For Us, Outsourcing Our Job Posting Works

May 4, 2011
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

Doing less with more. We measure it. Monitor it. Optimize it. Benchmark it. Roll it. So many schools of thought channeling through webinars, blogs, SMS feeds, etc. assail the minds of talent acquisition leaders daily. It can be hard to take the time to process it all, let alone roll out a custom implementation when what is really needed today is a purple squirrel with an engineering degree willing to relocate for less money. Late nights at the office resuscitated the question, “Can we get back some of the time we spent executing necessary, yet time-consuming transactional activities and reallocate the team’s time to more strategic client-facing initiatives and management’s time to taking care of the team?”

I approached this conundrum earlier in my career with the help of my talent acquisition team at that time. As we began an examination our own processes, we tried to keep a “lean-esque” perspective on what we see is the incremental value recognized through individual process steps. The central challenge became whether we could change the way in which something is executed, while still retaining (or increasing) its incremental value. Ultimately, can we do it quicker, cheaper, and not cannibalize our effectiveness and efficiency?

After mapping our processes, we determined posting jobs was a laborious task that had 1.5 FTEs committing their college-educated minds (and a fraction of the P&L) to data entry. We were posting to local boards, niche sites, contracted megaboards, etc. We began looking to see who could do this for us and liberate the recruiters to function in other capacities day in and day out.

Abandoning our nature to be risk adverse, we took a page from mental giants in the manufacturing industry and began a trystorming prototype process. Our path to enlightenment routed us to an India-based company that could provide us with a very fiscally responsible service through its dedicated and scalable client service teams. During our relationship, we realized a few things:

  1. The cost of posting jobs was materially lower due to less-expensive partner labor hours being used as opposed to our team paid at a higher wage and payroll burden rate.
  2. We reduced by 2/3 the time we spent on posting activities, enabling team members to begin some special projects.
  3. Their newfound freedom mitigated their “attrition through boredom.”
  4. Our reservation about whether the vendor could deliver to our client’s expectations since they were not part of our organization was quickly pacified by their timely communications whether by email, phone, and/or IM.
  5. We had enhanced financial scalability since we paid only for the hours, leveling the ebbs and flows of our client needs.
  6. It offered an optional prepaid monthly fee arrangement. Historically, each time we wanted to post to a board only one time, we would buy the individual ads and later provide a month-end reconciliation against cost centers. Under the pre-pay model, we paid a fixed fee at the beginning of the month and simply sent each job description with job board destination. Operating as a declining balance and supported by emailed receipts and monthly reports enabled an internal control mechanism self-monitoring our current month’s job board expenditures.

Once our process was optimized and rolling, we began to dig into more services it offered to see if there was other value that either we could change in our existing practices or add to enhance our departmental offering. To our pleasure, the vendor was able to take a prescribed list of key skills needed per position, review incoming candidates, and tag in our ATS which ones meet the criteria. It also offered to source active, qualified candidates who have resumes online and send an invite to apply to the ATS. We could smell the cost savings–so long as the quality was there, of course.

Finally, we were limited in supporting our recruiting needs globally by having a monolingual team. The vendor with a more linguistically trained workforce was poised to provide postings in other countries in the language necessary to attract and engage the right talent.

In summary, our relationship with our new partner enabled our team to act more strategically and spend less time downing our office coffee. Our blended mix of transactional execution enabled the recruiting team more time to be client-facing and positioned management to able to giving back care to the recruiting team members by focusing on individualized growth-related talent-management activities.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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