Recruitment PSL Help or Hindrance?

15th Feb, 2021

Is the Recruitment PSL(Preferred Supplier List) restricting access to the right candidates?

In Ireland there are over 600 recruitment agencies. In the UK there are over 19,500. According to research, on average, companies who use recruitment agencies to support their hiring process and choose to operate a PSL, have 3-5 agencies on their recruitment PSL.

But how do companies choose which agencies to add to that PSL? It’s impossible for companies to review all active agencies in order to find the right one for them. It’s reasonable to suggest that they’re deciding based on pre-existing relationships, location and the power of the big brands.

There are a three main reasons that companies operate a recruitment PSL.

  1. Risk Mitigation
  2. Reducing Unsolicited Contacts
  3. Increasing Candidate Coverage for Open Roles

At Schwarz & Vogel, we believe there are issues with the ideas that lead to companies having to unnecessarily manage a recruitment PSL.

Mitigating Risk

Let’s look at risk first. A PSL makes sense for certain products and services where failure of either could be detrimental for the purchasing company. Imagine a car manufacturer or a medical device company not running the necessary procurement process and compliance checks, for vital components inside their vehicles or medical devices. Failure of any of these components could be fatal.

But what’s the risk in regard to recruitment? If the agency doesn’t have the required industry knowledge or candidate discovery skills, they deliver irrelevant candidate profiles. As a result, the company won’t hire through that agency. There’s no substantial risk to the purchasing company taking a candidate from an agency outside of their PSL. If the candidate is hired, great, if not, there has been some time wasted but nothing fatal.

Recruitment PSL and Unsolicited Contact

Recruitment agents are tenacious, not being on a PSL will not stop them from contacting companies about open roles advertised. HR departments will still have to sort through the noise, even if it is to say, ‘Sorry, we operate a PSL and can’t engage.’ On the contrary, hiring managers who come across a golden candidate profile may well go outside due process if they think an ‘off PSL’ agency has the perfect candidate available.

Increasing Candidate Coverage

So what about using the PSL to increase candidate coverage?

There is a fundamental flaw with this idea. It’s important to acknowledge that all agencies are looking at the same talent pools. Some agencies may boast of a huge candidate database that is unique to the competition. That claim would be valid if candidates weren’t clever enough to understand that they have to maximize visibility of their CVs.

Candidates place their CVs with many agencies, jobs boards, job search platforms and professional networks. In our experience, candidates upload their CV to our website but also to all other available platforms. It costs them nothing but time to upload their CV to all platforms available to them.

This means that when companies have numerous agencies on their PSL, these agencies are looking at exactly the same candidates, if they’re using the right discovery methodologies. Precious time is then lost when having to interact with a large number of agencies on the PSL, who are effectively looking at the same talent pool. It is not uncommon to have the same candidate presented by a number of different agencies on the PSL.

Some old agencies may point to the their ‘unique’ database or network when talking about passive candidates. In this case, passive candidates are people an agency have placed for a client but still remain on the agency database. This would be a unique selling point if a certain professional network didn’t exist. This platform means other agencies can freely contact candidates that some may claim to be part of their ‘unique network’.

Does the Recruitment PSL Help with Hard to Find Candidates?

The recruitment PSL becomes a hindrance when a company needs a specific and unique skill set. Companies do not remain static, they are constantly changing and evolving. Ensuring the recruitment PSL represents a suitable number of niche agencies and keeping it up to date can be extremely time consuming. As technology drives digital transformation, especially within recruitment, there are more and more market entrants that can find the right candidate just as quickly and accurately as the industry old timers.

Recruitment as a Service from Schwarz & Vogel uses first hand industry knowledge, the latest technology and a unique pricing model. All of these factors combined means we’re delivering a world class recruitment service at a fraction of the cost of old agencies.

Our company was built with the customer at its nucleus. Recruitment as a Service was developed by acknowledging that no agency in the world has access to a ‘unique’ talent pool. From that point of enlightenment, change and difference came naturally. We identified the problem within the industry and created Recruitment as a Service (RaaS) as the solution.

Use the Contact US page to find out more about Recruitment as a Service from Schwarz & Vogel, the future of recruitment is here.