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McKinsey created the term “War for Talent” in 1999; recent reports show that the “war” is now in full flow.
What does a company do when they need to source the best talent in a short period of time without spending too much money in the recruitment process? Do they set up an in-house Talent Acquisition team or use a Recruitment Consultant?
Let us look at the difference between them?
- Recruitment consultants are responsible for attracting candidates and matching them to temporary or permanent positions in client companies. They work with these client companies, building relationships in order to gain a better understanding of their recruitment needs and requirements. They usually have a large database of people who might be possible candidates for any role they are asked to fill. They are especially important when a client needs to fill a role where the current incumbent is being replaced but does not know it yet.
- In-house Talent acquisition teams are executing a firm’s long-term strategy to identify and address manpower business goals. When used in the context of the recruiting and HR profession, talent acquisition usually refers to the Talent Acquisition Department or team within the Human Resources department. They are often tasked with hiring people directly (i.e. not through an agency).
Social media are growing fast. LinkedIn currently it has 433 million members in more than 200 countries, and it offers an important route for sourcing the best talent. For this reason, direct hire using Linked In has become popular in some companies as it keeps the recruitment costs down. But while client and candidate expectations change in line with technology, there remains a core need for recruitment consultants to find talent for companies, and to help that talent become hireable.
Recruiting the wrong people can have a massive impact on a company, and on the candidate. Typical costs of getting a wrong hire are about twice the candidate’s total employment costs. Many companies do not do this calculation. Using the expertise of a recruitment agency/consultant can give company’s access to a wider pool of good quality, high-performing candidates and thus reduce the risk of getting it wrong. An agency can source potential candidates who are not actively seeking a new role. Consultants often have a much further reach than in-house teams, due to a greater range of recruitment tools, which can allow them to identify and acquire the best people, rather than just those who are actively seeking work.
The better agencies will also select candidates for their clients thus saving them a great deal of effort and hassle and speeds up the process. Using their specialist industry knowledge, they can source candidates from places not available to Talent Teams.
The specialist expertise in the better recruitment consultants is in matching individuals to companies and vacancies as well as getting the 'best fit' all round. Consultants know both the company and the industry well and can provide faster, simpler and better advice on who to select.
Knowledge of the market
The high-performing recruitment consultant is able to give the hiring team insight in what is happening. If competing businesses are struggling to find the same talent as you, the consultant will be able to advise on alternative solutions and to give better insight into the market.
As a consultant, I always share the market news with clients; it comes from our close candidates and our own research. Examples are how their competitor’s company is structured, if their salary is meeting the market range and how candidates feel about their company. Both should act as partners and collaborators as well as being the clients’ eyes and ears in the market. In some cases the consultant will be able to advise on the “Employer Brand” that is the way the candidates in the market perceive their company.
Some big companies may spend a lot of time and money in developing and marketing their employer brand, but not all have the same resources. In this case, a recruitment consultant can give potential candidates a real insight into a company. They can cover what it's like to work there, benefits, career openings available, and company culture. They can sell your company for you to the best candidates and increase your chances of hiring those elusive high performers. A consultant can objectively answer questions like:
“What specific messages do potential hires need to hear seriously to consider working at your firm? What are the concerns or objections typically raised by candidates with the talent and skill sets you’re looking for? Are you and your company positioned successfully to address and overcome them? What evidence do you need to be able to present to support your argument?”
Lee Frederiksen, PH.D, Talent Acquisition: “How to Develop an Effective Strategy for Your Professional Services Firm”
If you have a close relationship with an agency/ consultant, spend time getting to know them so they are able to represent you as an employer of choice. This avoids any uncertainty from candidates who may try searching for people who used to work in your company. A recruitment partner should be able to help clarify any points or concerns candidates have and put to them the key messages that you want them to hear.
Budget & Resource
The main concern for companies using a recruitment agency is cost. There is a budget for agency fees, but it needs to be seen in the light of the value they bring. It is often simpler, easier and faster for hiring managers to interview from a shortlist of candidates screened by an agency. Access to better candidates, carefully selected and persuaded to consider your company means a win in the War for Talent.
Writen by Mandy Mui