Why A Quality Focus To Recruitment Makes A Difference
One of our key clients is a rapidly growing Spend Management Company that is gaining market share because of the quality of both its product and its people.
It recognises that to attract the best talent and to retain its staff it has to give them exciting career paths, and needs to send a clear message to the market place so that talented individuals understand the opportunities they can provide.
They understand the value that we can bring by acting as their ‘ambassadors’ in the market and the value we add by both Talent Identification and also by how we present a consistent and compelling message about their business.
They have invested considerable time with us to jointly build the relationship so that we fully understand their business and the skills and attributes they require and the kinds of opportunities they offer. They recognise that they need an external partner who can sell their brand and position them well and not just source CV’s. They need a business that really understands a very competitive candidate marketplace.
How Does This Approach Make A Difference?
For one Senior Consultant role we had two offers rejected – one was very aggressively counter offered by their current employer and the other candidate was offered £10k more basic salary elsewhere.
We realised that market conditions may have changed so we undertook some salary benchmarking research on their behalf.
It is easy and all too common for recruiters to drive salary increases and to claim that a client needs to raise their pay bands – we will always advise a client based on real data so that they can make an informed decision.
In this situation based on our research and a full open discussion with the client they reviewed and raised their basic salaries and with them we refined the message we took to the market – the role has now successfully been filled as a result.
Based on this success this approach was adopted further and we have since successfully filled a number of other roles and have candidates in reserve for future appointments such as:
- Account Manager
- Pre- Sales Director
- Senior Analyst
We are currently working on four more roles for this client
It is clearly a success story for us and the client. It proves that even when facing incredibly competitive market conditions because we work together and they trust our advice we have some superb recruitment success and have together driven and produced market leading KPI’s
- Our interview to offer rate this year of 75%.
- Our interview to appointment rate this year is 50%
- Our interview to appointment rate since our client realigned their salary bands using our research is 80%
The Lesson Learnt?
If your organisation achieved these levels of performance in your recruitment process how much time and money would be saved?
Yes we usually cost more than those rates typically quoted on many PSL’s but our value and advice on key issues like process, salary, availability of relevant skills and market conditions makes a significant difference to the actual cost.
Equally our expertise is understood and recognised by candidates and this allows us to influence and persuade the best people to consider leaving their current jobs to join a new team when others may not. Detailed sector knowledge is critical, particularly in a job market like procurement technology.
Ultimately to save time and money and to add real value, you must invest time together with a business that knows the market. We seek to understand your recruitment challenges and give credible advice so that we can deliver candidates that fit your brief.
So ask yourself this, do you want a low price/high volume option for your recruitment or do you want value and a source of competitive advantage?
If it’s the latter, I look forward to hearing from you.
Client brief & Objective
We were engaged by the HR Director of a Fortune 500 organisation to help them identify an outstanding candidate for their newly created European Supply Chain Director position.
The challenge was that the position could be based in any one of five countries in Europe necessitating a broad geographical Search and potentially time consuming candidate and identification selection process.
Our Methodology And Solution
The client detailed their criteria, objectives, timescales for the position and we gave our advice on a suitable process by identifying:
- the recruitment market conditions for the desired skill set
- salary differentials across the five possible locations.
We then designed and proposed a solution to meet their specific criteria which had the following key activities to produce an initial long list of candidates
- Searching our existing database of procurement and supply chain professionals
- Networking across a wide range of contacts in each of the local markets where this person could be based: France, Denmark, UK, Italy or Germany
- Use of online research tools to research specific target organisations
After the initial screening the best candidates were then to use an online video interviewing tool to record their answer to the same standard questions. These question were agreed between ourselves and the client in advance.
Their responses were then used to jointly create a shortlist for face to face interviews with the European VP and HR Director.
These have proved to be excellent for sifting when undertaking senior leadership appointments and are particularly effective for international appointments across different locations as it significantly reduces the time and expense required and actually increases candidate engagement with the process.
Eight candidates recorded video interviews, five of which were invited for face to face interviews in the UK.
After face to face interviews with the European MD and HR Directors, the chosen candidate was offered the role and accepted despite a strong counter offer due to the relationship that had been built.
The process was a great success and took up far less senior management time than the client had anticipated.
Our client had never used video interview facilities in this way before, but they will do so again in the future.
The Key Benefits For Our Client
- This project was delivered on an exclusive contingency basis, de-risking it for our client
- Approximately 10 hours interviewing time was saved plus associated travelling time & costs for the two senior executives.
- Three candidates were ruled out upfront by the video interviews
- This equates to 16 flights across Europe costing roughly £5000
- We used several different candidate sourcing processes to maximise interest in the role across Europe resulting in an outstanding shortlist (see client comments below)
Here’s the note sent to Andrew Daley by the HR Director upon completion of the process:
Just a last note to say a big thank you for your support.
XXXX (the European MD) and I were really impressed by your responsiveness, the calibre of the shortlist and of course the result.
The UK Spend Management sector is enjoying strong market conditions with several key players experiencing significant growth.
In terms of human resource, there are a finite pool of people with experience in a rapidly growing sector. This equation means there is a shortage of suitable talent that is only going to become more acute as the market continues to grow.
At Edbury Daley we have had a clear focus on the sector for several years now dating back to our first work with an established market leader in 2007. Our network of contacts spans all the key players in the sector and we know where the best people are.
We also know which people might consider new roles, and which organisations are at risk of losing some of their best people due to market factors like salary increases, under investment in the product etc.
In a marketplace which is characterised by this skills shortage, growing organisations need a recruitment strategy that can help give them competitive advantage.
We strongly believe that our portfolio of services can be a major factor in delivering that competitive advantage to the companies that we work closely with.
We offer several different recruitment services for both interim and full time roles, a bespoke salary benchmarking service for the procurement technology market and an advisory service which focuses on improving talent attraction strategies.
If your business needs to address how they hire the best available people, we have the experience and market knowledge to make a difference.
Here are some examples of the appointments we’ve made so far this year in competitive market conditions:
Senior Sales Manager – e marketplace & analytics provider
Managing Consultant, Coupa/Ariba implementations – big four Consultancy
Senior Consultant, SAP Implementation – big four Consultancy
Senior Consultant, P2P Transformation – niche consultancy
Senior Consultant – e Sourcing suite provider
If you would like a more in depth view of the market, whether it be for a discussion about recruiting into your team or with regard to your own personal career choices, please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 924 2385.
Edbury Daley have instigated some timely new research on the choice of recruitment and selection methods and the impact of those choices on the success rate of a getting a quality recruit in to the hiring business.
As the global economy recovers many companies are pursuing significant growth plans. Often, the key constraining factor is the ability to hire and retain the skills and expertise needed. Employer Branding and Talent Communities are becoming the new parlance of Human Resource Management as bigger corporations embrace the advent of social media to gain an advantage in finding the people they need. This is covered in some detail in a very interesting recent study by Deloitte.
In our most recent Quarterly Market Update on the employment market for procurement professionals we reported on a skills shortage in spend management which has been created by the recent growth in the sector.
We mentioned the various factors creating inflationary pressures on salaries and offered some potential solutions for companies seeking to hire the talent they need in a very competitive market. The full report is available here whilst subsequent editions of our quarterly reports can be accessed here.
Unfortunately one fact is unavoidable, salaries are rising at pace and this is making it harder to afford quality people within existing salary bands.
Most salary data provided to HR departments is 6-12 months out of date and is too general to be accurate for a specific niche like procurement technology.
Given our specialism in this area we have access to a great deal of market data and have recently analysed how remuneration packages are growing at the various different levels from Directors down to graduates with two years experience.
If your business needs to benchmark its salary and benefits packages with direct competitors from the industry, we can provide a bespoke report tailored to your specific grades within a week. Please contact Andrew Daley if you require more details.
If you want more information about what’s happening in the Spend Management sector, including the latest news and career opportunities, you can visit http://www.spendmanagement.co.uk/
As part of Spend Matters focus on Talent this month we are contributing a series of articles relating to the subject of recruitment and retention of outstanding procurement professionals.
A great recruitment strategy actually starts with the retention of your best people. Why? Retaining, developing and promoting your best people sends a very positive message to the market that your department is a great place to work. Conversely an organisation with high staff turnover and unhappy staff will quickly gain a negative reputation.
So how do you keep your best people happy, motivated and away from what is a very busy job market?
Here we look at the reasons why procurement professionals to want to leave their current employer, what we in the recruitment profession call “push” factors.
Looking at this study from the US they list the top three reasons in order as:
- Career Advancement
- Work/life balance
We wouldn’t necessarily disagree with this but from our experience with procurement people there are a number of factors in play. Using years of anecdotal experience, here’s a list of the most common reasons people tell us they want to move.
Lack of career progression – when people reach the glass ceiling where they realise their future opportunities for advancement are limited they are generally willing to consider roles with organisations where those opportunities are considerably better. This is a common mindset amongst “passive” job seekers.
Lack of training and development – “I’m not learning anything” or “I don’t feel challenged” are common complaints that usually tie in with a lack of career progression.
Break down in relationship with boss/peers/stakeholders – this can lead to a pretty unhappy time at work and usually results in a desire to move jobs as quickly as possible.
Lack of senior management support – procurement needs sponsorship at the highest level to effect positive change. A lack of support from the top is a common reason why departmental leaders want to move. Similarly for those working with difficult or uncooperative stakeholders in Category Management roles, going to work can be very unrewarding and encourages people to seek an environment where their skills will be valued by others.
No challenge left in the role – many leading procurement people thrive on delivering the inherent change required to deliver better commercial outcomes. When they have delivered significant improvements and are left with running a “steady state” they become bored and seek the next challenge, usually in a new employer.
Treated unfairly – when people perceive that others are being treated better by senior management, whether it be through promotions, pay rises or bigger bonuses, this breeds resentment and pushes that person onto the job market.
Colleagues moving on – when people see their friends at work moving to other organisations for better roles and salaries they begin to wonder if they should be considering options outside their current employer.
Company health/profitability – be definition procurement people are commercially savvy and have access to all sorts of financial data. They know when the company is struggling and this brings the issue of job security onto the agenda.
Work/life balance – working long hours, making early or late calls to colleagues, stakeholders and suppliers in different time zones and excessive work loads will be tolerated by many in the short term but when it becomes a long term trend and impacts on your personal life it becomes a source of discontent.
Practical reasons – a significant change in personal circumstances often prompts people to look for a new job that is more suited to their lifestyle. People also move because of excessive business travel and difficult commutes.
Financial – it is actually very rare that a procurement person lists salary as the principal reason why they want to consider a move. In fact it’s usually us that raises the issue of salary and benefits when we first speak to a new candidate and most people will tell us that its only one consideration in a much broader picture.
However when it comes to actually discussing a job offer, it becomes clear that the salary is usually a critical factor.
This situation is perhaps best illustrated by something one of my senior management consulting clients once said to me:
“The thing that irritates me about hiring procurement people is how they switch from sales mode in interview to buyer mode at offer stage. They tell us that career progression is their top priority then feel the need to demonstrate their negotiation skills and end up giving the impression it was about salary all along.”
Whilst this maybe a slightly harsh judgement, it does offer an interesting insight into how many procurement professionals behave during the process, and confirms that salary is a key driver in almost every job move.
In our recent research into recruitment best practice we asked how much of an increase in basic salary would you require to commit to a move?
Only 10% of participants would move for an improvement of 5% on their salary, whilst 44% wanted at least a10% uplift. 39% said they would only move for an improvement of 20%.
With the skills shortage we mentioned above and this approach to negotiating job offers, its clear to us that companies looking to attract the best procurement people will have to look carefully at their budgets in 2015. Quite simply, if the financial package on offer isn’t attractive, most procurement people will wait until someones makes them an offer that does meet their expectations.
Our message to procurement leaders is this – we are on the cusp of a skills shortage in key areas of the procurement profession. Hiring good people is becoming increasingly difficult in a competitive job market and your best people will be in the sights of head hunters. A key target for you in 2015 is to work hard to keep those best people.
Whilst a small degree of staff churn is viewed as healthy by most, keeping your best people will also make it easier to attract a quality replacement when you do lose somebody.
For an alternative view from the US on this subject, this article from Forbes magazine makes interesting reading.