Is Outsourced Recruiting Right for you?


It has been an interesting handful of years for corporate recruiting. The recession of 2008 has had an anemic and hesitant recovery and the markets have been volatile. Economic strategists can’t seem to reach a consensus on whether we’re pulling out of, still in, or double dipping back into the “Great Recession.” With all this uncertainty in the market, organizations aren’t sure whether or not to hire and they aren’t sure whether to build up or tear down their recruitment capability.

Despite high unemployment rates for the past few years in North America, organizations are challenged to find the right candidates for their business. Even in this weaker job market, they are struggling to hire and retain skilled employees. With one in three North American employees now open to looking at new employment opportunities, there is an impetus on HR departments to be prepared to scale up their hiring capability. The traditional methods of disparate recruitment functions and outsourcing to multiple vendors, though still the norm, are leaving HR constantly struggling to deliver the desired results. As HR continues to make strides towards impacting business outcomes, they are increasingly being held accountable for their share of the bottom line.

Is outsourced recruiting right for you?

It can be tempting to believe that keeping your recruitment activities in-house is the safest option. You might feel that you will have more control; however, by maintaining the status quo in your recruitment practices, it may actually have the opposite effect and negatively affect your bottom line. I believe that taking advantage of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – in a questionable economic climate may be one way to keep your organization lean and efficient.

Some people dismiss RPO because they are not sure how it is different from what Contingent Staffing firms do or consider recruitment to be too important to outsource. Others, facing today’s economy, are simply consumed by reviewing their staffing plans and determining how their company is going to weather the economic storm.

Effective recruitment can enable greatness. Poorly executed recruitment will impede success at best and can devastate an organization through a trend of bad hiring. I believe that when HR leader take the time to objectively evaluate all potential options available to them, it will lead to the best recruitment strategy for their company.

Organizations turn to Recruitment Process Outsourcing for a variety of reasons. According to a recent Aberdeen RPO study,

“A lack of effective internal HR resources is the number one reason that companies turn to Managed Talent Acquisition.”

Besides keeping fixed staffing costs low, companies seek out RPO partnerships to improve accountability and transparency for crucial hiring metrics, and to control and predict overall cost per hire. As you contemplate options for your long-term, strategic approach to hiring, consider what you can get from a good Recruitment Process Outsourcing partnership. RPO can relieve you of the chores and headaches associated with recruitment, while providing a cost-per-hire pricing model backed by stringent service level agreements. As a third option to internal recruiters and high cost contingent staffing firms, a high performing RPO partner can positively impact your bottom line and your overall quality of hire.

Some of the questions you should aim to answer as you consider Recruitment Process Outsourcing:
  • Do you have an accurate measurement of your true cost per hire? Do you know what your industry and competitor’s true cost per hire is?
  • Are you using staffing agencies for more than 5% of your hiring? Has this become an acceptable use of your organization’s capital?
  • If your HR generalists are partnering with your hiring managers to recruit, what is the “opportunity cost” of their time spent recruiting versus Workforce Planning, Employee Relations or Leadership Coaching?
  • Assuming you have the technology and staff to manage your recruiting efforts internally, how is this team accountable for: the quality of candidates, the cost of their sourcing efforts and the time in which they are filling positions?
  • Do you track and manage the time to fill positions or the age of open requisitions? Do you track the impact that delayed starts in revenue generating positions have on your bottom line?
  • Are you confident that your candidates, new hires, hiring managers are treated professionally throughout the process?
  • Do your candidates know where they stand in the recruitment process? Do they experience the “Black Hole of Recruitment”?
Michael Palmer,VP Business Development, Accolo RPO

Mike is a recruitment effectiveness expert, leading the efforts to help his customers solve their hiring challenges. Prior to joining Accolo, he led his own consulting business, managed the Implementation PMO for Futurestep RPO, led the Government Solutions division of Adecco RPO and created Ceridian’s Talent Acquisition Practice, leading Ceridian’s Recruitment Services and Technology Solutions globally.


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