HR and procurement professionals at the UK’s largest employers need to take a more rounded approach to managing their recruitment supply chain to ensure that they deliver the best candidate experience possible in addition to managing costs and time to hire.

This is according to new research published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), which surveyed 272 employers about their use of preferred supplier lists, recruitment process outsourcing, and vendor neutral and master vendor models.

Senior HR and procurement professionals were asked to select the three most important factors that contribute to their choice of resource model. ‘Attract the right people into the role’ (67 per cent), ‘reduce the cost of recruitment’ (42 per cent) and ‘reduce time to hire’ (39 per cent) were the most popular responses.

‘Ensuring the candidate receives a high-quality experience’ was a priority for 20 per cent of respondents and 14 per cent ranked communicating their brand to candidates as something they prioritised when selecting a resourcing model.

In general, procurement and HR professionals agree on what’s important when selecting a resourcing model; ‘attracting the right candidate’. However, the two groups naturally have some differences in what they rank as most essential:

  • 46 per cent of procurement professionals selected ‘reduce costs of recruitment’ as one of their top three considerations when selecting which recruitment model to use, compared to 34 per cent of HR/recruitment professionals.
  • Procurement professionals (44 per cent) were more likely than those in HR/recruitment (32 per cent) to choose ‘reduce time to hire’ as a key driver for their decision.
  • HR/recruitment professionals (44 per cent) were more likely than colleagues in procurement (32 per cent) to select ‘retain staff’ as an important determining factor.

The REC’s chief executive Kevin Green says:

“An over-emphasis on cost and time to hire risks over-commodification of the supply chain. This can often lead to unintended consequences, such as the candidate’s experience of the recruitment process being poor. In the end, getting that right will improve outcomes like finding and retaining the right staff and employer reputation. We want to see recruiters seek to influence their clients’ supply chain by providing more strategic advice in areas such as workforce planning, innovation around attracting candidates and helping to shape their longer-term workforce strategy.”

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD says:

“Selecting a recruitment model is often determined by the need to establish cost savings, but while these can be fairly quickly achieved, the legacy of a resourcing model is much longer lasting. Talent, capability and culture are critical factors in delivering the capacity and agility needed for organisations to thrive, and the recruitment process is the starting point on this journey. Recruiting the right people is the critical outcome, and to attract the necessary talent, organisations need to place the candidate experience on an equal footing with improvements to cost and time to hire when considering their preferred resourcing model. Once a model is established, it’s important to maintain a strategic relationship across HR, procurement and recruiters to ensure that all parties share a common understanding of what a good candidate experience is and recognise that this is central to securing key talent.”