Candidate experience needs to be given greater priority in large-scale recruitment supply chains, finds new research

CIPS 25 November 2014

Senior HR and procurement professionals were asked to select the three most important factors that contribute to their choice of resource model

HR and procurement professionals at the UK’s largest employers need to take a more rounded approach to managing their recruitment supply chain to ensure that they deliver the best candidate experience possible in addition to managing costs and time to hire.

This is according to new research published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, which surveyed 272 employers about their use of preferred supplier lists, recruitment process outsourcing, and vendor neutral and master vendor models.

Senior HR and procurement professionals were asked to select the three most important factors that contribute to their choice of resource model. ‘Attract the right people into the role’ (67 per cent), ‘reduce the cost of recruitment’ (42 per cent) and ‘reduce time to hire’ (39 per cent) were the most popular responses.

‘Ensuring the candidate receives a high-quality experience’ was a priority for 20 per cent of respondents and 14 per cent ranked communicating their brand to candidates as something they prioritised when selecting a resourcing model.

In general, procurement and HR professionals agree on what’s important when selecting a resourcing model; ‘attracting the right candidate’. However, the two groups naturally have some differences in what they rank as most essential:

- 46 per cent of procurement professionals selected ‘reduce costs of recruitment’ as one of their top three considerations when selecting which recruitment model to use, compared to 34 per cent of HR/recruitment professionals.

- Procurement professionals (44 per cent) were more likely than those in HR/recruitment (32 per cent) to choose ‘reduce time to hire’ as a key driver for their decision.

- HR/recruitment professionals (44 per cent) were more likely than colleagues in procurement (32 per cent) to select ‘retain staff’ as an important determining factor.

Commenting, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s chief executive Kevin Green says:

“An over emphasis on cost and time to hire risks over-commodification of the supply chain. This can often lead to unintended consequences, such as the candidate’s experience of the recruitment process being poor. In the end, getting that right will improve outcomes like finding and retaining the right staff and employer reputation. We want to see recruiters seek to influence their clients’ supply chain by providing more strategic advice in areas such as workforce planning, innovation around attracting candidates and helping to shape their longer-term workforce strategy.”

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD says:

“Selecting a recruitment model is often determined by the need to establish cost savings, but while these can be fairly quickly achieved, the legacy of a resourcing model is much longer lasting. Talent, capability and culture are critical factors in delivering the capacity and agility needed for organisations to thrive, and the recruitment process is the starting point on this journey. To attract the necessary talent, organisations need to place the candidate experience on an equal footing with improvements to cost and time to hire when considering their preferred resourcing model. Once a model is established, it’s important to maintain a strategic relationship across HR, procurement and recruiters to ensure that all parties share a common understanding of what a good candidate experience is and recognise that this is central to securing key talent.”

David Noble, Global CEO, CIPS comments:

"There were some great takeaways from this survey, not least that strategic partnerships with suppliers are likely to support good planning and innovative approaches to managing resources.

"Good, all-round procurement skills including tangible measurements combined with softer skills is something we advocate along with high ethical awareness. Our licensing campaign is driving the message home that anyone with a procurement and supply role should strive to be the best and should be accountable and consistently assessed to standards of competence and behaviour."


Notes to editors:

This research provides a snapshot of resource supply models used by organisations. The majority use one or more of vendor neutral, master vendor, recruitment process outsourcing or preferred supplier list resource models to support recruitment in their organisation. Only one in five organisations do not use any resource supply model.
Vendor neutral 18%
Master vendor 26%
Recruitment Process Outsourcing 38%
Preferred supplier list 48%
Does not use one of these models 22%

For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for the recruitment industry. The REC represents 3,349 corporate members who have branches across all regions of the UK. In addition, the REC represents 5,759 individual members within the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP). All members must abide by a code of professional practice. Above all, the REC is committed to raising standards and highlighting excellence throughout the industry. Find out more on

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. It has more than 135,000 members internationally working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting across private businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors. As an independent and not for profit organisation, the CIPD is committed to championing better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, business, the economy and wider society - because good work and all it entails is good for business and society at large, and what is good for business should also be good for people’s working lives. The CIPD brings together extensive research and thought leadership, practical advice and guidance, professional development and rigorous professional standards to drive better capabilities and understanding in how organisations of all kinds operate and perform, and in how they manage and develop their people. A Royal Charter enables the CIPD to confer individual chartered status on members who meet the required standards of knowledge, practice and behaviours. 

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global community of over 106,000 in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of procurement and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability.; @CIPSNews

Press contacts: Trudy Salandiak PR Manager, CIPS, at on 01780 761576/07554 400731


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