Embedded recruitment. The “cool kids” have been doing it for years. Klarna, Uber, IBM, WeWork, all outsource some of their talent strategy or hiring.
But, for more traditional companies or industries, embedded recruitment hasn’t been something they’ve really considered. With challenging skills requirements, intensive training, and high qualifications barriers, industries like engineering, manufacturing and science have traditionally relied on internal teams, bringing in outside help for one-off hires or short term projects.
Those are the markets we traditionally work in. We come in and help with critical or niche roles, either on a singular or multiple role basis. And traditionally, these companies haven’t wanted or needed embedded recruitment in the past.
Embedded Recruitment Conversations Are Changing
Their approach has changed in the last year to eighteen months. More and more specialised companies need long-term assistance or trained recruiters to be immersed in their business. Or they want help with their recruitment strategies, backfilling plans, or internal mobility.
As of April 2022, there were 1.3m vacancies in the UK, a 91% increase on the same period in 2021.
These vacancies are across every level in every industry. However, from discussions we’ve been having, it’s clear that skilled industries like STEM are having a particularly difficult time. Even if they have internal teams, they’re often struggling to keep on top of hiring, alongside all their other tasks.
And internal teams have more and more pressure on resources every year:
The pandemic, the cost of living, conflicts, and many other upheavals have created economic uncertainty around the world. Very few industries are immune to the changes.
So teams have to do more with less. Companies are wary of hiring large recruitment teams when they don’t know what their hiring levels will need to be in a year or even a few months.
However, companies still need to hire. Attrition is currently sitting at an elevated level — Gartner says that US voluntary attrition is due to jump by 20% in 2022 – “An individual organization with a turnover rate of 20% before the pandemic could face a turnover rate as high as 24% in 2022 and the years to come.” — meaning even just to stay at current employee levels, many business need to have a steady stream of candidates they can pull on.
Rather than hire large teams in a background of uncertainty, STEM companies are bringing in embedded recruiters to fill their internal gaps.
Recruiters Are Thin on The Ground
Recruiting recruiters is difficult right now. We recently hired for 7 new talent partners, and it was one of the toughest hiring projects we’ve ever done. There are plenty of recruiters available, but experienced, skilled recruiters are in high demand and are difficult to find.
And, because they’re in demand, recruiters are currently looking for high salaries. Hiring a new recruiter will likely cost a lot more than your existing team. That could cause unrest within the team if you don’t raise their salaries to meet new hires. Or it could mean you have to raise everyone’s salaries and up your recruitment budget, long-term.
In fact, 40% of the Search roles we placed in the last 12 months were undertaken because companies just didn’t have the enough in-house recruiters to work on them. Companies are currently looking for 27,000+ “recruiter” jobs on LinkedIn in the UK alone. (June 2022)
For smaller teams, finding great recruiters is a huge task. It involves hours of searching online, building pipelines, and scrutinising CVS. While competing with the tens of thousands of other companies looking for recruiters. Additionally, if a business doesn’t currently have an internal team, building one from the ground up is really tough.
It’s a chicken and an egg situation.
So, organisations are bringing in embedded partners to either build their team from scratch, or to fill in the gaps caused by the current recruiter shortage. This leaves their current function to work on hiring for other roles, focusing on internal mobility, planning ahead, and forecasting.
Diversity is Becoming More of a Focus
DE&I. We’ve all been talking about it for years, but in some industries, it’s harder to attract diverse talent. In manufacturing, fewer than one third of employees are female. In engineering, it’s even lower, where just 12% of the engineering workforce are women.
While better, the stats are still low for ethnicity. Black and Asian engineering students were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their White counterparts, six months after graduation,
In many industries, companies attempt to bridge the skills gap by opening up their recruitment pool to overseas workers, using remote working to assist. But in STEM, the business often requires workers present at a factory, office, or lab. Ruling out remote working and making diversity harder, especially in majority-white countries.
Candidate Expectations Are Changing
Six months ago, we’d have said it was a candidates’ market. Six months before that, it was an employers’ market. And so on. It’s constantly evolving. One thing is true though; prospective employees want prospective employers to treat them differently now.
It’s no longer acceptable to have poor candidate engagement. And it’s increasingly common for people to drop out at every step of the process.
Which means talent professionals need to spend much more of their time engaging candidates, especially when it comes to top talent. When there are multiple stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, this can take up a lot of time.
Additionally, the tech needed to keep on top of sourcing, scorecarding, and engaging a large pipeline of candidates can be expensive — putting it out of reach for some teams.
Enter Embedded Recruitment
All of these factors (and more) are coming together to make industries consider embedded recruitment when they never would have in the past.
Businesses need the ability to adapt their recruitment strategies fast and it’s not always easy to alter internal teams to do this. Even coming up with recruitment strategies to weather up and downturns can be difficult while current resources are taken up dealing with the day-to-day of talent management.
Not to mention the high costs related to the latest software required to compete with your peers for the best people.
Being able to call on external partners for specific amounts of time is invaluable. Being able to call on external resources who know your industry inside out and who bring tech, intelligence, and data to the table is even more important.
If you want to find out how your business can make use of an embedded talent partner like Solutions Driven, get in touch today. Our expert team are well-versed in every area of the hiring process and we can act as your internal talent resource or complement your existing team.