Human Resources is the headache that keeps hotel managers from their 40 winks, according to a 2001 survey by Cornell University. Attracting talented staff in the first instance was seen as the ultimate waking nightmare. Chris Mumford looks at the options available to companies without a decent cloning programme.
Do-it-yourself recruitment is certainly one option; after all is that not what in-house HR departments are for? The main benefit of D.I.Y. recruitment is that the company maintains control of the hiring process from start to finish. A common misconception is that it is also cheaper than outsourcing. Add up the cost of advertising and the number of manpower hours however and there is very little saving over outsourcing to a recruitment firm. In addition this method means that a company is generally reliant on candidates who are looking to make a change, for whatever reason, and have applied for the position. In other words, active job seekers.
Can a company be sure that it is making the most effective hire when it is dependent on candidates approaching it rather than vice-versa?
For companies that decide they need external assistance there is a choice to be made in terms of the most appropriate type of help.
Contingency search firms are typically paid on a results-only basis. They tend to specialise in niche sectors of the market and concentrate on developing a database of candidates qualified in this area. When briefed by a company to find candidates they therefore have a ready pool of talent in which to dip. This saves time and often has the benefit that the recruiter has known the candidates for a period of time and is highly informative about them.
There is generally no exclusivity given to a contingency search firm so most recruiters will be competing with other recruiters. Competition also comes from client companies who are trying to find candidates through their own means. This means that contingency firms typically place a quarter of assignments and are therefore obliged to work on several assignments at once, compromising quality. Companies also need to be aware that the supply of candidates will be dependent on the scope and quality of the recruiter’s database.
Typically, contingency search is considered for lower and mid-management property level positions where a company is interested in seeing a large range of qualified candidates and is willing to take on some of the screening and selection process itself.
Retained executive search firms are better suited to senior level positions where it is paramount that the employer hires not any qualified candidate but the most qualified candidate.
The recruiting process of a retained executive search firm is highly intensive and an employer can expect:
An accurate assessment of the firm’s capabilities to perform the search as well as how the search will be carried out.
A shared knowledge of the market.
A report detailing the position to be filled,
Original research targeting likely employers of potential candidates.
Screening and full assessment of potential qualified candidates to create a shortlist for the employer.
Full contact between client and candidate.
Thorough reference and background checks.
Assistance in drafting the employment offer.
In addition, the employer can be assured that the search firm abides by the Code of Ethics, Professional Guidelines and Client’s Bill of Rights as set out by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (www.aesc.org), and that the search firm will implement an ‘off-limits’ policy in which it pledges not to recruit from the hiring organisation.
Different scenarios demand different solutions. In today’s climate, when recruitment and the attraction of talent are such major concerns, successful and effective hiring is more important than ever. By possessing a knowledge of the options available and an understanding of their appropriate usage companies can help ease one more headache and get a good night’s sleep.
Reprinted with the permission of Hotel Report.