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Pitfalls of recruitment process outsourcing

pitfalls of recruitment process outsourcing

Pitfalls of recruitment process outsourcing

When businesses need specific skills or expertise that they don't have within their organization, they have the option to recruit more staff or they can allocate specific business processes to an external service provider to solve their problems.

Recruitment process outsourcing

It is quite common for recruitment agencies to be unable to manage all aspects of their business processes internally and those processes that are deemed the most unimportant are put to the bottom of the pile.  That method of solving the problem of course doesn’t solve the problem but just pushes it aside.

When the problem is finally faced, outsourcing may very well be seriously considered and the idea of an external service provider taking responsibility for efficiently carrying out a range of recruitment functions may be very enticing.  It is true that outsourcing delivers a lot of flexibility and opportunities to improve business outcomes but it also has its pitfalls.  Any recruitment agency considering outsourcing must look at the pros and cons before deciding to commence.

Pitfalls of outsourcing

Although outsourcing has many advantages, it could possibly pose difficulties as well and care should be taken in deciding which service provider to partner with.  The following are the main areas of concern which should be addressed with the provider before moving forward:

  • Risk of exposing sensitive data:  One of the biggest concerns of outsourcing recruiting and payroll functions is the risk of exposing confidential information.  You should fully assess what the service provider has in place to ensure your data will be secure at all stages of the process.
  • Lack of customer attention:  The recruitment process outsourcing firm may be providing recruitment services to multiple recruitment agencies using the same staff.   In such situations, the service provider may lack complete focus on its client’s business and fail to produce the desired results.  You need to fully understand how they provide their service and check if it is a dedicated or a shared model that they use.
  • Losing control of business functions:  Having a team in the next office is what is normal; having one thousands of miles away is not.  How will you communicate?  How will you know what they are doing?  Developing a trusted relationship is key and takes time – time which must be invested by you and the service provider.
  • Poor quality:  Some of the common problem areas which can be encountered include sub-standard quality output, prolonged delivery time frames and unclearly defined service delivery models.   Standards, delivery timeframes and delivery requirements must be clearly identified at the outset – and you and the service provider should work to ensure that is what is delivered.
  • Lack of industry experience:  Poor understanding of the culture of the outsourcing provider and poor communication may affect the productivity and overall business outcomes.  Go and visit them, make sure you know them and how they work and also that they fully understand your company and your business processes and that you can define a way to work together.
  • Hidden costs:  Legal problems and hidden costs may arise if the outsourcing terms and conditions are not well-defined.  Time invested at the outset will reap huge benefits if problems are encountered at a later date.

Every recruitment agency looking at outsourcing should ensure they take a step-by-step approach and understand that they need to be a part of the solution; just handing your database to a recruitment process outsourcer and expecting them to drive revenue is doomed to failure.  You need to view the outsourced recruitment services as an extension of your own business with the same need for clearly defined requirements, ongoing assessments, regular reporting and measurement against performance indicators.

QX Recruitment Services provides a wide range of business processes to recruitment agencies and is happy to talk you through the quality service we provide to enable our clients to drive their businesses forward.

If you’d like to know more about our recruitment service, please email us on

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