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What can I do about it? Recruitment is not working as well as it used to. 

This is a simple question to ask and one we get asked a lot. The answer is slightly more complicated because there is no “one-size-fits-all”.  


For want of a better expression, it’s a melting pot of reasons why you’re finding it so difficult to get recruitment 100% right, from: 


  • A complete shift in the market whereby candidate is king 
  • Your recruitment process is inefficient 
  • There’s more competition in the marketplace for the same candidates  
  • Candidates today are motivated by different things 
  • You don’t have the internal skills to deal with increases in demand. 


Ultimately, you’re probably just not set up to deal with all the changes that have taken place, and continue to take place, in the recruitment market. You might be getting 80% of your recruitment right, but that 20% is letting you down and having an impact on your business outcomes.  


However, it’s not all doom and gloom. All you need is a proper recruitment policy and a process and a system that works. Something that can address your pain points, and where your metric should be solving the problems not just filling jobs.  


“What can I do about it?” 


The advantage of outsourcing your recruitment, or at least some parts of it, is that third-party providers are set up to be experts at fixing those problems.  


They have: 


  • Sector experience and expertise 
  • A brand presence in the market  
  • A database of candidates  
  • Experience in attracting quality candidates and talent pooling. 


A third-party provider can also offer skills in terms of job writing, candidate management, and being proactive by headhunting the people you want. That’s what they do. That’s what they’re good at.  


For example, as a renewable energy company you may be an expert at building wind turbines. But you’re not experts in recruitment. You might have a team who does recruitment, but that’s not necessarily the same thing. 


Finding a solution 


Perhaps you’ve gone from having an inhouse recruitment team, to getting frustrated and outsourcing everything, to getting frustrated and bringing recruitment back inhouse again.  


Over time, a cyclical pattern of trying to fix the problem in this way unfolds. 


But what if you could find a solution that sits somewhere in the middle?  


Perhaps you’ve got an inhouse team that is doing 80 per cent of everything right. You’ve simply got an issue with 20 per cent and it could be causing a bottleneck.  


Maybe there are only certain aspects of your recruitment process you need help with. 


It could be you’ve won a new contract or have a new project in a specific location, and you need to recruit 50 people quickly, but you can’t expand your current internal function to cope with the business demand.  


Or perhaps you’ve got certain skills in the business that you find difficult to hire. 


But what you don’t want is to change your entire model. And you certainly don’t want to outsource all your recruitment because most of what you do is working well.  


A modular approach  


It is possible to outsource aspects of your recruitment. Think of it like having modules, and you get to pick and choose which bits you want help with. People in the industry call it Project RPO. We call it RPO on Demand (RPOoD).  


Maybe you’ve never heard of it. Maybe you have. Most of the Talent Acquisition Heads, Richard Williams, Rullion Client Solutions Director, spoke to last year didn’t realise you could buy something like that.  


By modularising your RPO function you can, for instance, choose to give the sourcing / vetting and/or screening to a third-party provider. This then frees up your internal team to focus on what it excels at. 


If you’re suddenly trying to recruit another 50+ people and aren’t set up to be able to do it, you could ringfence those opportunities and outsource them to a single supplier who will market them in a way tailored to that specific audience.  


Plenty of organisations try to do it themselves and when they can’t, they give the vacancies to multiple agencies to fill.  


Now, in a market where skills are a shortage, agencies operating in that manner often charge at a premium rate because they don’t have any loyalty to you, and they can just as easily place that candidate with one of your competitors. That’s why working with a single supplier tends to be more beneficial and cost effective.  


In terms of the “war on talent”, talent has won 

It’s all about the candidate:  


  • Their experience 
  • Their journey 
  • Their career 
  • What they're looking for 
  • What they're motivated by. 


If you’re not thinking this way, and you want to find the best candidates out there, this is something you need to adapt to and change. Otherwise, that pool of candidates will go elsewhere, and you’ll resort to what so many other organisations have resorted to, and that’s lowering the bar of what you’re looking for. 


In some sectors there are plenty of candidates and plenty of demand, and so companies can do everything themselves and recruitment is working just fine. But when you get into specific industries and specific skill sets, where there is a shortage of candidates, that’s when you need to make sure you’re doing everything right otherwise you’ll quickly run into problems.  


You can find anybody to do anything, but will that candidate be there in six months’ time?  Is that candidate the right person or are you hiring again? Are they any good at what they do? And do you want to hire someone who isn’t very good at it? Probably not. 


Remember, retention and attrition are as equally important as a great hiring strategy and a strong brand position. There’s no point in continually recruiting new people because it’s expensive and time consuming, and the work doesn’t get done. 


So get it right the first time if you can. 


That’s the benefit of having a proper recruitment policy.  


Getting the work done 


For all the figures and stats about filling jobs, when all is said and done it’s about you getting work done. It’s about finding the right people.  


Stop thinking about reducing your "time to hire" or your "cost of hire", and instead think in terms of improving your "quality of hire". 


For example, if you hire 50 people and only 20 of them are any good, and then you hire another 30, and out of those only 10 are any good. That becomes a source of pain not to mention extremely costly. It’s not a solution.  


What you need is a process and a system that works. Something that can solve your problem, otherwise why would you buy it?  


And when you talk to a third-party provider, that should be your metric: solving the problem not just filling jobs.  



Is something in your hiring function not working the way it used to? Interested in exploring why that could be and what you can do about it? Fill out our contact form below and we’ll get back to you.