Posted on 9th July 2015 by Jon Terry

Recruitment and "The Procurement Conundrum"

Recruitment and "The Procurement Conundrum"

A while back we read an article written by respected in-house recruiter and co-founder of the Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers, Gary Franklin.

In the article Gary talks about where agencies should aim to add value to in-house teams and stresses that "suppliers should aspire to create a partnership and not a one off transactional relationship that focuses on invoices and targets".

We were also gratified to see the comment about the need for in-house recruitment teams to invest time bringing the agency "into the fold".

We found ourselves nodding in agreement and keen to share the article. A lot of it mirrored some of our thoughts and we are currently working, and have been for some time, in exactly this way with major UK businesses. Businesses that have a refreshingly open relationship with all of their agency partners and are no doubt getting some tangible benefits from doing so.

Finding the Right Agency

What Gary's article was not able to do was to share some ideas about how, as an in-house team, you can find the right agency to select and bring into the fold. No doubt the expectation is that they will look at the market place, take a view of track record and reputation and talk to people to find out who are the best out there.

Certainly at some stage in the future they will look to formalise the relationship to make sure that they can agree a contract that will help them secure preferential rates.

When they do so will procurement be involved?

We only ask because whenever we have been asked to complete a Request for Information for a preferred supplier procurement project the questions are almost inevitably:

  • Turnover
  • Size of Business/Number of Offices
  • Quality Assurance Processes
  • Disaster Recovery Processes
  • Investors in People

We never get posed questions that ask about our experience, our knowledge, our understanding of the sector, the size of our network, our ability to fill hard-to-fill jobs, our ability to be "normal, natural and honest" with "integrity" and a "degree of common sense and business acumen", which are all questions that should be asked.

Not so long ago we very vividly remember being sat in front of a Head of Procurement who told us that their aim was to reduce costs to the absolute minimum and ideally reduce the Preferred Supplier List (PSL) to one agency who could do everything.

The Choice is Yours

Gary's article finishes with a "the choice is yours" invitation to agencies and we'll do the same to the in-house recruiters who might be reading this.

Do you want to partner a recruitment consultant able to add value to your team and prepared to invest in a long term relationship? Or do you want to have an agency on the PSL with fifty offices from Lands End to John O'Groats and a really flash disaster recovery process?

If it is the former then you might want to take an active involvement in any procurement process as otherwise you may not get what you want.

Jon Terry

By Jon Terry

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