What is “value” when it comes to your recruitment strategy and how to get the most value out of your talent partner?
In its simplest terms, value is having a recruitment strategy that helps you achieve your overall business goals with regards to your talent.
Value is about expertise (from attraction, to onboarding, to finding niche skills), scalability (making sure you can scale if need be), and/or innovation (new ways of working, new ways of attracting talent, using technology).
To derive the most value from your talent partner, a supplier should be able to look at your organisation, identify where you currently stand and determine what you need to do next, to help elevate you to where you want to go with respect to your talent and strategic goals.
Personalisation is more important than ever
A one-size-fits-all approach will not work in today’s market. To add value, a talent partner must actively listen and design a recruitment strategy that addresses your individual needs.
It’s about figuring out what you don’t already have and working with you to come up with a plan that fixes your issues. For example, there’s no point offering you a social media campaign and calling it innovative if it doesn’t fix the problems you are facing as an organisation.
What a supplier can do is help you get from A to B and be clear about how it’s going to do that. Together you must work on a strategic plan, which will act as one of your measurables, with key milestones along the way. It is, in effect, an upfront agreement between both you and your talent partner about how you’re going to improve throughout the service. When you’re open to that kind of partnership, the value that a talent partner can add is enormous.
Additionally, no talent partner is going to be able to turn everything around immediately. Recognising that from the get-go always helps.
From your part, you must be transparent and open to change. Like any relationship this will take time, but once your talent partner has proven its expertise to you then it’s important to have a relationship based on honesty and trust. Because it’s only by knowing you that your supplier can challenge and question some of the things you do and give you advice where it sees room for improvement.
The fundamental question you must ask yourself is this: Are you ready to listen to your talent partner?
Obviously, you want to partner with a supplier who is sure they can do a good job and deliver. However, getting the most value from your supplier goes beyond that.
You need to have people in your organisation who understand what they are buying and why they are buying. The people involved in the selection process need to have experience of buying recruitment services.
You’ve got to get to the heart of how your relationship is going to work and to get some examples of those longevity partnerships and where that value is being created.
Partner with a supplier who can solve the actual problems you are facing and who helps you drive that change and value you are looking for because adding value is more than commercials.
How can your supplier prove itself to you?
First, it will have proven its understanding and expertise of the market you operate in.
Second, it will have given you examples of where it has improved time-to-hire and quality-of-hire in terms of the talent you’re looking for.
Third, everybody involved will have had an exquisite customer experience and their expectations will have been managed, from the candidates to the hiring managers. The right partner does not differentiate between candidates and clients, instead it focuses on ensuring superb customer interactions for all equally.
Do you know what you’re looking for in terms of value?
Understanding the functionality behind a managed service or an RPO is not the same as being able to define value. You might know something isn’t working, but you might not know why or how to fix it.
That’s why it helps to get really clear about what adding value means to your organisation.
Whether that involves using different technologies, changing some of your processes, improving your retention, increasing your talent pools and/or working with you so that they can represent you and your brand better in the marketplace, will depend on what your specific needs are. It’s about fixing the fundamentals of your recruitment strategy and not just about filling jobs.
A lot of what adding value comes down to is finding a talent partner that is prepared to put the work in to get to a point where they can help you understand some of the issues you’re currently facing before they become a significant problem. That could involve providing data insights about the niche skills you need to grow your business or helping you adapt your job specs to meet the long-term ambitions of your business by suggesting you hire, train, and develop less experienced individuals.
Adding value goes beyond price
There has been such a drive over the past 10-15 years to take cost out of the delivery part of a recruitment strategy that it has become increasingly challenging for suppliers to deliver the value clients want.
A recruitment strategy that adds value isn’t just about the upfront price you’re paying to get your jobs filled. A supplier might say it will do more for less, but at what cost? This is because price is a short-term fix, whereas value is a long-term fix.
How are you engaging your talent? How long do you engage your talent? How do you retain your talent? If you’re filling jobs and then losing that talent in six to 12 months because your supplier has not represented your business and that role accurately to them, where’s the value in that?
By working in partnership with your supplier, it can deliver more value over a longer term, that will deliver millions of pounds worth of saving, as opposed to delivering a few thousand pounds worth of saving by chipping a little bit off the price in the short term.
Although this approach can sometimes feel like sentiment as opposed to something tangible, building a relationship with a partner, who has a strong moral compass and ethics, should not be overlooked.
You know you’re on to a winner when the supplier you have partnered with keeps adding value. Your stakeholders may come and go but what you want is talent partner who is continually assessing where you are and where you want to be and works with you to achieve those strategic goals.
Doing things differently
In today’s candidate-led market more and more organisations are starting to realise they need external support and are even willing to talk to their competitors about what they are doing. These organisations understand that when they come together and are willing and able to co-operate between themselves, and with other suppliers, they can often find ways to unlock significant new sources of value that are of benefit to all.
By bringing together like-minded individuals from the same industry, with the same challenges, to discuss what they are doing, suppliers can add value by being the facilitators of these types of conversations. No one has all the answers, and yet there’s a growing desire to learn more and to share insights, perspectives and best practices.
Although this approach does require a paradigm shift from the way organisations have traditionally managed their recruitment strategies, closer relationships between suppliers and client organisations, in the shared pursuit of new value, encourages collaborative innovation which in turn can help organisations become more resilient in today’s continually evolving talent space.
- Be clear about what adding value means to your organisation and request solutions that address your individual needs
- Encourage honest communications with your recruitment partner where they can also give you feedback on how to improve your processes
- Remember that ‘value’ is beyond just “filling Jobs”, it is about improving your retention and increasing your talent pools too
- Value isn’t just about the upfront price you’re paying to get your jobs filled either. Where price is a short-term fix, value is long-term.
- Partner with a supplier who can solve the actual problems or even better, proactively understand issues you’re currently facing before they become a problem