Owning Recruiting: Outsourced Recruiting Partners

This is the final installment in our series on working with recruiting partners. In my previous post, we discussed options if a client wants to “manage” recruiting.  These options include executive, contingent, and staffing firms.  As discussed, each plays a unique role in talent
acquisition and it is not uncommon to have all three operating at once in a firm.  The same is true if you seek to “own” the recruiting process.  In today’s all-digital recruiting marketplace, no company can afford to have a single-threaded approach to candidate acquisition – there are just too many variables at play for a leader to place all of their eggs in one basket.

This post covers options organizations have that want to “own” the recruiting process. In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last – not because outsourced recruiting is the only answer as noted above, but because working as your corporate recruiting partner is the part TalentFront plays in the world of talent acquisition.

What are my outsourced recruiting options?

If I paint the landscape with a very broad brush, your options include a recruitment process outsourcing firm (RPO) or a contract recruiter or team of contract recruiters.  But there is a vast gulf between these two options.  Your decision to go with a firm versus an individual will be driven largely by two factors:

  • The size and scope of the talent challenge you are facing. If you have hundreds of roles to fill in a relatively short time frame – 90 days – then you will need a large talent acquisition team to support this work. If you have only a few roles to fill, you might be able to squeak by with a contract recruiter.
  • Who’s minding the store? If your talent acquisition efforts are to be managed by a recruiting manager, one or more contract recruiters might be a good answer for you. This individual will then compile details and prepare reports on how the effort is going.  However, if there is not an acquisition-focused liaison, you may want to consider an RPO, which will manage the process and the reporting/updates coming out of the operation.

Both options underscore the importance of having a ringleader on your side – either a human resources professional or talent acquisition leader who oversees the activities of these options.  Someone must be a designated point of contact in order to ensure that information about recruiting is collected/reviewed and that candidates are assessed in a timely fashion.  The lack of a “bird dog” can lead to excessive delays, more fees, and worse yet, the loss of great candidates.

How do these resources work?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing – Many very large companies hire other large companies to oversee their recruiting.  Some of the largest players in the space include Allegis, Ponton, Kelly, Randstad, Futurestep.  These companies provide a turnkey service that allows a client to consolidate their recruiting operations under one roof, deliver a consistent, high-quality process, and often drive down costs. In addition to designing, providing, and maintaining talent acquisition support such as strategy, sourcing, screening, and closing, RPOs often provide an applicant tracking system (ATS) and vendor management platform (VMS).  The ATS allows the RPO to track candidates within their own systems and the VMS allows them to manage the many external vendors that are used to provide contractors used by the client.  They will also provide access to job boards like Dice, Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn as a part of the contract.  Costs for this service are generally driven by the number of people being hired as well as the additional services you might seek as a part of the contract. Fees include a start-up fee and then a monthly retainer typical of a consulting firm.  Like all contracts, the devil is in the details and the relationship can be made or broken on the basis of the rapport you will establish with the overall program manager.

Contract Recruiter – Many small companies find themselves in a situation where they have a few roles to fill and with no one on the team to support the work.  A good option for these firms is a contract recruiter, an individual with a recruiting background who works on an hourly basis. Typically, the recruiter serves as an extension of your staff like any other contractor.  Rates range anywhere from $30-$200, with rates dependent on the services provided.  Sometimes these individuals will come with access to an ATS, but more often, they will use yours or may even manage recruiting in a spreadsheet or via mail folders.  Rarely, will these individuals have access to job boards or LinkedIn, which means that the recruiter will be sourcing from your network, database, and using organic search techniques to find individuals for you.  In some cases, you may need to pay for access to some of the most important job boards.

Where does TalentFront fit in? 

TalentFront is an outsourced recruiting firm.  We oversee recruiting for our clients whether the company has 3 roles or 25 and our pricing reflects that.  We provide access to our ATS and our job boards, LinkedIn as a part of our fee.

Our Process – When we take on a client, we rigorously seek to understand the client’s organization chart, competitive posture, growth plans, and other needs.  Together with the client’s hiring managers we craft a recruiting strategy for every role we support, which includes sample proxies of candidates we think could be a fit for the role, as well as the screening tools we will use.  Additionally, we set up a project plan that allows a client to follow our progress, however, if that is going to involve too much effort, we prepare a weekly summary of progress.

Our Approach – We leverage a client’s network first before taking on outreach. Why? Because cold outreach is the most costly of options available to a company as well as the most time-consuming.  Plus, everyone knows that referrals are the best hires.  However, for some clients, small businesses for example, their networks are only fledgling – the entire idea of building out profiles for certain jobs and keeping track of candidates over time is new to them and frankly, exhausting.  No worries!  In this case outreach is the only option. Again, we’ll be your guide and support as you make friends many of whom can turn into candidates down the road or even lead to new business.

If you find yourself lost “in the weeds” when it comes to hiring new staff and recruiting amazing talent, TalentFront might be just the recruiting partner you need to guide you through to fertile ground. Even if you aren’t sure that an RPO is the right fit for your talent acquisition needs, I would be happy to chat with you. The first step to figuring out how to solve your hiring headaches is to sit down with an experienced recruiter who can breakdown the process in plain terms. I’m happy to set up a recruiting consultation to help you decide what will work best for you and your organization’s needs. I understand how important having the right support is to building your team and making it successful.

Contact me and let me know how I can help! And don’t forget to stay informed about all the latest recruiting news by following me on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.


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