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How to Ensure Success when Outsourcing your Recruitment Function

Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Note: this article was first written by our colleagues at Solve HR, before Solve HR joined Law At Work in March 2020. We have imported this...

Money, Time and Quality. Like most things in Business, these are what Recruitment Process Outsourcing is all about. According to a 2009 report by the Aberdeen Group, Recruitment Process Outsourcing users; - cut cost-per-hire by an average of 48% - received an average increase of 67% in hiring manager satisfaction - achieved 60% reduction in time-to-hire - made a 55% improvement in their new-hire retention rate Outsourcing all or part of your Recruitment Function, when well executed, can be an excellent way not only of reducing costs, but also of enhancing efficiency and saving valuable business time. This allows your managers to get on with their '"day jobs'", and your in-house HR professionals to concentrate on strategic goals and delivery. Having a dedicated, experienced and effective Recruitment Partner who works for you and assumes ownership of the recruitment process and the responsibility of achieving results, can be especially important when you do not have the resources or internal skill sets to find that perfect candidate. Outsourcing therefore can do a lot to alleviate recruitment pains or shortfalls that your business may be experiencing. Contracted on either a short or long term basis, a Recruitment Partner who works for you and at the same time is close to the market, and has crucial industry knowledge and experience can really help in getting the right people in place in the most cost effective and time efficient way possible. Not only can they advise on the best recruitment options, such as advertising and attraction strategy they will also know market conditions, and they can also bring an objective eye to your Recruitment and Selection processes. They can often bring to the table advice on job description design, recruitment authorisation and reporting processes, competency and behavioural selection methods, as well as strong candidate management experience. However there are key things to remember to ensure that outsourcing your recruitment function is successful. You should be considering the following: How do I choose the best Recruitment Partner for the business? What can I do to ensure that the chosen Recruitment Partner really understands the business, recognises our business needs and how to achieve success from the agreement? How should I manage the relationship with the chosen Recruitment Partner on an on-going basis to ensure maximum benefits? Follow these important points to ensure that your chosen Recruitment Outsourcing relationship works for you. Choose your Recruitment Partner wisely Ask them; Do they have experience with other similar companies, industries and projects? Have you worked with them already on other projects or campaigns, where they have successfully delivered and demonstrated a strong understanding of your business? Do they have a strong technology base to support delivery? Do they have established processes that will work well for your business? Can they provide references for similar previous outsourced recruitment agreements? If you are able to tick a lot of these boxes, then a good approach is to agree a trial project for your chosen Recruitment Partner to manage. Like a first date, this will allow you both to get to know each other, to see if there is a spark and to decide if the relationship should go further. By agreeing for them to manage an initial campaign or a small part of your recruitment needs at first, you can see how successful they are likely to be in delivering results on a larger scale. Decide on the Scope of Service to be Outsourced When you have chosen your Recruitment Partner, and they have successfully delivered in their '"trial period,'" it is important to agree the on-going level of service required. You may need to transition your entire recruitment process, from job profiling right through to candidate on boarding. Or you may want support just at the initial advertising, screening and telephone interviewing stages. You may want to outsource only key, specialist, high-level or particular types of roles that you quite often find difficult to fill and do not have the resources to do so. On the other hand, you might not have the time to recruit for those high-volume campaigns and need a fast-paced recruiter to run these for you. Whatever the objective, make sure that what you need is discussed and explained fully to your new partner at the beginning. Get the Right Logistics in Place Agree the technology, reporting, infrastructure and overall methodologies to be used, based on what you need, perhaps what you have followed in the past with some improvements, and what your Recruitment Partner can deliver. Some questions to ask are, do you want the Recruitment Partner to assume the company's existing documentation, job descriptions, advertising, and interview templates and so on? Or is it best to start from scratch and to work with your new Recruitment Partner to develop new improved ones? A good Recruitment Outsourcing provider will be able to constructively criticise and diagnose, as well as offering excellent process improvements. Importantly, decide how the Recruitment Partner should act. A good approach for cohesion is to agree for them to become almost an extension to your existing HR team, as an internal Recruitment Manager, with an internal email, utilising the company name and branding. Agree the Metrics Know what success looks like to you and what you expect from your Recruitment Partner, and make sure that you communicate this at the beginning. The metrics agreed should be right for your company, linked to your overall resource and company growth plans, but still be realistic and achievable. You should still keep in mind challenges and problems, either internally or externally that you have faced before and may still be there awaiting your new Recruitment Partner. Engaging a Recruitment Partner will not immediately eradicate your business of these issues, and being upfront about these challenges is important - you do not want to set the new relationship up to fail, and a Recruitment outsourcing relationship should not be seen as a way to '"manage the mess for less.'" Quite often however, a good Recruitment Outsourcing professional can provide much-needed solutions. Some things to agree as measures of success can be - Time to Hire Cost to Hire Retention Rates of hired staff Quality of the candidate experience - you can measure this by asking newly hired employees to complete surveys on the overall process including timeframes, interviewing experience, and candidate response Talent management to show how hired staff develop and grow with the company Level of communication between you and your Recruitment Partner- How, when and how often? These set KPI's (key performance indicators), SLA's (Service Level Agreements), targets, whatever you label them, are crucial. However that's not to say that they should be set in stone. Regular communication and review with your Recruitment Partner is key, and you should not be averse to restructuring any agreed metrics if required. After all, the labour market is changeable, and a good Recruitment Partner will be able to advise how best to deal with these changes. Let your Recruitment Partner In Help your Recruitment Partner find out everything they need to know to understand your business so that they can promote the company in the right way and in the right places, manage the candidates' expectations and ultimately find the right person not just to meet the skills criteria for the role, but also culturally for your organisation. Some really effective ways to do this can be - Share the company's vision, mission statement, values and goals, organisation structure and key contact list Share with them the employee's lifecycle, training and induction, and company benefits. Let them know the history of your company, its purpose and how it evolved. Introduce them to key stakeholders in each department so they can see how the roles they are recruiting for work at an operational level. Work shadowing some employees can also help enhance this understanding Allow them to have access to talent management professionals in the company who can give them an insight in to the avenues for development and progression available- always a key selling point to potential candidates. The important element to tie this together for success is to make certain all the internal key stakeholders in your business buy into the arrangement. There is no point in doing all of the above if senior management do not or cannot see a benefit of doing so and therefore jeopardise the arrangement before it even starts or even the Managing Director delays payment every month as he/she cannot see the benefits and as a result the Outsourcer stops working due to lack of payment! Recruitment outsourcing can provide real benefits to busy HR teams, however, only if the relationship and supplier is right. Intelligent Office UK outsources their senior management recruitment to Solve. for more information on how this works please contact us. Solve. are experts in recruitment. We're here to give you advice and guidance on your recruitment strategy. Call our team now on 0844 567 6156 or email us at:

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