Lifting the Hood of a Technical Recruiting Agency service (PART II)
The answer to the fictitious company's problem (described in blog Lifting the Hood of a Technical Recruiting agency Service) is simple in theory and was provided as an answer in response to the first blog. Bring accountability and motivation to the table by retaining a firm.
Sure, creating an economic motive for your partners to focus on your languishing hard to fill jobs is a step in the right direction.
Having spent a long time as a recruiter and as a recruiting manager, on the other side of the fence; inside the business, I know there is a resistance to doing this. For the sake of your business and talent needs some positions require a different approach. When talent wars heat up for software developers, I.T professionals, or experience with the latest tools, like Salesforce or Visualforce, it is difficult, regardless of the talent of your internal recruiting team, to headhunt alone. The unemployment rate, reported earlier this year for software engineering and electrical engineering is believed to be 4.6 and 5.4%, respectively. On the heels of the deepest recessions, in recent U.S history, some economists would suggest that that is full employment. In other words, anybody who wants a job has one. A company must have great partners to help them in this highly competitive market.
Internal recruiters are often given a bad-rap because of poor "passive candidate" resume flow. Having been in that seat, I believe it is less about their own ability to perform hard-core headhunting vs. being bogged down by an overwhelming amount of employment process and legalese around candidate tracking. Heap on top of that a requisition load of over 20 job types and it becomes impossible to be disciplined and pragmatic about constantly generating passive candidates. Internal recruiting teams are often not set up for success.
So why not retain just any firm? Your partner has to be set up to do it right to move the needle. Most agencies are primarily modeled for making money on the "low hanging fruit" as it makes the most economic sense. These firms are not trained or prepared to be a true partner in the retained search model. They lack the training and understanding to implement a search that is creative, is time consuming, can be tedious, that requires discipline, and that is modeled off of proven methodology, for a search and selection of talent. Additionally, they have never spent a day on the corporate side thus they lack the understanding of all the moving parts within a matrixed organization.
Talent once again is getting scarce, (see blog… pendulum has shifted….again blog)
While I believe strongly that using firms in a contingency model is a needed and valuable method of finding talent for a company it is important to think of the motivators and service when your jobs have remained unfilled and the business is suffering. Here in Portland Oregon there are few technical recruiting agencies equipped to perform both very well. Please look us up when the time comes.