Outsourcing your Company’s Recruiting

outsource stress

Specialize.  Delegate.  Outsource.

I specialize in recruiting, career consulting, resume writing, staff augmentation consulting, and blogging.  I delegate or outsource the rest:  taxes to my CPA, domestic duties to the maid, landlord duties to property management firms on my rental estate, and so forth.  The point is not what I’m outsourcing (nor that I’m criminally lazy in certain areas of my life)  but that I am recognizing where my strengths and subsequent best ROI lies.

Let’s say, your company or team specializes in PaaS solutions delivery and you, the team lead, specializes in the architecture and management of the actual implementation.  You may or may not be also skilled in recruiting and hiring but this is not your bread-and-butter area.  What’s the difference in ROI between time spent in your specialty or time spent outside of that?  Answer seems intuitive.

I’ve talked with directors, TPMs, and C-Level execs trying to wear multiple hats (hats off to them); during these late night calls to catch up, I can hear their fatigue.  I was gunning for one ‘rockstar’ DevOps director who was perfect for one of my openings and he himself was interested.  The problem was, I wouldn’t be able to have him as a candidate until he had his own internal openings filled.  Another director told me he spent at least 4 hours daily (totalling an average workday of 15-18 work hours) to sift through resume applications.

For the company who has never dealt with outside recruiters, the thought can be scary.  First thing one might see are the dollar signs; we don’t want to hemorrhage money when we are a startup struggling to bloom and see revenue, or even a medium to large company struggling to re-org overhead, operational costs and get lean. (The smaller shop or startup may argue that the risk and cost of outsourcing recruitment is on a different, harder scale than that of a big firm.  While I agree, I also want to point out that there are recruiters with the flexibility to adjust their cost models to absorb more of the risk burden in order to support a business.)

Here’s a different game-changing way to look at outsourcing recruitment efforts.  It’s more often that you can’t afford NOT to outsource than it is whether you can afford to outsource.  I’m going to get more granular on the following items in my next article but some example costs of not outsourcing recruitment efforts are:

  • Time away from revenue-generating activities and productivity.  If I’m aforementioned DevOps director, the hours I spend recruiting are hours I could have been managing my technical initiatives instead.  And, sure, I may play the role of Superman for a time– doing my full core working hours and, then, burning the midnight oil to play HR/recruiter.  Long-term trajectory that’s unfolding?  I’m getting burnt out.  Even if I don’t know it, there’s a brain-drain happening that’s detracting from my ability to give my all to my specialty.
  • And even if I, the DevOps (or whatever) director can proudly allocate 4 extra hours daily to recruitment, the specialists in this area can usually scale up much  more quickly in terms of time, reach, and resources.  They can shell out the expenses for ad postings, market and trend data and analysis, technical screenings, and other costs.  They have the time and focus to do everything to mitigate bad hiring decisions which can end up costing a company a figure 30% to 150%.  They are able to take a step back as an objective outsider and understand gaps in hiring processes or vision, and bring you both individual talent and enterprise staffing solutions.

Several months ago, my parents told me proudly they spent XYZ hours hacking down a dead tree in their backyard.   Kudos to their self-sufficient and frugal nature which has served them well many a times.  At the same time, they are now quite well-off in the socioeconomic scheme of things and (I pointed this out to them, rather bluntly), they are getting old.  I’d rather have them reduce risk to their body and spend time on creating or sustaining value in other areas (for my Daddy, working on whatever OOP or dynamic language he needs to learn in latest software project, or, for my Mommy, her crocheting Etsy-worthy stuff).

Outsourcing should not inspire the image of some strange party weaseling its way into your business and funneling your hard earned funds away.  We are here to solve problems and let you focus on what you do best.

For more questions on outsourcing your company’s recruitment efforts, email liu.winghong@gmail.com .


2 thoughts on “Outsourcing your Company’s Recruiting

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=15&v=cwx9fZOL81c <– quick 7 minute intro-video on "Comparative Advantage." If of truly short attention span or short on time: view 3:27 to 5:00.

    "The more different we are from each other, the more we benefit from trading with each other…
    Do you know what you are comparatively good at? What you get paid for at your job tells you that. Comparative advantage is the main force driving us to use our talents in those jobs that we do best…Specialization plays a key role in the move from poverty to prosperity. "


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