To outsource or not to outsource – that is the question!

hire  or outsourcing



Why outsource recruitment?

Well, there are many reasons to do so and a few less positive reasons not to. Ultimately outsourcing talent acquisition to a reputable company should save your company money (whether it is an SME or larger organisation). The cost of mis-hiring is huge. According to management guru Peter Drucker, for an employee earning US$100, 000 per annum, the cost of mis-hiring to the company can be up to US$1.5 million. This figure includes the hard and soft costs; recruitment time, compensation, benefits, severance, missed business opportunities, disruption, management time etc…

So, by using a professional recruitment company or executive search organisation, you are reducing the risk of getting the recruitment wrong. Most companies, whether they have a dedicated HR department or recruitment department are not recruitment specialists and therefore the recruitment will be outside the core business of the company. Secondly, a recruitment company will have access to many more potentially good candidates than an in-house HR department. Thirdly, by outsourcing recruitment needs, if there is a spike in new hires, a recruitment company can handle an increase in demand for roles.

Of course I am biased, as an owner of a reputable established recruitment, executive search and training company in East Africa. But I have also worked on the other side of the fence, inside a global corporate environment. My workload allowed me very little time to spend interviewing, but like all companies, we needed excellent people.

To get the right people, requires an enormous amount of time interviewing and sifting through CV’s. It also requires recruitment experts, who are trained and experienced enough to know what and who to look for. So, having seen both sides of this age old debate, I firmly believe that companies waste an inordinate amount of time, energy and mis-hires by not outsourcing recruitment.

Who to use?

Having established the need to bring in experts, it is equally as important to partner with the right recruitment company. Are you simply going to receive 100’s of irrelevant CV’s which do not match your requirements? Does the recruitment company understand the culture of your organisation and the type of individuals you want? Do they have your interest at heart or theirs? In my experience the longer term partnerships are always the best and this applies more than ever in recruitment. Until a recruitment company fully understands your needs, they cannot possibly supply the right candidates. To gain this understanding requires a substantial investment on the part of the recruitment firm and may well be reflected in the overall price you as company pay. However, it means the candidates presented to you will be of a high calibre and a suitable ‘match’.

So analyse your own attrition rate of employees – not natural attrition – this is normal. But rather the employees leaving the company or being made redundant. Do you have a large % of A-list employees? If the answer is not ‘yes’ then you need to seriously consider outsourcing recruitment.

Just make sure you partner a reputable company and invest in that partnership.

As Jim Collins (Author of Good to Great) says “The most important decisions that leaders make are not the WHAT decisions but the WHO decisions.”

Sue Withers – Managing Director