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Keep Calm and Optimize

by Dec 25, 2013, 6:17 am ET

Recruiting is very much reactive in nature. Someone quits, retires, or is fired — and for the most part, we begin at that moment to search for a new person who can do the job. And recruiters are creatures of habit …we go back to the well that has proven to be successful for us in the past and we run it dry.

Most recruiters still recruit today the way they were taught years before: same strategies, same mindset, same beliefs, same models. They sometimes try a new technology or an app or something along those lines because someone recommended it to them, but the core of what they do, most often, remains unchanged from their first days as a recruiter.

Recruiting is also reactive in that we go to extremes when critical times hit. If something isn’t working — turnover is high, recruitment costs are rising, lost opportunity costs are costing the company dearly, and finding qualified candidates is harder than ever — management is starting to notice that recruiting has some issues. They start to demand better and go from an internal corporate recruiting team to outsourcing everything in a RPO engagement. Fear of losing your job makes change a bit easier to swallow!

For some, that’s probably a good call … but how do you know? In a Staffing Industry Analysts survey, 30 percent of companies were already engaged in some type of RPO engagement, with another 23 percent considering going that route over the next couple of years. The other 47 percent held fast to the thought that they would never make that transition.

The truth is that a fresh objective perspective from someone who knows multiple recruitment strategies, processes, and technologies might be what you need instead a drastic and sweeping changes. It might just take some adjustments here and there and some revised strategies to make the results effective, efficient, and maximized. I’m talking about recruitment optimization.

The idea behind recruitment optimization is that someone who has experience with multiple recruitment strategies, processes, technologies, team structures, and challenges can come spend time with you and go through a full evaluation of everything that you do from a recruiting perspective. After understanding what you are doing, what challenges you face, the ways that your organization is spending and losing money through the recruitment function, this expert can provide recommended changes to you that will address trouble spots and ultimately do three things:

  1. Lower turnover by making better hires
  2. Reduce the lost opportunity costs that are hurting your business by being understaffed
  3. Make the overall company more productive and profitable by providing a significant ROI

Recruitment optimization should be your very first choice when facing recruitment issues of any kind. Like any profession, the people who are currently doing the work care deeply about it and often take the approach that they “own it.” While we can applaud their passion for what they do, it sometimes comes at the expense of objectivity (we see things differently because we are too close to the situation).

To illustrate the impact that optimization can have, here are a few examples:

One company is currently doing business in five states, but it is expanding in 2014 to 25 states. That’s a big undertaking and something that their current recruitment team would not be able to support. They asked a recruitment optimization expert to come see what they are doing and hear about their plans for future growth. He came back to them with recommendations on the best path forward and we are in the process of rolling those recommendations out. It is handling some of those internally, but others have the ROE (recruitment optimization expert) come back and help guide them through the change/growth process. This approach is far less expensive than shifting an entire structure to an outsourced model; it causes less anxiety to the current internal staff.

Another company saw a reduction initstheir turnover rate from 47.8 percent to 13.4 percent in the first year alone. Another was having trouble finding qualified people for its hardest to fill position — and the lost opportunity cost was eating them up. Within a year, it saw a $12 million ROI from that one job title alone.

Recruitment optimization can work for a corporate recruitment team, or if you have an outsourced RPO partner already. The goal should be to make your efforts the best they can be, regardless of who actually does the recruiting.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.