Recruiterbox, by Riia O'Donnell
When you’re looking to put workers in chairs, you might consider using a recruitment agency or service to get the job done. There are a variety of services available, but should you use them, and how do you get the most for your money?The cost of hiring can exceed $40,000 per employee. Some of that expense is in training and lost productivity, certainly. But a good portion of the cost is in the recruitment process itself: how much time HR staff and managers spend discussing the opening; advertising; hours spent screening; interviewing; re-interviewing; background checking; and more. HR departments frequently take these steps only to have to start the process all over again. If you have a dedicated recruiter on staff, you already have an idea of what the investment is annually. Have you amortized their salary/benefits/perks over the amount of hires per year? That’s just the tip of the iceberg in the cost to hire.So why use a recruitment agency? Especially for small organizations, where employees’ time is already stretched thin, recruiting in-house often doesn’t make for a wise investment of resources. If you don’t have a dedicated recruiter, you’re pulling precious work time away from other staff members, time that affects your bottom line. A recruitment agency to get the right candidates (not just a pool of applicants) may be the way to go when you want to get the most bang for your buck.
Before bringing on a recruitment agency, you should have an understanding of your hiring needs in order to know how to best use the agency’s services.InfrequentlyIf you hire infrequently – maybe once or twice a year – having a dedicated recruiter on staff is frivolous. An agency can get the right candidate in the door, screened and guaranteed. Your job will be minimal – set up meetings to see if they’re a good fit and make the hire. RegularlyMaybe you hire regularly – about once a month. You might have someone who does the majority of your recruiting, trained to screen and interview compliantly, but they may need help getting candidates (again, as opposed to applicants) in the door. CareerBuilder reports that you can easily receive 75 resumes for every job opening. That’s a lot of screening. Even if you only spend five minutes on each resume/cover letter (which is generous), you’ll spend over six hours reading them in the hopes of finding a good candidate.The same survey showed 78 percent of recruiters found that at least half the resumes were from unqualified applicants: That’s three hours wasted. A recruitment agency can help lighten the load when it comes to screening, so you can devote your focus to only on the most qualified candidates.FrequentlyOr let’s say you hire frequently: At any given time, you’re typically posting, interviewing, verifying, or filling a spot. You’ve got a lot of balls in the air at once, and it can be challenging juggling them all. Having an entire department to help would be great, but it’s not in the cards, nor the budget. A recruiting firm can be your HR department: They can take the bulk of the work off your hands and free you up to hire for quality, rather than quantity.NonstopYou hire en masse. You’re upsizing, have high turnover (if you ever get time, you might ask why), or are hiring to fill multiple or seasonal spots. You need help!One of my former employers hired 400 seasonal staff members every spring to ready for the summer rush. With a staff of six, it was a challenge to get enough bodies in the door. Some agencies are equipped to deal with this type of volume: They work with community agencies, foreign workers (and verify work visas for you), and other outreach programs to help with large staffing needs.
Agencies get paid to fill jobs, not book interviews. You’ll likely get fewer candidates, but each will be qualified. As a recruiter, and then as a recruitment agency branch manager, I got to know my clients well. They would not only tell me the skill set required, but over time I learned who would fit in well and who wouldn’t. While you don’t want to discriminate, you can certainly tell a recruiter about soft skills. A quiet department may not be looking for someone who’s easily excitable. Or, maybe you’ve had a lot of turnover because everyone is looking to move up in a year, so you want someone who would be satisfied with this work for the long term.I had one company with exactly that problem: They kept hiring every six months or so for the same spot. While I appreciated the commissions, I felt bad they had to keep rehiring. In talking with the hiring manager I offered a suggestion. Stop hiring new grads and look at a more seasoned worker (upping the salary a bit). You want someone who knows what they want to do all day and isn’t looking for a stepping stone or a bright spot on their resume. The result: a long term hire that cost me in commissions, but gained me a connection with the company. A good recruitment firm will do exactly that. They’re in it for the long haul. They want to establish a relationship with you and they’ll do what it takes to make it happen, even if there’s a short-term loss.
If a critical team member is taking a family or medical leave, of course you’re going to hire a temp to fill their spot – you have no choice. Consider using this as an opportunity to screen someone for another vacancy you might have within the company. If they’re a good worker, work well with the team, and are willing, you might even want to cross-train them during their temp stint to see if they’d be a good fit.Have a position that takes longer than the 30/60 day trial period to train? Temp to perm might be a good fit for you. It can take months to see if a candidate is the right fit for some openings. When you do temp to perm, you’ll have a longer trial period. And if they don’t work out, you don’t even have to fire them! Just call the agency and have them do the nasty part. They’ll send you a replacement, too.And if you decide they’re perfect? Some companies opt to buy out the contract – paying a fee to take the hire off the “temp” payroll and put on to theirs. Depending on how long the buyout period is, you might consider leaving them as temps for as long as possible. By keeping them as an agency employee you not only spread out the cost of the buyout, you extend the probationary period. As a bonus, after they go off the agency payroll and on to yours, you can initiate your own, regular probationary period. Talk about hedging your bets!
In addition to the recruitment help, all agencies offer guarantee periods. If the hire doesn’t work out, you don’t pay and they start the search over, not you. With some agencies you can negotiate on fees, with others guarantee periods; with some both. Never hurts to ask. Particularly if you hire volume through them, or you’re a new customer, definitely try to negotiate either or both. But whatever the guarantee period, using it strictly as a probationary period is critical. If they’re not working out, let the agency start the process over.If you look back at the turnover you’ve had, how much can be attributed to rushed hires, lack of screening, or settling just to fill that spot? When you use a recruiter you stop making those mistakes on your own, and start making them work in your favor.Your guarantee period is an opportunity to assure the new hire is the right hire. Set realistic goals for what the new hire should have learned/achieved/mastered within the warranty period. If they aren’t hitting those goals, it’s time to trade. It might take a few tries to get the right match, but you’ve done very little of the work to accomplish that feat: and, as a bonus, the agency learns more about your company. They’ll be better able to fill your next slot once they get a feel for your priorities and culture.
There are many types of agencies out there, with varied fee and warranty structures. Here are the three main types you’ll see:RetainedYou’ll pay upfront and typically give them exclusive rights to fill the spot. These are rare and are generally for high-level or very difficult to fill spots.Cost: On average 10 percent of annual salary to start recruiting, another 10-15 percent or more after hire Guarantee: About six months to one yearContingencyThese agencies send in candidates and take a percentage of the annual salary after the new hire has satisfied the guarantee period. Cost: Typically 15-25 percent of the annual salary Guarantee: Generally 60 daysTemporary or Temp to PermThese agencies send in temporary workers who can come and go, or, if you find they’re a good fit, can transfer to your payroll. Their contract can be bought out for a fee, or after a length of time you can have them for free. There’s typically a sliding scale on the buyout: The sooner you take them off the agency payroll and onto yours, the higher the cost.Cost: 20 to 50 percent of the hourly wage Buyout: Generally after 90 to 120 days
If you’re still not convinced on why using a recruitment agency may be the right move, the decision to do so can bring some added benefits that may be difficult to quantify immediately, but are nevertheless very real. For example: Unless you’re Google or Apple, you probably don’t have thousands of qualified candidates lining up to work for you. But a recruiter will “sell” your company to a candidate as strongly as they’ll sell the candidate to you.Let’s say you’ve finally decided to hire a developer, but your HR staff knows very little about coding. Recruiters who specialize in a certain market can help you come up with fair compensation packages, let you know what you can realistically expect from the marketplace, and, probably most important, introduce you to candidates in their applicant pool who are exactly the right fit.Using a recruitment agency can be helpful from an accounting standpoint, too. Agency fees are business expenses – which can help your bottom line. As reported by Bersin by Deloitte, the average cost to fill an open position is almost $4,000. But agency fees are a legitimate business expense that can offset a portion of that cost.According to LinkedIn, only 12 percent of the workforce is actively looking for jobs, but 85 percent is open to hearing about new opportunities. Agency recruiters won’t just wait for a quality candidate to walk in their door – they’ll troll your competitors and the marketplace for people in similar positions, to see if anyone is interested in looking. Because they live and breathe recruiting, agency recruiters have the time to identify and reach out to passive candidates in a way that’s probably just not possible for your team. Recruitment agencies can turn a month-long search into one that lasts just a few days. Knowing when and how to use them effectively can not only reduce the stress of recruiting, it can help you guarantee a long-term hire.
By Melissa Blazejak, Editor RecruitingIn a candidate-driven market, jobseekers rule the hiring process and if yours is taking too long, top talent will turn to the competition to get employed faster. John Sullivan—PhD and Professor of Management at San Francisco State University—recently discussed why a speedy hiring process is so important for recruiting high-quality candidates. At the May 2019 RecruitCon event in Austin, Texas, Sullivan gave a lively presentation that focused on improving your hiring process. We’re covering some key takeaways from his session, below.
In order to improve your hiring process, you must first understand why speediness is so important. As businesses continue to grow and change with the times, they’re now seeking skilled talent to help them advance forward. However, that talent is hard to come by. Sullivan reports that the demand for talent has increased, while the supply of actual skilled talent has decreased. In fact, for some “future critical” jobs the demand is insane, Sullivan says, especially in areas like machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum computing. When you combine that with the fact that most skilled talent is currently employed, it makes the hiring landscape even harder. Sullivan adds that when currently employed candidates are seeking out newer opportunities, if they’re hit with a slow hiring process, they will choose to stay with their current employer.
In addition to helping to ensure candidates won’t drop out of your hiring process, when your company has a faster hiring process, you’re also increasing the likelihood of hiring more high-quality candidates. Sullivan offered six key reasons for why you’ll improve the quality of hire with a speedy hiring process:
So now that you understand why a speedy hiring process is so important, it’s time to convince your company’s decision-makers to improve the hiring process. Some RecruitCon attendees raised a valid concern, saying they are just low-level recruiters and it’s not up to them on how fast they hire. Sullivan offered this tip to attendees: Show them the money! By that he means, show your organization’s decision-makers how much it’s costing your company to leave that position unfilled. Show your hiring managers the turnover cost of that position every time an employee leaves it. By showing how much money is going down the drain, your executives and hiring managers should realize that “time to fill” is now just as critical as the quality of hire. Sullivan also offered these three reasons why a slow hiring process is bad for business, to drive this point further home:
Not only will a slow hiring process be costly for the business, but it can also hurt recruiter morale. Sullivan says that recruiter frustration may result in weaker hires, as slow hiring may impact recruiter energy, effectiveness, and even turnover. According to Sullivan, the morale of recruiters increases with fast position closures. In order to increase recruiter morale and find top talent, you must improve the speed of your hiring process today. In part two of this article, we’ll cover a few tips Sullivan provided to attendees to help speed up the hiring process.
Partner or vendor – In the realm of business-to-business relationships, we hear the two terms used interchangeably as if they are synonymous. The truth is that these concepts actually stand for two very different types of service levels. So what really differentiates a partner from a vendor?
1. Vendors Sell You The Dream, Partners Understand Your Reality
We all know what the perfect scenario looks like: a seamlessly-developed product is purchased and deployed, it works from Day 1, and everyone starts using it 100% of the time.
Vendors sell you this operational utopia – partners understand the critical, far less flashy foundation that must be laid to ensure long-term success. In a healthy partnership, your specific needs and challenges become part of the strategy, giving you transparency during each stage of the process.
2. Vendors Push Products, Partners Solve Problems
Do you ever feel like your solutions suddenly turn into costly upgrades during each step of development? That’s when you know you are working with a vendor and not a partner.
Partners work to accommodate trends, yes. But they’re equally focused on proactively predicting how your needs - and their product - will need to evolve as the industry shifts. They understand that customer feedback, both positive and negative, is critical for building a solution that will grow with a business and it’s ever-changing needs.
3. Vendors Customize Their Product, Partners Customize Your Workflow
Customization has become a buzzword for vendors – they use it as a sales booster to make you feel like you are getting a bespoke solution. But in theory, you’re looking outside your business to find an expert, not a yes-man – right?
Your current methods aren’t as efficient as you’d like them to be, and vendors know exactly how to spin that into a sale by offering extensive customizations and promoting their solution as “flexible.” But just because a product can do something, doesn’t mean it should. A partner will be invested in helping you grow the right way, while a vendor will knock on your door with another custom pitch once they smell smoke.
4. Vendors Are Driven By The Deal, Partners Are Driven By The Relationship
Vendors are master deal brokers driven by short-term goals. A partnership is a relationship that leads to lasting growth and development.
Partners offer open conversation, disagreement, and, most importantly, their time. They’re comfortable with a little bit of friction because they know it’s often necessary to pinpoint problems and transform them into opportunities. A partner will work actively to do more than just check boxes.
5. Vendors Tapdance Around Their Failures, Partners Learn From Them
Vendors, by nature, fear accountability – they don’t want to take ownership of their mistakes and would rather just move on to new opportunities rather than spend the time and money to make things right.
Partners will not only claim their mistakes, but try to learn as much from them as possible. They won’t sweep oversights under the rug in hopes of hiding them from you or deny a mistake was even made in the first place.
( https://www.bullhorn.com/talentrover/ , 2018)