Consultancy ever more important in changing hiring process

Change. Sounds simple. In reality, it’s more complex. All change is faced with resistance; even when the change is an improvement. Paul Oldenburg, Business Developer at Staffing Management Services, explains how the managed service provider helps its clients change in the context of external hiring.
Successfully implementing a hiring programme and overcoming resistance internally within the organisation are two major challenges companies face when it comes to external hiring. Staffing MS – part of HeadFirst Group -, offers its clients a business consultancy service. “Our experts, with decades of practical experience in the market, consult on strategic HR policy and the role of external hiring as a part of this, with a well-grounded hiring policy as the end product”, explains Oldenburg.

Diverse stakeholders

Multiple departments and line managers are involved in the implementation of a hiring programme. Not only Sales, but HR and Operations, too. The change essentially impacts the entire organisation. The greatest risk is that ownership of the hiring process is not clearly assigned. Oldenburg perceives this to be the main reason why the follow-up and governance of the hiring programme is often left ‘hanging’. “In most cases, Sales initiates professionalisation of the hiring process, but they are neither willing nor able to remain the process owner. This admittedly falls within the remit of HR, who in turn, are reluctant: their priorities lie elsewhere.”

It surprises Oldenburg, considering that external professionals have at least as much impact on the organisation’s returns. Particularly if they are working on innovative projects. Oldenburg is therefore a strong advocate for HR’s involvement from the very first meeting. “We will only engage in a consultation once all parties are sitting around the table. We do get the occasional raised eyebrow in response, as though to say “Is that really necessary?””

Unpicking the hiring problem

Over the years, Oldenburg has learned that clients are in search of concrete solutions, first and foremost: “We can complicate matters, but all clients want is an answer to a problem. They don’t want to be left facing all kinds of consequences of technological and societal developments, or with changes in legislation and regulations. That’s why we offer expert advice based on the current situation and requirements.”

To assess these, Staffing MS sets out in search of answers to questions such as: ‘What does current hiring look like and how is it structured / organised?’, ‘How flexible does the structure need to be?’, ‘What is the most suitable contingent workforce?’, ‘What is the best way to manage deployment of temporary and external professionals?’. “We use this analysis to map out the hiring process and policy, from which we draw conclusions on, among others, recruitment maturity, the efficiency of existing hiring processes, governance and policy regarding external hiring and potential missed opportunities for optimising the way hiring is structured”, explains Oldenburg. “The insights and analysis of the current hiring situation are used to put forward a proposal containing points for improvement, solutions and possibilities in the area of external hiring.”

“The main things organisations want to know, are whether they are paying over the odds, where the risks lie and which roles they may no longer be able to fill.”

A key starting point for the analysis is a scan of existing contracts and a data analysis. Oldenburg: “In the case of freelancers, the DBA (Employment Relationships Deregulation) Act act plays an important role. We analyse the impact of this, and to what extent freelancers are being recruited lawfully. A DBA act scan is performed to this end, and we provide a concrete step-by-step plan for mitigating the risks of the act. In addition, a data analysis offers insight into the total spend on external hiring and the ratios between the various suppliers.

But it also provides an inventory of the rates at which professionals are being hired. “We can compare the rates being offered on the market, benchmarked rates (market rate) and rates that similar hirers are hiring at. By contrasting hourly rates, cost savings can be made on the hourly rates of external professionals when hiring and deploying them in future”, says Oldenburg.

Successfull implementation

Once the hiring policy has been formulated and the external workforce identified, the real challenge begins: the implementation. Oldenburg can rely on over ten years of experience as an MSP expert here: “We have a significant edge over consultancy firms, who are often looking on from the side lines. The fact that we are hands-on, as it were, adds value.” This approach not only enables the organisation to consult on process design, but to also expertly oversee implementation.

This can be done by outsourcing the hiring process (to Staffing MS or A.N. Other) or by jointly putting in place an external hiring structure. “Implementation of the hiring policy and standardisation of the hiring process often results in resistance on the part of users and existing suppliers. We carry out the implementation with care in order to turn that resistance into support for the hiring policy. Besides overseeing the implementation, Staffing MS also offers coaching on the hiring process”, concludes Oldenburg.

This article was published on on 9th July 2019.

This post is also available in: Dutch