Alexander Mann Solutions isn’t a recruitment agency.
Randstad Sourceright isn’t a recruitment agency.
Kornferry Futurestep isn’t a recruitment agency.
They’re huge, complex talent solutions businesses. With a different makeup to your typical recruitment agency. And a lot more roles and fancy titles than you’d otherwise be used to. But they’re fundamentally doing the same thing.
There’s a new breed of onsite solution emerging. And they’re closer to a recruitment agency than they are the RPO incumbents.
Fundamentally, it’s a retained solution. Albeit onsite.
There’s no focus on sales, and bags of focus on delivery and building relationships. Embedded or onsite solutions offer their clients a discount in exchange for reliability which allows them to scale more effectively.
They’ve got one fixed cost to deal with. Which makes the Financial Director’s life that much easier. It also means there’s only one point of contact and not lots of disparate agencies to manage.
An onsite model arguably lends itself to better results and clearer savings across the board. Indeed, one of the main draws of adopting it means you can repurporse that spend on improving retention.
They’ve got one client. Which means greater focus and a better service level overall.
There’s the ability to look after your own interests and say no to projects: one key benefit of pricing not being linked to volume of hires. And a greater opportunity to build stronger relationships with talent pools and key decision makers at the end client.
It’s naturally a more strategic position, and that’s typically reflected in an elevated base salary. Although perhaps the greatest reward for a contingent recruiter is that your time’s truly valued in this kind of environment – it’s rare you’d have the luxury of wasting any.
You’d probably have too many jobs on for starters…
Let’s say you’re charging £10K a month per project, or per recruiter. Congratulations: all of your staff have just become £120K billers.
This could be a good thing or a bad thing.
For one, it’s predictable revenue. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the champagne and razor blades emotional spectrum in recruitment. Although the industry still relies on being reactionary to some degree. So a bit of stability’s a welcome boost.
Turning everyone into £120K billers is an arbitrary figure. Some companies charge huge project fees plus fees per hire.
Your heavyweight billers might not be on board with a new pricing and reward structure. Although onsite positions are easier to hire for. And not because you can bring in a lower level biller for less risk and get them cranking out the same result.
You’ve got more good recruiters now actively investing in their work-life balance. The typical dream of long hours equals success doesn’t sell them. But then for the higher base, it’s potentially less take home. So it’s not always the right path for everyone.
The ground’s still being tamped, although it’s fair to say onsite recruitment solutions are shaking the industry up.
They’re a new breed of recruitment agency, rather than something uniquely different.
Particularly as the lines continue blurring between what actually constitutes a recruitment “solution”.
These are almost always human. But to what extent can marketplace dynamics, insights and analytics, and both the candidate and employer experience be enhanced by tech?
We regularly cover the best in recruitment tech in our Productivity Hacks series. And it’s these kind of onsite solution that will have budget to put behind innovative tech. As opposed to say, a plucky Consultant at a big brand.
Onsite recruiters often have about 4 or 5 times the number of reqs of their agency counterparts. Having a single client makes this manageable, but the volume – and subsequent admin – is a game changer for a lot of Recruiters.
Because of this, your talent pools are likely to be larger. And with more processes come candidates to screen, feedback to, hire and let down.
The kind of place where failing to deliver isn’t an option. Where not finding a niche candidate means the business measurably suffers.
Technology’s used to streamline a lot of the work. And KPIs, perhaps naturally, move away from monitoring activity levels and more towards how satisfied key figures in the process are.
Not always the case – some companies are very much about the bottom line – but there’s a greater chance of variety in how success is measured.
The value of a recruitment process differs here, and what your ratios look like will be closer in importance to the number of roles you fill in determining whether you’re smashing it or not.
Onsite companies aren’t the same as RPOs, but a lot of how you deal with them might be. If you’re working with them more and more, read The Secret To Working With RPOs for insight on when to call, what to pitch and how to chase.
We’re seeing more and more traditional recruitment agencies replicate this model. Either by launching a micro-brand, a bolted-on onsite service, or just quietly doing it for their favourite clients.
I wonder how different they are from one another?
Surely, they’re as good as the individual recruiter sat onsite with a client?
Unless they have a differentiating factor: either technology to enhance the job seeker or hiring manager experience, or they’ve got the clout and reach of an established business behind them.
As with most innovation in the recruitment industry, it started in the tech and creative sectors. Their clients are typically innovators, and so are most likely to try something different to give themselves a competitive advantage.
Which is why innovation shouldn’t be relegated to industries that foster it. Because a competitive advantage for a creative recruitment agency should also work for a search firm, or a healthcare consultancy, or in supplying temp admin staff.
Innovation is innovation. And because of the way these companies work, they’re also the ones competing most aggressively for talent.
The RPOs disrupted the typical agency recruitment model with new tactics and increased firepower. Embedded onsite solutions take a further leap: they’re much more agile and fit for purpose in a modern landscape.
If there is a war for talent, these are the new fleet of drones. Not just more tanks.
TalentWorks have TalentMode: their RPO solution which has Recruiters acting as an extension of their client’s businesses.
Scede.io offer embedded talent solutions for the venture capital and start up community. Their close proximity to their clients has allowed them to scale teams for tech firms like Google, Skype & Spotify.
Hidden are very much a “new model for talent”. Working within creative industries, they embed themselves in their client’s hiring teams, bringing with them an app that not only streamlines the recruitment process but eliminates bias as well.
The number one limiter to growth for recruitment agencies is their ability to hire.
Roles with onsite solutions tend to be easier to fill. And as a result, more competitive talent-side.
On Hunted, we’ve seen brands that offer onsite solutions doing better than the average agency in terms of conversion to applications and hires.
So when you consider how difficult it is to hire experienced recruiters, making your company more attractive to work for – even if it means changing the way you operate, and even at the sacrifice of some big revenue opportunities – could be a worthwhile shift to more sustainable growth.
Manager/Head of Recruitment Team at Reuben Sinclair
Miami Consultant - Private Banking or Commodities at Redstone Search
Consultant - Principal Consultant - Marketing at EMR
Recruitment Consultant into Retained Search at SPS International
Global Headhunter & Account Manager at Emerald Technology