Why is recruitment outsourcing growing in importance?

Why is recruitment outsourcing
growing in importance?

Outsourcing in the UK was originally seen
as a way of reducing costs and passing clerical and low-level customer contact
tasks to another company and often another country. By Wanda Goldwag  Non Executive Chair of True North Human
Capital Ltd

While the practice certainly had a
positive budget impact for most businesses the impact on customer service and
perception was far more problematic. The next big trend was IT outsourcing- with
major businesses reducing risk, enhancing their access to technical skills and
putting a difficult area of cost and project management into the hands of
specialists who could genuinely add value to the decision making processes.

Now many aspects
of Human Resource work are also being outsourced. The first type of outsourcing
occurred in businesses where large number of very similar staff had to be recruited
frequently such as in 1000 people call centres where staff turnover can be 30
percent a year. The service being provided was handling volume efficiently and
cost effectively, value added services were not really relevant.

The trend in  Human Resources outsourcing is now beginning
to follow the IT model where what is important is to be able to access the
latest methods and in-depth technical expertise and outsource that to a
specialist company. This is happening for a number of reasons. Clearly the
general down-sizing of HR departments has often led to internal skill gaps
where no-one is an expert on advertising, attracting or managing the candidate

This has also been made much more difficult
because as new figures have revealed on average there are ten jobseekers for
every vacancy

advertised in the
UK. In one area of the south-east, 60 workers are available for each job. So
the challenge is to construct a fair, sensible process that filters applicants
efficiently but ensures that the right people are short-listed and then
incentivized to join the company.

Lastly as with
the IT world, business processes are changing at such a fast pace that only a
professional company focused solely on the area can keep at the forefront of
innovation and ensure that your company sees the best applicants. Many job
roles are now only advertised online, so the first phase of review and psychometric
testing is being done without any contact with a member of staff.  Designing and managing this process is a
highly skilled process. This is because one has to balance the need for
information, with the ease of use of the site and genuine insight into the
applicant while ensuring that equal opportunities and other legislative
requirements are obeyed.

Technological advances are also making it far
more difficult for an internal HR team with many other priorities to win the
battle for talent. It is said that 60 percent of roles are filled by some type
of networking; this used to mean “the old boy network” and “the golf-club”. Nowadays
this is mostly via sites such as linkedin.com and social networking sites where
professional recruiters access possible candidates and reference them before
any formal approach is ever made. How to communicate vacancies in a way that
attracts candidates and people willing to suggest colleagues is a science in
itself. The more specialist the role the more difficult it is to ensure that
the right people see it and are motivated to apply. The secret is not to get
2000 responses but to get the five people world-wide who could do the role at
the very top end of performance to apply. This is why recruitment outsourcing
is becoming so essential for dynamic businesses.

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