Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How to Set up a Direct Hire Model

I wrote a blog recently in which I talked about the success of our direct hire model (How In-House Recruiting Can Save You 200k on Agency Fees). As I said quite a lot about how easy it is to do and how much money you can save, I thought I should follow it up with some thoughts what you need to do to set up your own. Apologies to recruitment agency readers.

Work out your budget

Item number one is budget. You will need to spend more on job boards, and if you don’t have a LinkedIn Recruiter seat already this should be on the list. Ideally, you should dedicate one of your team to resourcing activity – mixing all the other day to day recruitment activity with resourcing means a prioritisation challenge for the team. Dedicating it to one individual gives it the focus it needs. All of these investments will pay for themselves and then some if you put everything else right. Essentially, this is your business case.

Getting buy in from the organisation

There are several factors critical to success once you have got the cash you need. The first is getting the buy in from your own recruitment team, and the second is getting the buy in of your hiring managers. Hiring managers can be a difficult bunch. They want their vacancy filling, quickly, and with someone totally brilliant. No great surprise there. However, they often don’t care that much what has to be done to get that CV in front of them. I was open and honest at Board level; we may experience a longer time to hire, at least in the early days, but we will save money (lots) and own our own employer brand.

Partnership with hiring managers

Clear communications to your hiring managers is key. They need to understand what the recruitment team can do for them, and what’s in it for them to stop using their usual agencies. If they bypass you and tell the agencies anyway then you face an uphill struggle. This is why your recruitment team needs to act as a genuine business partner, and work in partnership to fill that vacancy rather than just quoting a new process. Starting at the top is your best bet; I got the buy in of our management board on the process before launching it which legitimises your approach.

Approach to agencies

You need to settle early on your approach to agencies going forward, in particular when and where you will bring them into the process if at all. As I have said before, I don’t believe that any direct hire model can fill every role and you still need good partners to support your hiring. We don’t engage agencies on any role until we feel that the resourcing team have done what they can. At the very minimum we resource for at least a week before considering going external. Otherwise you are not giving yourself an even chance of success; most agencies will have more resource to push out to sourcing for a vacancy than your own internal team will have and they’ll beat you to the candidates.

Think long term

It’s important to emphasise in your internal communications that direct resourcing is a long game. You might get some quick hires but it’s about building long term relationships with potential future employees; we have recently hired someone who we first had contact with over six months ago. Your resourcing pipeline needs time to build, so tell people not to expect overnight results.

Training is required

With regard to your recruitment team, consider in your business case what training needs they will have to prepare them for the change in focus. Up-skilling your team on advert writing and social media usage is a must if these skills are not already advanced.

Don’t forget employee referrals

All of the above need to be complimented with a highly visible employee referrals process (I’ve blogged on this before so won’t repeat myself) and strong social media presence to ensure you have the best reach for your vacancies.

What’s your break even point?

In my own experience, we broke even on our costs around month five, and everything then in was a pure saving. Good luck!

By Gemma Reucroft

Gemma Reucroft is a HR professional specialising in recruitment and employee relations, with a passion for coaching. She tweets as @HR_Gem.