How would you improve your relationship with a staffing vendor?
First, let’s just say that everyone is busy. Budgets are tightening, time frames are condensed, the work supply is drying up, and your vendors often cannot solve your problems because they are experiencing the same problems themselves.
How do you survive in these conditions? The key idea I want to impress on you is the reversing of the traditional client/vendor relationship.
First, how well do you know your vendors? How well do you know the sales people, and the recruiters, and the contractors and the support staff that supply you with your staff and then bill oftentimes millions of dollars through your department? Why can’t they ensure constant quality?
The answers are too often (1) not very well, (2) not at all, and (3) you have no idea why they can’t constantly give you what they need.
Companies don’t purchase their computers from unknown vendors, but they often do so with staffing. The largest and most volatile part portion of the budget is in your employees, but many companies don’t invest the time to truly be selective.
Yes, time. I know that no one has any left, but the truth is to be selective, you need to put time into your vendors. You need to take your cues from Walmart, who involve themselves in the vendor’s business so deeply that vendors who want to stay in business have to change the way they do business.
But vendor staffing is unlike anything you’ve seen.
Logically you can recognize that if internal departments could staff 100%, there would never be a need for staffing agencies. The existence of staffing agencies is not proof of the incompetence of the internal staff –They’re different models, and they should be judged differently. Why then does Human Resouces take the initiative in deciding the makeup of your vendors?
If it’s true that people do what they are paid to do, then internal recruiters are not rewarded for success. They are rewarded for not sending hiring managers bad candidates.
Internal staffing, by its very nature, eventually creates selection bias in your pool of candidates. Outside agencies, on the other hand, only get paid if they find the right candidate. Which group has the monetary incentive to dig deep?
There are exceptions (based on some internal recruiters being very-driven and team oriented), but the inertia of the internal staffing department is always pulling towards safe candidates. The mediocre. Plucking the low-hanging fruit. Counting on what comes in to fill their needs. Sifting through the same old pile of resumes and job boards and taking what comes.
Outside staffing is a different model - one based on paying for excellence. If you are having problems wrapping your head around it – imagine paying one of your HR recruiters $25,000 for screening an Oracle DBA who submitted their resume to your website. Can you imagine?
What are some answers?