Does your PSL really work?

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Recruitment can be somewhat competitive – to put it lightly!

Recruiters continue to battle for coveted spots on employers’ Preferred Supplier Lists, clamouring for exclusivity, and trying to think of ever-more creative ways of making their services unique and indispensable. Make it onto the PSL, and you’re made – or so popular opinion would suggest.

However, it would seem that employers’ PSLs are not always the panacea to securing the best talent. According to a recent survey by The Job Post, almost half of employers reviewed said that the recruiters on their PSL were unable to fill their specialist (often technical) vacancies.

The reliance on Preferred Supplier Lists is understandable – they’re “preferred” for a reason and often reduce their fees in return for volume business. In turn, this saves employers money. If a recruiter can successfully fill a company’s vacancies time and again, it makes sense for employers to continue using them – as, over time, they are able to really understand the culture and requirements of the company.

This, designed to increase accuracy, is completely logical.

However, when preferred suppliers fail to deliver, even if only on certain types / levels of vacancy, rigidly following this process seems counter-productive. It can cost businesses dearly – because they will be forced to continue operating without the right skills on board.

In these circumstances, HR teams who refuse to make exceptions to the company-wide PSL are really struggling to police their process. Sneaky recruiting activity, by line managers desperate to employ critical skills, is on the rise. A staggering 63% of organisations admit they are aware of their line managers’ contact with non-preferred agencies.

Realistically, this behaviour is only set to increase, as demand for the top talent (often with scarce/high demand tech skills) grows. If employers with rigid PSLs snub the superstar recruiters (and, thereby, the very best tech talent) then hiring managers will react. They have no choice. Just like any other contraband, they’ll simply smuggle their new recruits past security – covertly.

Every action needs a reaction, or a vicious circle is born! Of course, HR cannot allow recruitment to become a free-for-all, but if PSL recruiters aren’t delivering the goods, they should be the ones driving the process to cast the net a little further out – to the specialists who can.

Their company’s next key hire could depend on it.