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Do I want to own or manage the recruiting process?

In my most recent blog post Debunking the Hunt for a Recruiter, I began breaking down the process by raising questions you should ask before you decide to hire a recruiter. We considered the first question: Why hire a recruiter in the first place? In this post, we’ll dig deeper into your role in the recruitment process.

Let’s assume my post was so compelling that it convinced you that you need a recruiter. Before you pick up the phone and call a slew of vendors, you need to decide how much control you want to exercise over the process. Every client wants to “own the result” but do you really need to be involved with all aspects of the process? There is no right or wrong answer and the response to the question can shift over time – what feels right today could change as your business grows.  The key is to remember that you are in a partnership with your recruiting team – whatever form it takes – and as is the case with any partnership, you choose and negotiate how much or how little you will be involved day-to-day. The relationship is dynamic, so you don’t necessarily need a detailed picture about how things will work. But, at first, it will help to think in terms of two familiar categories: owning vs. managing.

Do I want to own or manage the recruiting process?

Owning the process, means that you and your recruiting partner – which could be either a single contract recruiter or a recruiting outsourcing firm (RPO) – discuss and share every aspect of your recruiting effort – strategy, sourcing, screening, and closing. In this scenario, your vendor serves as an extension of your staff. He, she, or they may even work out of your office, using your tools, and attending weekly update sessions.

Why would you want to own the process?  If brand-building is a priority, ownership of the process may provide you comfort in knowing the team carrying your people “colors.”  Or you might be someone who wants to “own” the candidate relationships, especially if you are building out talent pools for your core business or a new program and want to leverage any relationships your recruiter builds.

Managing the process, on the other hand, could provide you with the coverage you need, especially if you aren’t interested in knowing how the sausage is made. Retained and contingent search firms shortlist candidates for you and don’t involve you in all the elements of the search – sourcing and prescreening especially.  At the end of the day, the vendor retains the relationship with the candidate and will provide updates and documents as requested by the client.

Thinking about these questions ahead of time will help you decide whether or not to hire a contract recruiter, an outsourced recruiting firm, a retained search firm, or a contingent recruiter. However, I’m betting you’re still confused.  That’s because we’ve only scratched the surface of this topic.  We have not addressed who to hire and at what cost.

Stay tuned. In my next post, we’ll talk about the specific differences between the various types of vendors as well as the fees involved.  Before you know it, you’ll be the savvy customer buying services from the right vendors at the right price point.

In the meantime, I can help you sort out these questions. Contrary to what you might think, TalentFront is not always the solution I suggest.  I offer anyone in my network a free recruiting consultation.  Having served on both the agency and client sides of the recruiting equation, I’ve developed strong relationships in all corners of the industry – contract recruiters/sourcers, RPOs, staffing agencies by specialty, and executive recruiters.  I’d love to put my contacts to work for you.

Sound interesting? Let’s talk!

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