A guide to indirect spend #6: Recruitment and temporary staffing

23 April 2012

In recent weeks, I’ve covered five indirect categories that are central features of the purchasing landscape for most organisations , from stalwarts like office supplies to the rise of IT and waste management, and the challenge of sourcing professional services.

In this final post, I’m looking at an organisation’s greatest asset – its people. How do you ensure that you have the recruitment services in place to get the best staff at the best value? In truth, the sourcing of people and skills offers considerable opportunity for fluctuations in service variance from a sea of recruitment specialists that needs to be navigated carefully. As with professional services, recruitment services offer scales of difference in both approach and quality. There are both hard and soft factors to consider as part of the decision, along with many different types of supplier, from regional and role specialists to ‘one-stop’ staffing and recruitment experts. It’s quite possible that not all of your requirements can be met by a single provider, or even two or three competing ones. You might need a portfolio of providers, but don’t forget that loyalty will keep you in mind with recruitment companies. Clear definition of the temporary recruits being sourced makes a big difference to the focus and accuracy of subsequent tenders. Your classifications could be temporary labour, recruitment of temporary staff, contingency recruitment of permanent staff, full recruitment campaigns or specialist search services. Again, can one supplier provide overall best value or do individual experts offer a more attractive price to performance ratio? With recruitment outsourcing, it’s also important that all potential services are measured and evaluated against associated reductions in internal admin and process, as well as the competitiveness of agency fees and rates. For example, does a more comprehensive, if expensive, candidate vetting service offer you better value overall? Softer factors should also be considered, such as the brand equity of agencies and their power to draw the right calibre of candidates for your organisation. The ultimate cost of recruiting the wrong people through poor supplier selection or a limited candidate pool could greatly increase your costs rather than reduce them and have the converse effect on business performance. The eventual choice of recruitment supplier should also be clearly governed by common terms and conditions, including role banding, pricing structures and service level agreements and, of course, must be recruiting for you in line with fully up-to-date employment law too. People may be your organisation’s biggest asset, but recruiting the right people can also be one of the biggest headaches. The sourcing specialist has the opportunity to make a real difference in this high cost category. These are actually part of a broader Top 20 of essential categories that we’ve highlighted recently in a guide to eSourcing. What other categories in addition to these are on your hot list? ☛ Temeena Hussain is a sourcing consultant at Wax Digital. The six categories covered as part of this series form part of a broader top 20 highlighted in a guide to e-sourcing.
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