Blending Virtual, On-Site Recruiters

A growing number of staffing firms and HR departments are working with outsourced recruiters to get access to dedicated sourcing and recruiting resources, save money and remain flexible in their staff count. Whether you outsource work like job board recruiting, research, or administrative functions, success in managing off-site team members along with on-site staff boils down to these main approaches:

How you approach the relationship
Is your outsourcing a strategic initiative that is undertaken to change your bottom line or is it a one-off project? Your answer will determine how you approach and manage the effort. Treating outsourced recruiters like your other staff is important and there are several steps for making the relationship work. A key step is to get front-line buy-in and ensure that your permanent, in-house recruiters understand the role of the outsourced recruiters. The outsourced recruiters’ job is to help your front-line team and support the most time consuming and tedious (but critical) parts of their day. Once in-house staff understand that outsourced recruiters are focused on saving them time and getting them placements, they usually become the program’s greatest supporters.

How you structure the relationship
Investing time in the beginning of the relationship will yield value over the long term. Sit down with members of the outsourced team as well as your in-house staff members and determine what goals you want to achieve together and discuss how you’ll make that happen. What processes will you use? Will the outsourced team follow your processes or use their own best practices? This can be a good opportunity to formalize your processes if that hasn’t been done before, which benefits everyone. Talk about what technology everyone will use. For example, giving the outsourced recruiters access to your ATS system can reduce administrative work, eliminate duplications and make tracking easier.

How you communicate
Good communication starts with identifying points of contact and clear channels. Each outsourced recruiter should be paired with in-house staff to facilitate feedback and foster relationships. Other important points of contact include identifying a program manager and maintaining decision maker engagement. It is critical that the decision maker stays engaged with the partnership, and at a minimum participates in monthly update meetings. These updates will provide the data to understand how the partnership is tracking versus goals, as well as what needs to be done to drive performance going forward. I recommend having the outsourced recruiters shadow your in-house staff by listening to internal team calls (recorded or live) and having the program manager approve or reject all sourced candidates before the outsourced recruiters call them in order to get calibrated on fit.

How you measure success
Tracking performance against goals for snapshots, submits, interviews and placements is essential and frequent feedback is key. I recommend daily feedback on snapshot quality and weekly feedback on candidate outcomes like submits, interviews, etc. In addition to evaluating whether metrics are met, feedback should include performance evaluation too.

Brian Cotter
Brian Cotter is president and co-founder of PSG Global Solutions. He can be reached at bcotter (at) psgglobal (dot) com.

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