Organizations want to get the best talent on board because that’s a competitive advantage hard to replicate by the competition. Do they ask the internal HR team to recruit or get the experts to hire for them?
Many leaders do not have a good visibility of their hiring needs broken down by the week, by the skill levels and criticality of the role to be hired. Secondly, every organization being a living being, keeps evolving and is different from another by the life-stage it is in. For example, the context of merger with another organization is very different from that of an organic plan of diversification. Speed of hiring, confidentiality of the hiring process and the approach of the top management towards talent acquisition determine if an internal team would do the job or external specialists are to be called in.
If the plans are clear and the organisation’s context is clear, it is easier to decide the next course of action.
Someone suggested, specialists can be in-house and the talent requirements be fulfilled by this team. This is like a restaurant growing its own crops to serve good food to its guests. Could this get any more unrealistic!
Candidates want an impartial view of the opportunity; they want to build relationships with recruiters who can suggest them multiple opportunities in future. It becomes tough to strike an honest and open-ended conversation when the recruiter is dedicated for just one company.
When the specialist of the infirmary of an organization recommends a certain course of treatment, the employee wants to take a second opinion unless it’s a minor ailment. Similarly the advice given by an in-house recruiter is taken with a pinch of salt by the prospective candidates. Real intent and drive of the prospective talent becomes very opaque for the employer organization.
Cost per hire is never easy to calculate because of multiple hidden costs. Line managers define the requirements, review CVs, hold interviews in multiple stages, in-house recruiters often co-ordinate between the candidates and the line managers, directly with the candidates throughout the recruiting process until the joining is done. All these costs are significant; the way to optimise these is to increase conversion of CV submissions to joining.
Normally in-house recruiters are judged against the interviews they organize. Nobody looks at the cost incurred in the process. The ideal situation is to get an external specialist to generate all possible options, screen candidates well and present the best choices. The metric of conversion ratio is useful for an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) assignment as well as for contingency hiring.
Arguments here favour outsourcing hiring. When do you build your own team of specialists in-house?
We cannot ask someone outside our organization to define our context and arrive at the required hiring needs. None other than the top managers can determine which role is critical for the company and which one is confidential. Just in case a company has a consulting partner for business strategy, the top deck plays an important role in defining what’s critical.
Secondly the in-house specialist needs to keep a watch over the machinery which runs the hiring process and delivers all moments of truth to the stakeholders in recruiting. Process Quality is critical for building a sustainable employer brand. Rome was not built overnight. So, the long term outcomes are to be architected in advance, the challenges on the way are to be tracked and overcome on an ongoing basis. The senior folks in talent acquisition have to play these elements of hiring strategy.
Sometimes organizations encounter exceptional demand-supply gaps. Long term views need to be taken about job design, compensation and employee attraction methods. Again, this is a case that needs to be owned up by the company and can be co-created with inputs from the hiring partners.
Leaders have to leverage specialists at the right time and generate the desired business results!
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