Recruiting Options: Which to Choose?

You have an open position but limited company resources to help you fill it.  What do you do?  What outside resources could you tap?  Here we take a look at several external options to consider, each with pluses and minuses.

Staffing Firms

Most companies and candidates are familiar with traditional staffing firms who are generally paid when they fill a position (known as a contingency search) or are retained with an initial deposit up front and final payment when the candidate accepts the offer.  Fees generally range from 20 -35% of the new hire’s first year annualized compensation and can include bonuses and other incentives in the calculation.  Good staffing firms already have a database of relevant candidates and can match client and candidate quickly with a high degree of skill match and culture fit precision.  This makes the high fee worth it.  You get who you need within a few days. Unfortunately, staffing firm quality can vary.  Some throw candidates at the client hoping one will stick.  When looking at staffing firms when you have a tight timeline, it’s important to check references to ensure the firm can act within your timeframe on the talent and culture fit you need.

Contract Recruiters

If you have a number of positions and can afford to hire a fulltime resource for a short stint, hiring a contract recruiter may be a good option.  Good contract recruiters generally want fulltime for 3-6 months and can be expensive.  They are hired on their own or through a temporary staffing firm and generally work onsite at the client company.  This is good in that hiring managers can walk down the hall anytime to talk with their recruiter.  It can be bad when the client doesn’t really have the space, computer, desire for the phone bill likely to occur or the need for fulltime.  We do place contract recruiters onsite at our client’s request when the next option, outsourced recruiting, doesn’t make sense or appeal to them.

Outsourced Recruiting (aka Recruitment Process Outsourcing)

Outsourced Recruiting is a fairly new type of relationship trending that has grown enough in popularity to have its own association and industry definition. The Recruitment Process Outsource Alliance, a group of the Human Resources Outsourcing Association (HROA), defines recruitment process outsourcing as “a form of business process outsourcing where an employer transfers all or part of its recruiting process to an external service provider.” This can take many forms and practices vary by vendor but generally this relationship allows the client organization to pick and choose where they want vendor assistance in the recruiting process.

What does outsourced recruiting look like?

I’ll just speak to what it looks like at Resourceful HR.  We charge by the hour to be an extension of our client’s recruitment function.  While you do have one point of contact, we work as a team on your position helping to sell your story and desired brand image across our collective networks. We tweet your news and events and actively share stories with our friends, colleagues and within your industry on how great you are. We choose together which pieces of the recruiting process should or could stay in-house versus Resourceful HR performing the function and we vet this per position.  For example, together we may decide that it makes the most sense for us to do the candidate sourcing and phone interviews while someone on the client’s team screens the resumes and does the references. 

Each position’s process can be tailored to fit the client’s budget and desired outcomes. We provide full transparency throughout the process of who we have contacted, what resumes have surfaced and how many hours we have spent. We provide a contact sheet that lets our clients make multiple hires from a single search. The only downside is that we may not have the ready-made database of candidates a staffing firm could offer, so filling a position within a week would be unusual. Time to hire varies depending upon the complexity of the position and how responsive the client company is to providing feedback.

Hopefully the above provides some context to help you decide which external resource may be right for you when faced with hiring.  What are your experiences with these options?  How do you make the decision that is best for your business?

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As a recruiter, I’m exposed to new opportunities and information on a daily basis. I thrive on learning about new industries, new technology, new positions—and then using what I’ve learned to help make a great candidate-company match.