Why would you outsource business recruitment when you can do it yourself and not have to pay a fee?
Well, it’s a minefield and there can be drawbacks.
Recruiters still generally work on a ‘pay on delivery’ basis
Ludicrous as it may seem, recruitment is probably the only professional services provider that only gets paid on completing an assignment and not for the time invested in trying to complete the assignment.
They receive absolutely nothing for taking the time to meet with a client, taking a brief, sifting through potentially thousands of applications while sourcing and selecting other suitable candidates, interviewing candidates, negotiating offers and so on. There is no charge for a recruiter’s time. It is therefore little wonder that recruiters are extremely motivated to fill clients’ positions.
It is incredibly time-consuming
If recruitment companies charged for their services on an hourly rate (similar to accountants or solicitors) they would all be millionaires.
Bizarrely and in what might be a shock to some people, recruitment doesn’t work like Argos whereby clients select a candidate and the recruiter goes and plucks it off a shelf. Each assignment can take many days and might involve multiple people.
It is also very difficult
Anybody who says recruitment is easy is lying. The truth is that whilst you might not have to be the brains of Britain to do this job and there might not be any great barriers to entry, good recruiters have to be extremely disciplined, knowledgeable, resilient, savvy, hard-working, dedicated, determined and probably a little bit crazy.
There are more ups and downs in a recruiter’s week than there are on the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Make your life easy and let a recruiter crack on with it.
You can focus on your core business
Good recruiters spend all day every day finding specialised candidates in a particular area of expertise. That’s their job. Just as a residential developer builds houses, a pilot flies planes and a vet cares for animals.
Therefore if a company needed a member of staff why wouldn’t they contact somebody whose sole reason for working is to fulfil that need? To not use a recruiter would be like me trying to fix my pet dog’s broken leg with glue and wood or build my own house because I want to try and save a couple of quid.
Recruitment is a full-time job. Concentrate on what you’re good at and let the experts take care of it.
Access to the passive market
In candidate-driven markets, invariably the best talent is not floating around job boards waiting to apply for roles. Nor are they skipping into business’ offices begging for an opportunity. In fact many of the ‘premium’ candidates will be sitting happy in their roles, getting paid well, highly-valued by their employer and almost definitely not actively looking for a job.
But critically, recruiters know if those candidates would consider the right opportunity should it present itself. Businesses very rarely have access to this information and therefore miss out on an awful lot of talent if they choose not to engage a recruitment company.
If a business sets the expectations/administers a service level agreement (SLA) when engaging a recruitment company, they should enjoy a relatively stress-free experience, exempt from excessive administration, managing calls, negotiating salaries, arranging interviews, dealing with rejections, taking references and handling the thousands of calls received each day from candidates unsuitable for the roles available.
That’s worth a few quid of anybody’s money.
All of the above points rely heavily on engaging with the right recruitment companies. Much of the above can be negated by working with the wrong ones and I believe it is these bad experiences that have encouraged more businesses to try and recruit for themselves and in effect miss out on the benefits mentioned above.
Businesses should invest their time at the front end of the recruitment life cycle and ensure they are highly selective with the recruiters they work with and eliminate any that don’t make their lives easier.
Doing more work with fewer people tends to be the best policy.
Gary Melton is the director of Novo UK, a leading recruiter in construction