Alternatives to Recruitment Process Outsourcing

By Robert J. Grossman Jul 1, 2012

July CoverRecruitment process outsourcing vendors are looking at a vast potential market, expecting employers in increasing numbers to give them a look. For now, most employers continue to deploy alternative strategies to meet their needs. Among them:

Contract recruiters. When an employer needs to add staff, contract recruiters—usually consultants—are engaged. They work for the employer on a short-term, project basis. In the outsourcing model, in contrast, the nature of the engagement is ongoing and the services and administration more comprehensive.

Staffing agencies. Staffing agencies are basically headhunters and charge a negotiated commission usually based on a percentage of the first-year salary of the person that they find and that the employer hires. The relationship ends when the search is completed. These agencies do not provide recruitment management support.

Do it yourself-ers. Most employers still choose to handle the bulk of their recruiting internally, not wishing to delegate or outsource their responsibility for finding the right human capital. “There is an internal culture within organizations about recruitment and how you go about it,” says Lisa Rowan, director of HR learning and talent strategies at International Data Corp. “For top management and HR, selecting people is hard to relinquish.”

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts—where HR teams ranging from two to 20 handle recruitment at 41 facilities around the world—is a case in point. “We want to maintain our own unique brand and culture for each of our properties,” says Kim Van Pelt, Fairmont’s executive director of talent management in Toronto. “Each should select its own talent, and the best way to do this is through our own HR team and hiring managers.”

Fairmont’s HR professionals discovered what most companies who rely on internal recruiters are learning: Without a sophisticated, interactive software system, it is difficult to manage a global talent pool effectively. After a needs analysis and checking references from other hospitality companies, the company turned to Taleo of Dublin, Calif., to solve the problem.

Recruitment management software, of course, provides a foundation for effective recruitment no matter who does it. Taleo targets outsourcers and staffing companies as well as individual employers. “In effect, we’re selling shovels to miners,” says Rob Stefanovic, senior product marketing manager for Taleo.

The author, a contributing editor of HR Magazine, is a lawyer and a professor of management studies at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.​


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