For the majority of businesses, recruitment is perceived as an unnecessary expense and so organisations are set up to avoid engaging external expertise at any cost. I have met many companies who have a metric of cost per hire aimed at demonstrating how good their internal recruitment team is but they fail to delve deeper into their inability to research and attract the best talent possible who will deliver a top performance and, in turn, help them achieve all of their key metrics.
Internal recruitment has become very slick and a lot of expertise and well thought through candidate attraction strategies have been deployed. However, there are times when you really could do with seeking external executive recruitment expertise.
Here are 8 considerations all businesses should make when a senior level vacancy needs to be filled;
1. Do my internal staff have the background and experience to be successful in this search?
2. Do my internal staff have the bandwidth to complete the search in the time the line manager needs it done?
3. Is this a repetitive search or a one-off?
4. Do the internal staff have the passion to successfully complete this search?
5. Does the internal client really know what they want or will they know it when they see it?
6. How critical to the success of the business is this search? I.e. is there immediate contribution to the bottom line or top line by completing the search? If so, measure the loss of that against the search fee, not whether avoiding the search is avoiding cost.
7. Which direction is best to determine whether you will get a quality hire?
8. Do you have search firms that you can trust and engage to deliver in the time frame needed, and have you created an assessment process to determine if they have had success in this type of search?
In addition, investing in an executive search process should deliver a lot more than just candidates for you too. In addition to delighting your line manager and the business for having attracted a superstar, you should also walk away armed with an abundance of industry data including competitor activity, rewards and remuneration benchmarks and the perception of your business by the candidate pool.
Recruitment should never be a cost and always an investment for which you will enjoy a healthy return.
As a leader of talent acquisition teams, I felt it was my responsibility to do what I termed “search avoidance.” I even had a search cost-avoidance metric that looked like the one pictured. I most often found that I was saving the company money … or was I? I would never consider using a search firm until the internal staffing team was not able to source and secure the talent that our internal customers needed. I usually used a metric of total days open to gauge when we were “getting in trouble” or would determine that we didn’t have the skill set to do the work.