NP Group Blog

Signs Your Recruitment Supplier Isn’t The One For You

Posted by Jason Collins on Jun 5, 2018 8:45:00 AM
Jason Collins

My recruitment partner outperforms my expectations on a daily basis. How often do you say that?

My bet is rarely. It’s not often you find a supplier, recruitment or otherwise, that goes above and beyond continuously. They might for the first quarter, showcasing why they were the best supplier to pick, but after that you fall to a lower priority on their radar and recruitment services go to business as usual. There’s no speed to the process, no innovation in how things are done and no additional services or support being offered.

Yet there are signs to spot before it gets to this stage that your recruitment supplier isn’t the one for you. A preferred recruitment supplier should be an extension of your business. They should work directly alongside you to bring about mutual benefit, continuously working to ensure the relationship is working both ways. If you’re going through a period of reviewing your existing supplier base, want to consolidate or just don’t feel like you’re getting everything you want, then it’s time to re-evaluate your relationships. It’s a pretty big break up to go through for your business, so you need to put the time and effort in to make sure it’s the right decision. Here are some key areas to consider in your evaluation process:

 Signs Your Recruitment Supplier Isn’t The One For You

1. They Aren’t Innovating

Innovation doesn’t have to be as drastic as replacing every human interaction with robots. It’s about continuously making small improvements to result in one large positive change for your business or the relationship as a whole. At NP Group we’re continuously monitoring job board KPIs to make sure we get the perfect mix for sourcing candidates. When we’re working exclusively for one client, we build a specific mix just for them and review and change continuously to find the optimum mix. Things never stay the same, and neither do we.

Over time things change. And those time periods are becoming shorter and shorter. You need both parties and the relationship to evolve and adapt in line with these changes. Whether you’re experience market changes, organisational structure changes or anything else, length of service just isn’t an acceptable reason to keep a supplier on. If they’re not changing with the times or are making it difficult to support your organisation through changes you need to end the relationship. No longer can a recruitment company rely on the fact that they’ve had a partnership with an organisation for 15 years. There are so many competitors out there who are capable of doing a much better job that innovation really has to stay at the heart of the partnership.


2. They're Not Up To Date

This links well into point one. Does your existing recruitment supplier have the agility, skill sets and capabilities to serve your market? Do they understand and react to the latest trends in recruitment? If they’re lagging behind the current conditions, they can’t be innovative in an effective manner. At NP Group, we have specialist functions with part of their remit to stay up to date with current rends in their market. This makes it much more manageable and provides real value to the end client. For example, having a separate data science team to data engineering means our experts have deep industry knowledge and know expected salaries, desirable locations and so on of each niche well and can differentiate on behalf of a client. When you go to a generalist you don’t get this kind of up to date information and knowledge which makes a difference to the time, cost and efficiency of your recruitment process.

Being up to date then helps your recruitment supplier to bring fresh ideas to the table and help you achieve the best results possible – innovating the recruitment process and relationship for mutual benefit. That’s what you’re looking for, and if you can’t say that about your supplier it’s time to end the relationship.


3. You Can't Trust Them

When a recruitment supplier promises you something, you expect them to deliver. If they fail time and time again (or even once), this can cause a huge sense of mistrust. As I mentioned previously, during the first few months or quarter it might seem to good to be true – they’re promising to deliver so much and they actually seem on track to do so. But 6 months later and you’re still waiting to reap the benefits. They’ve made the classic mistake over over promising and under delivering.

A great way to evaluate this effectively is to use score carding or have KPIs built into your contract. That way, you can pull them up on the failures being made. But if you don’t have those metrics built into your contract there’s no reason to worry. You can set something like this up half way through a relationship and use it to benchmark whether or not your recruitment partner is delivery, and whether or not you can trust them. Trust is the foundation of a positive and long-lasting relationship, so if you don’t feel this way it’s time to break up with them!


4. They Don't Understand Your Business

A pretty fundamental requirement. Linking to my previous points, things change over time. The focus of your business may have evolved, the types of roles you are hiring for have changed and the kind of people you are looking to hire are different to when the supplier was first on boarded. If they’re not adapting to those changes, then they aren’t for you. They need to be as embedded into your organisation as physically possible. Often this means sitting on site, giving them real access to your companies culture and the daily goings on so they can dot he best job possible in recruitment top talent for your company. If they don’t see your organisations vision, where you’re going and understand the markets you serve, they’re not going to be able to hire the right people for you.


Of course, making the decision to dump your recruitment supplier is only the first part of the process. You then need to evaluate your next step. Do you look for another recruitment partner? What kind of recruitment model does that look like? What’s your hiring plan for the year…and so much more! If you would like to discuss the potential models available, and how NP Group can help you please email and we would be more than happy to assist in your journey.

Topics: HR, Managed Service Provider, RPO, Talent Solutions, Contingent Workforce Management, Recruitment