Let me start by saying that I can certainly understand why companies would want to outsource all or part of their recruiting activities to an external service provider.
After all, hiring is a crucial part of a company’s ability to compete and grow in the marketplace, and the last thing its officials want is for it to suffer because they can’t devote the proper amount of time to it. However, in the case of a specialized niche such as Animal Health, using a RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) agency is not the answer.
One of my clients is an Animal Health company that was recently told by its parent company, which operates in the field of human pharmaceuticals, that it must use a RPO firm. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that doing so can be a waste of time, energy, and resources, ultimately resulting in a slower and less effective hiring process.
Based on that experience, below are five reasons why Recruitment Process Outsourcing doesn’t work well in a specialized niche:
- It makes the hiring process longer. The hiring managers have to get approval from Human Resources, Human Resources outsources the search to the RPO firm, and then the RPO firm hires an outside recruiting agency (like mine). Why? Because in a specialized niche like Animal Health, an outside recruiting agency is the only one with the resources and experience necessary to find and recruit the candidates that are needed.
- It complicates the hiring process. Using a RPO firm puts additional people between the hiring manager and the potential candidate. When I find candidates, I send them to the RPO firm, which then sends them to the hiring manager. It’s like playing the telephone game; information can get lost because there are “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so to speak.
- It’s more frustrating for hiring managers. Since the process is more complicated and it takes longer, hiring managers experience more difficulty filling the company’s open positions. The longer the hiring process takes, the more likely top candidates will drop out of that process, and the longer a position stays open, the more the company loses in the way of productivity. Lose-lose.
- It jeopardizes the company’s branding message. A company brands itself with every interaction it has with a candidate, because that candidate forms an opinion about the company. If a candidate has an unfavorable experience during the hiring process because of unnecessary complications, that candidate is not going to think poorly of the RPO firm . . . they’re going to think poorly of the company doing the hiring.
- It’s more costly. Let’s say that in the best-case scenario, a company does hire somebody when using a RPO firm. Well, then it has to pay two fees: it has to pay the RPO and it has to pay the outside recruiting agency. That alone should be enough to deter a company in a specialized niche from using a RPO firm.
Talented people are an organization’s most important asset. Why not handle your most important asset by using a successful and experienced recruiting agency in Animal Health, which knows the industry (and the top candidates within it) better than a generalist RPO firm?
The best process for recruiting and hiring in a specialized niche is when a recruiter has direct contact with the hiring manager and there is no RPO firm in the middle. It’s simpler, it’s faster, and ultimately, it’s more effective.
My connections are deep and wide, and a company does not have to go through a RPO firm in order to put them to work locating the best talent in the industry. All a company has to do is contact me.
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