How recruitment agencies / consultants can add value...

by Amrudesh Santhanam

Hiring is a crucial job as it has long term implications. A good hire would add value over years and aid in growing the business and having satisfied customers. Despite all processes and technology that support employees, the employee still remains as the vital force for any organisation. On the contrary, a poor hire becomes a significantly long term cost rather than an enabler. While one can mitigate this risk with doing more hiring on contract positions or having shorter timelines for relieving a poor performer, it still means a restart of the hiring process and lost business in the meanwhile apart from other costs that may be incurred due to project executions not going as per plan.

Given the fact that employees form the primary strength of any organisation, choosing one is a crucial job. Aspects to look for in hiring are broadly

Who are we hiring?

Any company needs to look at both short term staffing and long term staffing plans. While short term staffing focusses on getting the people to be able to execute currently live or expected projects, long term staffing is crucial to sustain and grow the organisation. Organisations will need leaders to emerge of those who have been hired, will need technical experts, domain experts, marketing specialists to develop so that they form the pillars of the organisation tomorrow. Since every organisation has many specifics to it including

etc, hiring potential long term employees, retaining them and nurturing them is the only way to build a strong employee team for the future. Hence, selecting such candidates with the right potential, the attitude, the will to succeed is critical and needs great effort.

Hiring starts with Sourcing

It would be great if potential employees knew about the organisation and came flocking. While this does happen, when an organisation has built a great reputation in the field, a lot many who do not really fit the role also come flocking.

A recruitment agency / HR consultant has a significant role here since this involves quite a lot of effort and having the right mechanisms to source is important. Also, this is a process best done in an outsourced manner since it is a big part of the job, needs some specialised skills but is not the last word on hiring. Once sourcing is done, we need to filter down to the right candidates. Hence,

Selecting is the key

Typically, selection is a process done by the hiring organisation itself since they know best what they need. Hiring consultants can certainly understand requirements pretty well and many do a great job of it. In fact, it would be great if hiring agencies could do a significant part of this work too. A long term engagement of a hring agency with a company matters a lot here since it allows better understanding.

Before selection can be done, one needs to filter down to the best possible pool of potential candidates. This can be a big job too if the number of candidates applying for a job are big. This is typically true in many cases. So,

Filtering is essential before selection

Filtering is a process which a hiring agency or a HR consultant can do pretty well too. The obvious traditional ways of

etc are important but the story does not stop there. Even after these are done, there may be still more candidates and it is important to

Tests are crucial in filtering

Conducting tests can be done in many different ways but typically, in a first level selection, the candidate may be geographically far away. Also, the time to be spent; the human effort cannot be large since the number of candidates are high. Hence,

Online tests work great

Online tests give great benefits like

Hiring agencies / HR consultants can do the filtering

It makes life easier for the hiring organisation if their consultants can do the filtering too and give them really good profiles that fit better for the job. It would also be great if the candidates are alerady screened for common attributes like

Psychometric tests are available for use from experts. Such tests can also be delivered and candidates filtered on that basis. Since HR consultatnts work for multiple clients, it would be more cost effective for this process to be done by them rather than the hiring organisation.

Hiring organisations only need check domain knowledge and skills

This would make the process more efficient. Also, with an online test mechanism, the hiring agency can even facilitate the organisation in doing this by providing them the platform. The hiring organisation only needs to bring in their expertise and specialisation to build in questions that would test the knowledge and skills of the candidates in their area of work.

All this can happen in little time.

With an online process, there is no delay in the information transfer. A web based hosted platform can have everyone playing different roles operating in synchrony to get the hiring done quicker.

When recruiting organisations get better filtered candidates, candidates with knowledge / skill authenticated by a test and candidates from across all geography in little time, they know that they are working with the right hiring agency / HR consultant.