building a strong relationship with you so they understand exactly what you are looking for?
As an employer, you have an ideal candidate in your mind. You know what you hope they'll bring to the team and how they'll fit in with co-workers. One of the downsides of big agencies is that the Account Manager who visits your site and handles your queries might be great, but not be the one actually shortlisting and interviewing for your role. We recommend you meet the person performing this vital task.
Making sure your Recruitment Partner is looking for what YOU need, not what THEY THINK you need is imperative.
3. Which media is actually delivering the candidates you need?
Many RPOs or recruitment agencies have contractual obligations with media, or will buy big discounted packs and then put all roles on that job board because they make a good margin. With Google and Facebook now holding 65% of global ad revenue, ignore newer digital targeting and media options at your peril. And no, we're not talking about just putting a post on LinkedIn or sending lots of emails.
Check that your Recruiter has their finger on the pulse of what media is actually working for your business and within your industry - and that they use it.
4. Smart process? Is your Recruitment Partner using smart technology to sort and communicate with candidates?
Absolutely, recruitment is a human function. I am personally not a fan of algorithms that scan resumes and only shortlist based on key words or preset criteria. Nor do I subscribe to the idea of crude screening questions as a way to 'weed out' candidates. Behind each application there is a person who has taken the time to approach you and candidate experience is important. There is no substitute for a human eyeball.
That said, time is money and there are some great technology options to help ensure you aren't wasting either.
5. Transparency: Do you actually know what your Recruitment Partner is doing on a daily basis? Can you see the people they have spoken to and what they have said? Do you have access to view the people who applied for your job?
A key issue with 'fee for hire' is that you'll possibly never know that 2 great candidates applied, because your Recruiter only presented you with the one they wanted you to hire. One of my favourite aspects of the Talent Propeller service is that it's fully transparent. You can log on and view all candidates for your job, along with your Recruitment Partner's commentary.
So, in summary, if you believe that in recruitment one size doesn’t fit all , you are looking for the best value for money with your RPO and you believe in the human element of hiring, choose a Recruitment Partner that shares your philosophy. Good luck!
Stephanie Richardson is the Head of Shortlisters NZ. "At Shortlisters when we say Recruitment Business Partner, we literally mean working alongside your business every day, operating on call to help with all your recruitment needs."