With thousands of recruitment firms clamouring for your business, how do you find and manage the most suitable?
One of the most irritating daily chores for HR professionals is fending off the advances of over-eager recruitment consultants desperate to foist their latest conscripts on to you.
Many of these CV-pushers get the swift brush-off they deserve. But the irony is that most organisations are increasingly turning to such external recruitment specialists to solve their recruitment woes.
In job markets such as IT and communications, it seems almost impossible to find staff without using an outside provider. Skills shortages and intense competition have put power into the hands of candidates, who prefer to use agencies to tout their talents to the highest bidder.
In other sectors, however, traditional methods, using in-house teams, could be equally successful and much less expensive. The importance of recruiting the right employees to achieve business success is well chronicled, and demonstrated by the fact that employers are still loath to outsource all of the search and selection function. This means HR has to manage a delicate balance between recruitment consultant use and in-house provision.
So how do you decide whether to turn to an agency to take on some of your recruitment? Also, there are thousands of recruitment companies, each providing apparently identical services, all keen to win your business – how do you know which is the right one for you?
The answer to both questions is it depends on the type of organisation and its needs, so, simple as it sounds, it is vital you know what those are before sending for outside help.
“The company has to ask why it is doing this in the first place,” says Neil Macmillan, managing director of HR consultancy Macmillan International. “It should not be doing it just because the whole world is doing it – only if it makes sense from an economic point of view or a results point of view. Unless you get that clear sense of purpose, the chances are that it will all end in a mess.”
Often the reason it is necessary to bring in a search and selection firm is that HR simply does not have the resources. The sudden requirement to hire 35 new call centre staff or