Recruitment Outsourcing Strengthens Overall Value of HR

Ron LeVan, Director of Client Services

Advantage Human

While today’s weakened economy has increased the number of active jobseekers, recruiting is no less challenging now than in times of full employment. On the contrary, recession places additional demands on the Human Resources Department. The inundation of resumes from unqualified applicants only complicates and lengthens the hiring process, putting you in jeopardy of losing first-rate candidates. More importantly, your department’s expenses may be under the very watchful eye of upper management.

But believe it or not, there is a bright side: Tough times such as these present the opportunity to further enhance HR’s reputation as a strategic business partner.

Outsourcing your staffing function can resolve the challenge of time- and cost-effectively pinpointing top performers – both temporary and permanent – while also freeing you up to participate in high-level corporate priorities. Recruitment outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons, each of which is compelling in any economic environment.

1. Specialization
Your organization’s core competency is developing and/or delivering the products and services that it offers, just as recruitment is a staffing provider’s core competency. Leading vendors actively capitalize on this expertise, resulting in:
– Up-to-date mastery of sophisticated Internet search techniques, as well as traditional and “grass roots” sourcing methods;
– Insights into industry developments and salary trends;
– Streamlined internal processes; and
– Robust resume collection, sorting, tracking, and search capabilities.

This powerful combination of factors results in the identification of stellar candidates – even those that are seemingly elusive (or “passive”) – swiftly and efficiently.

A high-quality staffing firm will also use their in-depth knowledge in a proactive, consultative manner. In addition to sourcing and qualifying applicants and handling the related administrative details, some may help establish quality and productivity benchmarks, evaluate candidates in relation to organizational “fit” factors (as well as skills and motivation), continually refine procedures to reflect best practices and lessons learned, and measure and report both hard and soft dollar savings. It is these services that transform the vendor-client relationship into a true partnership.

2. Cost savings
Outsourcing to a staffing firm eliminates the fixed expense of a recruitment infrastructure, a benefit that is particularly appealing if your personnel requirements, like those of most employers, are variable. It is no longer necessary to train and compensate in-house recruiters and support staff and, more importantly, to deploy and maintain the requisite technology. The latter is especially advantageous when you consider how quickly systems and software become obsolete.

Candidate cycle time and cost-per-hire are also reduced by virtue of the vendor’s deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t. While perhaps less dramatic than the expenses cited above, these costs also have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line.

3. Redirected HR focus
Finding the “right” employees, while critical, is only one small item on the sizable HR “to do” list. As your firm’s success hinges upon its ability to hold onto these stars and help them flourish, you cannot afford to push retention and development activities to the back burner. Outsourcing recruitment will enable you to dedicate ample time to the planning, implementation, and support of these and other high-level pursuits.

It is important to note that recruitment outsourcing is not necessarily an “all or nothing” venture. While a skilled full-service provider can certainly administer your entire staffing function – from performing departmental needs assessments to orienting new hires and temporary workers to the organization – there are a variety of other options available, including:

  • Keeping your direct-hire process in-house while turning “ownership” of your contingent workforce over to a staffing partner;
  • Submitting temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct hire requests to the vendor only on an “as needed” basis (i.e., when internal staff is overloaded or their efforts have been unsuccessful); and/or
  • Utilizing a staffing firm to expand, support, or completely manage outreach programs such as college recruiting, job fairs, etc.

The importance of the staffing function cannot be overstated. A company’s performance, after all, can only be as strong as that of the people who work for it. Equally vital, however, are performance management, leadership development, succession planning, and a host of other strategic HR initiatives.

The operational nature of recruitment lends itself very well to an outsourcing situation. Partnering with a staffing firm allows you to capitalize on the vendor’s technology and expertise, reduce costs, meet fluctuating personnel demands while maintaining a steady headcount, and – last but certainly not least – leverage existing resources in a way that makes a very direct and meaningful contribution to organizational effectiveness.

Services provided by recruitment outsourcing vendors Strategic consultation:

  • Working closely with the employer to define present metrics and set future goals
  • Developing a customized recruitment strategy
  • Facilitating the transition from an in-house recruitment staff (or existing vendor)

Ongoing administration:

  • Determining job specifications/candidate requirements
  • Sourcing candidates
  • Tracking, managing, and reporting on candidate activity
  • Screening candidates via telephone and face-to-face interviews
  • Scheduling and coordinating the logistics of employer interviews
  • Conducting reference/background checks, arranging drug screenings, etc.
  • Extending/negotiating job offers
  • Preparing necessary “new hire” paperwork
  • Handling candidate correspondence (e.g., offer letters/welcome packages, declination letters, etc.)
  • Generating compliance reports

Benefits of recruitment outsourcing
Vendor Specialization

  • Traditional and high-tech sourcing expertise
  • Efficient candidate management capabilities

Cost savings

  • Office space, technology, equipment, supplies
  • Staff compensation and training
  • Decreased cost-per-hire and candidate cycle times

Redirected HR focus

  • Performance management, career development, and retention activities
  • Ability to accommodate high growth needs and special projects without adding to headcount