Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What changes would I like to see in the Contract Recruiting and Strategic Sourcing arena?

Question was originally posted by Josh LeTouneau on Linked in
my reply is below.
Contract Recruiters and Sourcers: What Changes In The Current Model Would You Like To See?

Good afternoon, Contract Recruiters and Strategic Sourcers! I wanted to briefly reach out to ask what kind of changes you'd like to see in the contract recruiting and strategic sourcing market (particularly the U.S.). Would changes be compensation related, process related, recruiting architecture related, etc.?

Joshua Letourneau
Managing Director
LG & Associates Search / Talent Strategy
jletourneau (at) lgexec.com
My Reply

What changes would I like to see contract recruiting and strategic sourcing market?
1) Staffing needs to be removed from HR. Most High Tech companies have done this, especially those on the west coast but other industries need to catch up. Staffing is not an HR function any more.
2) Pricing models for strategic sourcing will be completely revamped. (The market will do theis naturally) This is because the skills needed to be an internet researcher are easily duplicated across organizations and there has been a plethora of companies, individuals creating training seminars on the subject. There will be a huge influx of internet researching talent which will flood the market as the market goes through it's next phase of growth, (baby boomer replacements etc) this influx will drive going market rates for internet researchers down. Additional pressure from offshore companies from India and other locations will also force US providers to become more efficient and reduce pricing models for the same services. Pricing could fall below $1000 per month for a researcher as competition heats up as there are few other market deliniations and variations in the range of services offered.
3) Pricing models for Phone Based Candidate Sourcing will remain at current levels as the talent pool for doing this type of work as not increased as more and more researchers have taken to internet based research. Additionally, when internet researchers are not successful in finding enough prospects Employers/Clients have few alternatives.
4) Hiring Managers need to be more in tune with the current and future staffing market. As the staffing model becomes more and more of a "low touch" model. In an effort to reduce costs the marching orders for staffing has been to get the candidates as far along in the recruiting process as possible before someone has to speak to them. In some cases the first person to have a real relationship building conversation with the candidate is the hiring manager. Unfortunately, few hiring managers are prepared for this especially in the high tech arena and don't know how to build rapport, yet alone close a candidate on the position.
5) Much of the disconnect starts with the writing of the requisition. Left to their own devices many Hiring Managers either make the requirements so restrictive that the potential pool of candidates is a water droplet and others are so nebulous that there is little direction other than I want the best that I can find that does this___.
6)The current battles between Internet and Phone based researchers need to be resolved. When internet researchers started coming on the scene a rift began to open between them and the war of words on ERExchange etc started to come to a head. What researchers on both sides of the coin need to realize is that the client doesn't care one way or another where/how the candiadte was sourced. The client just wants the end result, a hire. The process should always be, find low hanging fruit first then move up the tree. And low hanging doesn't mean more or less qualified or more or less interested. Low hanging means it was either cheaper, easier or faster to locate, identify, pre-screen that candidate the method or tactics don't matter. All methods should be implemented by a good researcher/research firm. Process matters very little to the hiring manager and it doesn't come in to play when making a decision on whether or not to make an offer to a candidate.
7) The Semantic Web, adding context to internet search results will dramtically change how companies locate and identify top talent. Right now Internet search engines are missing the mark on quality.
8) There need to be some rules/boundaries on candidate online privacy especially for people that will be entering the workforce in the next few years and that were early adopters of social networks. I think we've all heard of a candidate or two that hasn't been hired because of what was on a personal MySpace or FaceBook account. It would be a shame if a few indescretions that a "young" person made on-line were to be immortalized in digital cyber space forever.
9) Companies need to better define the staffing and recruiting models within their own organizations. Staffing strategies take time to implement, strategies are not faucets you can turn on and turn off. I see company after company, create a strategy, implement it only to abandon it 2 to 3 months later and create and implement a new strategy which lasts for 2 or 3 months. This is not only poor planning on the part of the executive staff but also of a colosal waste of time and resources.
10) I agree with Rob McIntosh's # 7 about "More effective use of competitive and business intelligence (both internally and external) to better map the size of the realistic talent pools" but feel that this process should start before a requisition is even opened/approved and that aqualified recruiter or recruiting manager should work with the Hiring Manager to identify those talent pools. If it's decided that the talent pool is too small that would give better direction to writing a better job description rather than having a req that's going to remain open for upwards of 6 to 9 months.

Jeff Weidner
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HTC Research Corp
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