“There’s never enough time.”

It’s a common complaint for everyone involved in the employment process, from recruiters and directors to supervisors and hiring managers.

Actually, it’s a reasonable complaint for anyone with a pulse. We are always hunting for new ways to save time, find time, and roll over time. Searching for means to stretch the hourglass, turn back the clock, and best Father Time.

So we look at ways to get from A-Z that don’t require a lot of hand-holding, leaving us with more minutes to help outrun the dark. In the HR and talent acquisition world, we act on this impulse by turning to outside resources, like agencies, to help with the overwhelming workload.

Agencies vary in their suite of services, offering anything from requisition to onboarding services, to creative advertising solutions and everything in-between. They typically fall into two divisions: employment agencies and recruitment advertising agencies.

When discussing employment agencies, the major types are temporary, contingency, retained search firms and RPOs:

  • Temporary agencies fill employee gaps on a provisional basis, whether it be a spike in seasonal business, employee coverage, or a temporary to hire situation. When human capital is depleted, this is a quick way to send in more troops and typically not have to provide benefits like health insurance and 401(k). However, the average fee is anywhere from 25-50% of the worker’s salary, depending on skill level, and may also require pre-hiring service costs.
  • Contingency recruiting agencies provide search services for skilled and mid-level management positions and require a fee of around 20% of the candidate’s salary once the hire is made. Additionally, these types of agencies generally handle a higher volume of clients, so having a deeply personalized, “white glove” experience isn’t always possible.
  • Retained agencies typically fill high-level executive positions and do all the heavy lifting that comes with hunting out prospective talent. They will seek out possible candidates, (quite often in the passive sector) and reach out with job offers from their clients. Depending on the skill level of the desired candidate, there can be an up-front retainer fee for the employer they represent that ranges anywhere from 25-35% of the new hire’s projected salary.
  • RPOs offer full-scale recruitment process outsourcing. Essentially anything recruitment related is pushed to an outside provider, and that entity acts as the company’s proxy internal recruitment system. This does remove the requirement for an in-house team of professionals, however the fees vary tremendously and can be based on the monthly management of hires, cost per hire, cost per slate (group of sourced candidates) and cost per transaction.

When considering using in-house or agency recruitment, the best approach is to simply do your homework. Conduct a 360 analysis surrounding the staffing processes you already have in place. What is the annual cost for my current solutions? What is my ROI? Do I have an accurate system in place for measuring my return on investment? Do I have the manpower and resources to execute in-house recruitment?

Inevitably, the real answers lie in asking yourself, “What are my priorities regarding our company’s recruitment efforts?” When looking at cost, the dollar amount on external recruitment efforts is generally more substantial; so if money is the issue, keeping as much as possible in-house makes sense. Also, what about the vested interest in your organization’s talent? Can an outside force put the same worth on an employer’s mission or culture when reaching out to candidates? There will almost certainly be a level of disconnect when using an external recruitment model simply because they aren’t a part of your company’s infrastructure, so if that is high on your priority list, external may not be an option. Also, take into consideration industry knowledge. Does an agency really know more about your business than you or an in-house recruiter working every day to fill industry-specific employment gaps?

Part of the appeal of working with Direct Employers in the Digital Strategy division is creating in-house solutions that put the recruitment reins back in the hands of employers. Everything we create uses our clients’ brands, jobs, values and our best in class technology, seamlessly transitioning candidates from the search engines to your applicant tracking system.

Guess what that saves you among other things?
You guessed it!

Next we’ll tackle the pros and cons of recruitment advertising agencies, so make time to read the follow-up to this blog post!

Looking to learn more about recruitment marketing and network with peers? Attend the DirectEmployers 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference in addition to the Recruitment Marketing pre-conference event taking place May 13-15, 2015 in Indianapolis! Learn more and register at DEAM15.DirectEmployers.org.
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Staff photo of Ruth ToombsPosted by Ruth Toombs, Digital Strategist at DirectEmployers Association. With an enthusiastic, upbeat personality and several year’s experience in the human resources industry, Ruth’s background has well prepared her to collaborate with employers and help develop online recruitment strategies.

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