The Hidden Cost of Running your own recruitment campaign
There is often a resistance to working with a recruitment consultancy. After all, how hard can it be to find someone to fill a position? You simply place an advert / speak to friends in associated companies and industries, meet with some candidates that sound as though they can do the job and, voila, you have your new team member.
But what about the hidden costs of NOT working with a professional? It’s often easy to just look at recruitment as another source of spend, but it can actually be a cost saver.
The very top line is this – recruitment decisions are often made by senior individuals who’s main priority should be to develop the company, not wade through potentially irrelevant CV’s and meet with people who may be woefully mis-matched to the position on offer. If you’re the MD or sales director of a business and you spend 60 hours recruiting, when you could have spent that 60 hours doing your “real” job, then that has a cost involved. You’re not focused on business critical issues. A consultant’s time will always be cheaper than a senior member of the management teams within the organisation.
Recruitment is effectively a 3-stage activity. The first phase involves defining what you need and researching where that resource is going to come from. The second phase revolves around meeting people, talking and defining a shortlist. Finally, you’ll be actioning the shortlist, conducting further interviews, negotiating contracts and possible relocation issues and checking references. All of this takes time – a LOT of time – and if you’re a senior decision maker then this is time that is being allocated to a function other than the core business.
Recruitment professionals can take complete charge of the first two phases and present back to their client only the final shortlist, and offer help with the third phase. And, crucially, this shortlist will be based on face-to-face meetings and other in-depth research that means the final interview candidates (of which there is usually only 5 or 6) will have been vetted according to a set of strict criteria that are worked out with the client before the search has even begun to take place.
A typical recruitment campaign would start with us mapping the market. What does this mean? It means that we will work with a client to define exactly what they’re looking for (for instance, a biz dev director who has worked in that role for 10 years, they’re needed to sell services into devs and publishers). We take the job brief and then map where these people may come from. We look at companies within the location of our client who do a similar role, as well as companies from a wider geographical area if there’s scope to re-locate. We identify key companies who will have the potential candidates that we may want to speak to. This is then crosschecked with an existing database. We put together a “map” of all the key companies and potential candidates, complete with a synopsis of their work experience, position etc. There would have been an initial call made already to assess suitability and interest, and then we’d arrange to meet them face-to-face. The upshot of all this in-depth research work is that, when it comes to putting some CV’s in front of our clients, we know that they only need interview a handful of people. The 60+hours work that’s already been done to get to this stage has been taken on by us. We’ve saved them time and, in doing so, we’ve actually saved them money.
Recruitment consultants have a network, an existing database of candidates, so that makes it very cost effective and time efficient for us to look at the candidate market. Internal recruitment departments don’t have that network. Jobs are also, believe it or not, seasonal. Different times of the year throw up different positions. So, for instance, if there is a strong demand for business development directors at the moment then that means the people we contact, who may not have been suitable for one position, may be suitable for another. It’s another example of a time efficiency that can be a financial saving rather than a financial drain.
One final thought is that recruitment consultants can also ask the difficult questions that the potential employer may not be able to ask, and at a very early stage. Again, it’s a saving of time knowing that the shortlisted candidates are in the right ballpark and there’s going to be no surprises when the candidate is in front of the final selection panel.