Andrew Daley was recently interviewed by one of the leading procurement and supply chain job boards www.supplychainonline.co.uk
The interview covers Andrew’s opinions on specialist job boards, the use of social media in recruitment and his concerns about the future of Linked In. He also talks about the benefits of forming effective working relationships with recruiters and the qualities to look for in a potential new boss.
You can read the full interview here:
The Client – An international multi disciplinary consultancy looking to build on its growing presence in the UK procurement and supply chain sector.
The Challenges They Faced:
Their limited track record in the sector gave them a relatively low profile as a potential employer
They were struggling to hire specific skill sets, particularly in competition with established major players players
A shortage of available talent in procurement and supply chain consulting generally
Market conditions meant that the market rate was out of kilter with their existing salary bands
We recommended a detailed Talent Mapping exercise because it offered the following:
- Thorough audit of the relevant market
- Detailed analysis of all competitors
- Accurate up to date evidence of what the market rate for various skill sets was
- It enabled us to begin a marketing awareness campaign amongst the relevant talent pool
How Did It Solve The Problems?
Enabled us to identify “value” in the market and focus on affordable candidates
We acted as front line for selling careers with our client making them a more desirable employer
It helped develop a clear Talent Attraction strategy to suit prevailing market conditions
We also identified alternative talent pools through detailed research
Ultimately the process enabled us to create a Talent Pipeline of candidates for interview over three months as the client looked to hire several people in response to a number of new client projects.
By providing accurate evidence of market rate salaries, the client was able to adapt its current grades and make a more informed choice on whether candidates were worth their salary expectations.
They interviewed candidates from more established players in the market who might not have previously considered our client as a potential employer.
They hired all the people they need for the first half of 2015 and have a clear idea of who they might consider later in the year.
Talent Mapping and Pipelining are not necessarily new concepts in recruitment, however many companies have previously found them to be a disappointment as recruiters have often oversold and under delivered to HR and line managers.
We have worked closely with a handful of valued clients to develop our offering in this area. By only working in the markets we know intimately and constantly refining our techniques we have been able to make a real difference for our clients.
Our detailed proposal explains in detail how and why our service is different. It is only available upon request largely because we don’t want to share our intellectual property with our competitors.
Please contact Andrew Daley for more details.
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.
Here’s an excerpt from our Procurement Quarterly Market Update for the second quarter of 2015 which addresses recruitment market trends and the availability of skills in the consulting sector.
The picture in the consultancy space is not as bullish as in quarter one. It is somewhat mixed as some niche areas (spend management) are doing well but many others are either static or struggling to win new deals and hence we have seen a number of examples of organisations pulling back on previous expansion plans.
Most consultancies are still recruiting but not at the rate anticipated or merely to cover leavers or to backfill promotions. The picture varies according to each organisation’s project pipeline and this can change week by week currently. This is impacting on recruitment as candidates become nervous when recruitment drives are delayed or even cancelled.
Much of the new project work being awarded centres around technology led procurement transformation and many of these organisations are successfully ‘on-selling’ other services. In our view organisations not offering access to a technology solution seem to be at a disadvantage in the current market
The larger outsourcing deals appear to be less in number as many CPO’s or senior Procurement Leaders have indicated to us that they are focusing on ‘targeted help or consultancy on specific areas of spend or to speed up specific projects’ This implies they want to retain full control and don’t want to commit to the costs or risks of a long term outsource unless there is a long standing relationship or a specific business problem beyond the in-house capabilities.
Some organisations are in effect running transformation projects internally by carefully utilising interims directly instead of ‘outsourcing’. However there remains a shortage of experienced consultants with the requisite skill set to deliver major transformation projects in procurement and supply chain at senior levels.
An increasing trend that we have reported before is the shortage of junior level consultancy candidates with 2-3 years experience. Many consultancies are increasingly delivering projects via a tiered delivery model with good junior people increasingly being used to support senior people on-site from day one. Therefore they can only consider those with existing client facing skills and experience as they cannot risk putting those without this straight into this environment. This increasing demand means salary rates for these levels are becoming increasingly inflated as competition for good candidates becomes more intense.
As an example we are finding that good junior people with 2-4 years experience can command a base salary of £45-50k for a move to another consultancy. There are examples of individuals with only 3 years experience being offered £55k to move to some of the smaller niche consultancies. This we think will cause increasing problems for the bigger players or those organisations with strictly controlled salary and career bands who are unable to flex.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please contact Peter Brophy.