The approach to the ‘War for Talent’ is changing. Have you adjusted?

The recruitment and talent acquisition landscape has shifted drastically since Red Executive launched in 2009. Back then, internal recruiters in the Digital Technology space were virtually non-existent. The identification and engagement of new talent belonged to HR. If HR was lucky, it might get some limited external assistance from specialist agencies.

Not for the first time, Google and Facebook shifted the paradigm. The benefits of having an internal acquisition team representing the business on the open talent market quickly became apparent. In Work Rules, Google’s SVP of People Operations Laszlo Bock wrote of the need for new candidates to understand the culture and values of the business, as well as the specifics of the role. Internal recruiters who could spread this message quickly became indispensable.

Unsurprisingly, many have tried to replicate this model. Successful businesses are built on talent, and appreciate the benefits of delivering outstanding employees in an efficient manner. It makes perfect sense, right? Replicate the Google model, and alleviate your company’s talent concerns.

On the face of it, yes. But the problem lies in its execution.

Over the years, Red Executive has encountered many fantastic companies with one common flaw: a talent function that does not represent their brand effectively on the market.

Of course, this is not universal. Many internal recruiters are fantastically talented. However, there are often inefficiencies in place that prohibit the internal function from working as smoothly as a well-oiled agency.

There are three main reasons behind this:

  1. The first recruiter hired is simply that: a recruiter.

Not somebody who leads a strategy, but somebody who executes. If the vision is lacking, then the whole function can collapse. This is not the place to cut corners: the stakes are too high. Inefficiencies here are incredibly difficult to reverse.

2. The function does not operate like an agency.

Recruitment agencies generally work with multiple clients at once and are driven by making that hire. It is a simple reality that an agency recruiter can make a lot of money through commission. As such, they eat, sleep, and breathe the recruitment process. The majority of agencies ensure that their staff deliver against pre-defined KPIs to ensure the client is happy and an ongoing relationship is established. This process is hard to match for internal recruiters.

3. The internal recruiter simply ends up being an agency manager.

There are two main purposes of the internal recruiter: to bring the business in question direct access to talent and to represent its employer brand positively on the market. However, in 83% of companies with internal recruiters that Red Executive deals with, the representative has no direct, first point of access to candidates. They simply become an agency manager, working with external partners to deliver talent. Therefore, instead of paying a premium to make the process more efficient, the result is that a pointless layer of bureaucracy and complexity is added to the recruitment process. Long story short: it serves the opposite of its stated purpose.

Those are just three of the reasons that most internal functions do not work like Laszlo’s at Google. Recruitment is a profession in itself, far removed from HR. Without the expertise required to represent the business’s employer brand positively on the market, it becomes an uphill struggle to create, manage, and deliver against expectations.

Red Executive is now offering an approach that blends the agency and internal methods: the launch of Red Executive Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). In short, the client entrusts its recruitment to a designated Red Executive representative who has been placed on-site to lend expertise to the process.

RPO can bring businesses the best of both worlds. With decades of recruitment experience in the Digital sector, the Red Executive team offers incomparable insight for companies that favor the internal recruiter model. Having a designated Red Executive recruiter onsite can make all the difference.

We have conducted several internal audits to help our clients make their internal talent acquisition functions more efficient, by operating like an internal recruiter on their behalf. These have been tremendously well-received, and have added value to the recruitment operations of their businesses.

If any of the points above resonate with you, don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss how Red Executive can help your business improve its talent acquisition strategy.

This was written by Martin Collins, the Founder & MD of Red Executive

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