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Recruitment is a funny thing. It seems to be one of those business services to which there is little to no commitment from both a process and service provider perspective. If you think about that for a moment, it will become abundantly clear that that really doesn’t make sense.

There are two high-level value drivers for decision-making in recruiting – quality and price. These drivers alone, however, are seldom explored sufficiently before recruitment service decisions are made.

Consider your business. If you run a medium-sized business, you probably don’t employ a person whose sole responsibility is to identify and recruit new talent for your organisation. You likely employ a person whose role includes hiring. Still, that role is probably slanted toward administrative tasks such as processing job ad responses and arranging interviews rather than being a brand ambassador for your business as an employer and a professional face for your business in the talent market.

We’re talking about the difference between simply hiring and intentional recruiting (and its longer-term partner, Talent Acquisition).

In essence, you hire a person into a specific role for which the business has an immediate need when you select them to be interviewed and later make them an offer. Recruiting, however, is a longer-term process that includes making your brand recognisable and aspirational to the people you’d like to hire, engaging with them actively and passively, evaluating their fit with your business, and extending an offer. Hiring and recruiting generally take place in an organisation concurrently.

This is where the high-level value drivers of quality and price come into play. If your business hires more than 12-15 people or deals with roughly 20% staff turnover within a year, you would do well to explore if your talent aspirations and recruitee experience are aligned and if the price you are paying is yielding the quality you anticipated. The question still holds, even if you hire fewer people but use multiple ad hoc service providers without a consistent process.

Many businesses consider an in-house recruitment function as an excellent way not only to reduce their cost of hiring but also to gain the perceived benefits of being fully in control of the hiring process, executed by people with expertise in their type of business and its associated functions.

The costs involved with quality recruitment services are not insubstantial. Besides salaries and basic desk costs, you need to factor in the cost of professional training, systems, advertising, and company jobs boards, and you also need to factor in the cost of supplementing your in-house recruitment team with the services of an external recruitment team when the capacity of the in-house team is reached.

A Managed Recruitment Services offering, known to some as Recruitment Process Outsourcing, is an exclusive arrangement between a recruitment company and a client designed to offer your business access to quality specialist recruiters explicitly assigned to your business who partner with you and act as your eyes, ears – and heart – when it comes to identifying and attracting talent to your business. Backed by a sophisticated structure on the back end, Managed Recruitment Services effectively gives you access to significant expertise and resources, including ‘fractional ownership’ of top-notch systems, exposure to the vast reach of a number of professional networks, a considerably reduced administrative burden, and scalable recruiting capacity depending on your needs. All of this ensures an efficient, high-quality, and reliable recruitment process for your business, and an excellent experience for prospective employees.


But what about the cost?


The immediate assumption is that Managed Recruitment Services are expensive. We are all familiar with the concept of ‘champagne on a beer budget’.

Managed Recruitment Services is more like ‘champagne at the cost of a great bottle of table wine’.

Depending on how your service provider structures the arrangement, you will not only receive preferential rates due to the exclusive nature of the agreement between your business and the preferred service provider, but you will also have access to recruitment data and insights and talent branding services and advice. Managed Recruitment Services businesses often offer additional professional support, too, which you may choose to add to your menu of services. It gives you added value while you reduce costs.

Ultimately, your costs will be predictable and transparent, your services will be flexible and professional, and people already in the business will be freed up to focus on core business. The intersection of quality and price – of value and cost – makes this option worthy of consideration, particularly when times are tough. Managed Recruitment Services teams work with your in-house HR team rather than in competition with them.

It should never be all about the money. However, in-house recruiters inevitably get stretched and end up focussing on much more than just recruitment. They are pulled into administrative functions; they start supporting other areas within HR; they find themselves co-ordinating external recruiters brought in to help with capacity; they face the wrath of hiring managers who think they are not working fast enough, and they – quite correctly -are entitled to personal time off and their work stalls while they are away. With a Managed Recruitment Services offering, businesses are not exposed to these frustrations as it is the task of the service provider to protect their clients from such aggravations.

When a business environment is economically challenging, and skills are in short supply but in high demand, it becomes imperative to be front-footed when looking to acquire top talent. A Managed Recruitment Service arrangement will probably give you the best bang for your buck, so make sure you partner with a reputable talent partner, ensure that all parties know what is expected of them, and reap the benefits of top quality talent in your business.