Richard Dutton, Account Director at Symatrix says businesses can improve their recruitment strategy while keeping costs down…
Many businesses have put recruitment on hold during the current pandemic in light of the uncertainty that the COVID-19 outbreak has cast over the economic future. Yet, when the lockdown eases and business ‘as near normal as possible’ resumes, many will once again need to turn their thoughts to the hiring process.
Recruiting new staff will remain a costly and time-consuming process for most businesses and one that is getting more so, thanks to growing skills shortages and a shrinking talent pool and employees being less inclined to switch roles.
Against this backdrop, agency charges and the costs of running an internal team will be key as will be staff churn and time taken for new recruits to get up to speed. Estimates indicate that recruitment costs account for 15% of all HR spending. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) alone waste an average of £125,347 a year on failed recruitment, according to new research by Oleeo, a provider of talent acquisition technology.
Those kinds of costs are likely to be ramped up significantly in larger enterprises. So, there is a clear need for these businesses to make process improvements in this area and become more efficient and cost-effective in the way they manage recruitment.
It is tempting to focus exclusively on the salary of in-house recruitment teams; advertising and agency fees when thinking about recruitment costs but businesses should first look at what drives the need for recruitment in the first place. Recruitment can be the consequence of turnover but often also of very poor process and technology alignment. It can often be a failure demand. To take the example of payroll teams: churn and turnover of staff can be caused by the burden of administrative tasks on the team, caused by a failure to integrate HR and payroll properly.
Putting a response in place
So how can organisations best put a response in place? There are three key areas. First, they can look to drive an efficient recruitment process by using technology to automate and simplify processes and eliminate this failure demand; bureaucratic administration and consequently staff churn. Recruiters are not always the fastest adopters of new technology. Bullhorn’s recent Global Recruitment Insights and Data study found that when asked to evaluate their teams adoption of their staffing technology, one fifth were barely using it at all. Sometimes we also see more overarching solutions, including HCM systems, adopted at great expense and then used very little.
Levels of administration and – related to that – staff turnover are consequently high. That can often also lead businesses into making greater use of expensive recruitment agencies.
Efficiencies can be gained from greater use of the capabilities within the technologies you have at your disposal. This does typically take an organisation down the route of adopting stronger and more technology-driven processes in order to remove or lower the level of manual activities. By taking this process improvement route, the adoption of a managed service can help to further remove the risk of having fewer people involved in any process.
Even a 2,000 person enterprise may only have one recruiter. If that person leaves, the business will need to find someone else to fulfil the role quickly. It is a single point of failure – and if their recruitment process is inefficient then the organisation will struggle both to get someone in to do the job in the first place and then to stay once they are in place.
Technology to reduce risk
The business is put at risk in the situation outlined above. The organisation should be concentrated on managing that risk as effectively as possible – and that has become even more important in the current coronavirus outbreak where the process of recruitment may be especially difficult.
And that’s where automated technology can come in, helping to streamline the process, making the job of recruiters more attractive and reducing staff churn.
It is often difficult for organisations to do this, operating in isolation. Many companies have been keen to move to the cloud and embrace the many benefits. Yet, often they did not anticipate the effort required to maintain and keep the cloud application in a good place.
As a result, they have typically built up a specialist team within their business to help consume cloud and the associated activities and drive the journey of optimisation and value out of their investment.
However, in the economy of cloud support we see a number of groups of individuals who have moved from organisation to organisation – and every time they move leave a big gap in the organisation they have just exited.
As a result, the risk of retaining and maintaining the skill levels they need to keep their IT investment is significant. By taking this off the table, therefore, they are helping to drive efficiencies in recruitment by not having those key individuals resident within the business. By opting for managed services therefore, businesses are removing that risk from their business
Managed services can also help to reduce the direct costs of recruitment. Using the technology to its maximum effect reduces the amount of ‘people effort’ that companies need to put into a process and the number of people required to run it. That in turn drives up process efficiency and productivity and makes recruitment less necessary. That’s a positive result for every large organisation – and perhaps even more so in these current difficult times.