Solutions Driven

Does Recruitment Have a Flexibility Issue?

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Recently, our CEO, Gavin posted on LinkedIn about the practice of businesses laying off their Talent teams during downturns. The comments were filled with TA and C-suite professionals saying it was a bad practice, especially when these teams have so much transferable skills.  

But it’s still happening. Regularly.  

After all, when you’re not hiring, it seems pointless to operate a full team — and the damage it does to employer brands appears to be outweighed by the assumed positives of money saving.

The issue is that, currently, many TA leaders don’t have a choice. Stakeholders are pushing them to cut people costs and talent seems to be the area that makes most sense. The way recruitment is currently set up in most businesses doesn’t lend to flexibility, and recruitment solutions don’t help.  

The Landscape

We’re sure you don’t need us to remind you, but the last few years have been volatile. And no one has been on more of a rollercoaster ride than internal recruiters.

After all:

  • 2020 – internal teams were cut when the economy shut down overnight, and many recruiters were made redundant.
  • 2021 – you were in demand if you’d ever scanned a CV in this year of incredible growth. We called it “The Great Recruiter Shortage” – talent was thin on the ground and good recruiters were impossible to find.
  • 2022 started strong but looming recessions, global conflicts, and huge price rises meant businesses were cautious. Redundancies started in big tech and others soon followed.

The Recruitment Industry Hasn’t Kept Up  

Despite everything that’s changed in talent in the last three years, most recruitment companies haven’t changed. They’re trying to make a pre-2019 strategy fit a 2020’s world.

And it isn’t working for businesses anymore…

Traditional RPOs Aren’t Flexible

Traditional RPOs are known for long-term contracts where they fully embed themselves as part of your business.

Because they usually take over all or part of the hiring and people processes within a business over multiple years, they’re excellent at embodying the company brand and building strong relationships with itnernal teams. They set up robust processes and are trusted by the business.

However, there’s very little flexibility. Companies can’t quickly scale service levels up or down. If they’re locked into a long-term contract for six recruiters, what happens when growth slows down as it has many times recently?

Search Isn’t Scalable  

External search recruiters are great for specific roles. But that arrangement isn’t always scalable. If a recruiter is usually contracted to place niche or senior roles, it will be hard to pivot to filling roles with a lot of identical or similar roles (eg: sales or customer service) if growth demands it.

And given most fees hover around the 20-30% mark, that’s a lot of money for non-critical roles.

So, the internal team struggles to find part-time contractors or simply takes on too many recs — leaving them at breaking point.

This Causes Further Problems

Candidate Engagement

Currently, candidate engagement is one of the biggest focuses for talent professionals. Despite growing unrest in the job market, many are still finding it difficult to engage candidates.

Their priorities have changed. In a recent survey by Career Plug, 49% of job seekers had declined a job offer due to a bad encounter. While 81% of job seekers reported that poor candidate experience influenced their decision to accept the offer.  

But if your team is overstretched, candidates don’t always get a good experience. Communication delays leave them feeling abandoned and things are missed in the process that are important to them in making a decision.

Talent Branding is Affected

It’s much harder to contact every candidate when your team is overstretched and under-resourced. Especially if the candidate isn’t being taken forward.  

But people who have been “ghosted” don’t keep it to themselves. They tell their peers, and they post about it on social media, on Glassdoor, Google, and more.  

Which all affects your talent brand in your candidate pool.  

Your Team Become Dissatisfied  

Continually swapping between different recruitment companies for different needs can cause issues too.

Your team spends time developing relationships with new businesses, teaching them about your brand and engagement rules, and getting them to understand your market and ideal candidates.

Which all adds work to their already full plates, rather than reduces their workload.

Conversely, if you’re continually having to scale your internal team up and down to fill in the gaps, that creates uncertainty within your team – and being worried about the future is a big factor in employee turnover.

It’s Time for Recruitment to Catch Up  

“The only thing that’s certain right now is uncertainty” said Kate Terrell on a recent episode of The Talent Intelligence Podcast. Hiring ups and hiring downs will continue, and recruitment companies that don’t flex with this aren’t going to be fit for purpose.

Companies need trusted partners who they can rely on for a variety of different roles and who can scale up or down as needed.

You need “always on” recruitment:

The ability to search for niche or business critical hires when the internal team can handle day-to-day recruitment, or when hiring is slow. But also, to ramp up and get involved in longer-term projects like hiring at volume, or when the company is entering a new location.

Without continually briefing new recruiters of their requirements and internal processes.

At Solutions Driven, we build in-depth partnerships with businesses, giving them the specific recruitment services and support they need, when they need them.

It’s all underpinned by Hiring Enablement – a revolutionary recruitment approach that delivers 97% right first time hiring success.

It’s the hiring strategy we’ve honed over 25 years that our team uses to hire more efficiently and effectively. All while providing hiring teams with the resources, tools, technology, playbooks, and insights to improve their own hiring approaches.

To talk to our team about Search or Embedded recruitment, or how an always on solution can benefit you – get in touch today.

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