Want to reduce sales calls? Broadcast your recruitment partnership

A few words from the CEO

It has seemed in recent times, and probably you experience the same, that my inbox is getting more and more inundated with junk mail. No matter how many times I hit ‘unsubscribe’, these unwanted and repetitive marketing emails seem to just keep coming through. Sometimes they look slightly different or are promoting a different product but it feels like I’ve been put on a global list somewhere and whilst the SPAM filter catches most of them, there are many that find their way into an ever growing inbox. I hear you asking the question – “Are you an HR company, or an IT company, Lachlan?” Well, we are HR and this relates to an issue that’s been prevalent for a number of years now and dates back to my time sitting in the HR Manager’s seat at site for an Australian gold company where I experienced what HR Managers, CEOs and Hiring Managers around the world face on a daily basis – continual calls from recruitment agencies.

No matter how often you say “no thanks”, the phones keep ringing, the emails keep coming, the LinkedIn requests pile up and unfortunately, unlike SPAM, there’s no option to ‘unsubscribe’.

Worse still, it is exacerbated in a softer market like now, where mining companies are cutting spending and the myriad of agencies that have emerged in the past couple of years fight harder to stay afloat. Therefore, they get more aggressive, less patient and it solely becomes a numbers game. Whilst I’m yet to find a concrete solution to advise clients on how to stop every call coming through, I have some thoughts that may help reduce the volume.

The first step is to get your senior management team together and establish a recruitment strategy. This is easier said than done and developing a strategy raises many questions – do we keep it internal, do we go external, do we do both? Let’s assume that there is an element of external support needed and as such, below are some common recruitment strategies to consider when engaging a 3rd party provider:

  1. Form a Strategic Partnership – an emerging trend globally is the concept of a ‘strategic partnership’ between recruitment provider and company. This is a far more in-depth relationship between the mining house and agency and involves a deep understanding of one another’s business so as a recruitment effort is needed, the two companies work hand-in-hand to source talent. This is proactive rather than reactive and the agency ‘wears the hat’ of the company with a deep understanding of the culture, people, drivers and operations. It is the polar opposite to a ‘CV flick and churn’ approach that both parties and ultimately candidates, lose from.
  2. Select Preferred Suppliers – Preferred Supplier Agreements (PSA’s) are when a company uses a small selection eg. 2 – 4 recruitment providers based on the specific strengths each firm provides or the need to open up wider talent pools. PSAs are usually driven by the HR Manager in larger organisations to ensure that all disciplines (eg. from Projects to Operations to Corporate) are catered to with a preferred supplier, in a centralised and controlled fashion.
  3. Establish a Master Vendor Agreement (MVA) – an MVA is when one recruitment firm will be given the responsibility of managing the company’s recruitment program through a ‘first right of refusal’ arrangement. This means that each vacancy is given to the Master Vendor and if they can’t source the candidate (against agreed KPI’s), they then engage a secondary supplier. The difference here is that any secondary suppliers report into the Master Vendor and all management, including fielding calls from that supplier is driven through the Master Vendor.
  4. Outsource recruitment through an RPO program – The mining industry is just getting onto this trend of outsourcing the entire recruitment function. Recruitment can be a hot potato at times and so a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) program is usually employed when a company requires a large volume of recruitment (eg. start-up or expansion phases) yet doesn’t have the internal capability, systems or structures to handle such demands or the cost of establishing a project recruitment team for a short term is not justified.

There are various strategies and as mentioned, HR Managers, CEO’s and Hiring Managers will need to decide which model works best for them.

Once the strategy is decided upon, the second step is to diligently select a provider/s that suits your organisation and finally, communicate to everyone what you have done. If you can advise the market of your recruitment strategy, then you are able to manage the wider market’s expectations and inevitably, you should receive fewer calls. Drive your decision through all of your communication outlets (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your website, internal newsletters, external newsletters, journals, news publications, etc) to tell everyone what you are doing and get the recruitment firm to do the same.

Whilst it may be impossible to stop every unwanted call and email coming through to you, a strong strategy that is publicly communicated will undoubtedly help.

— Lachlan Spicer, Globe 24-7 CEO

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