Archive for April, 2006

Paying a premium for a longer guarantee period - hmmm?

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Something has got me thinking. A specialist NZ recruitment agency, which will remain nameless, is offering clients a 12-month guarantee period in return for a significantly higher recruitment fee. The agency highlights that this offer is driven by their clients who requested that they share a greater risk in the recruitment process. There are some other sweeteners also thrown in with this deal.

Part of me thinks ‘good on the agency’; it certainly is a point of difference for them in a crowded market and if this is what their clients want, well then they are merely meeting a need. I guess if I bought a new fridge, for example, I would be asked if I wanted to extend the warranty period for an extra fee.

Human beings are unpredictable creatures and sometimes for whatever reason the best candidates on paper fail to fire in a role or just don’t gel with the organisation or its people. It is also a challenge in some candidate-tight roles to ensure employee loyalty and retention, especially when compelling outside opportunities may present themselves. These types of issues have partly contributed to an explosion of different recruitment models, some of which do not offer guarantee periods.

The cynical side of me, however, says that if I was employing staff and a new recruit left after eight months, I would look extremely closely at whether the agency got it right. Yes, sometimes it is the organisation’s fault, especially when poor management of the new recruit is to blame. But did the agency take the time to understand my organisation’s culture? Did they get the motivational fit right? Did they provide the candidates with a realistic job preview? Did they take shortcuts in the rush to make a placement?

If I was in hiring mode I would want my agency to work in partnership with me to ensure that any risks are minimised. I wouldn’t want any surprises. If I had a three-month guarantee period arrangement I would still expect the employee to stay for six months, 12 months, 18 months or even longer. I would want the same level of rigour, regardless of the guarantee period - whether it is three months or 12 months!!

This model poses some major questions for me:

Is this a good model? Does an agency actually try harder to get it right with a longer guarantee period and a higher fee? Shouldn’t employee retention be the goal for both the employer and the agency regardless of the guarantee period offered? Does offering a 12-month guarantee mean that there is a lower quality of hire with shorter guarantee periods? Are people like fridges?

Paul Jacobs

Welcome aboard!

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Welcome - Haere mai

Internationally, there’s a lot happening in the sphere of recruitment.

There’s a great deal of innovation going on and there’ll only be more in the future; from new ways of sourcing candidates to advances in technology. These changes challenge the way we do things, and it can be hard to find information and share ideas in a New Zealand context.

This is where the Engage blog comes in. In starting this blog, it’s hard to predict how much people will contribute their thoughts or whether they will at all! Regardless, you’ll be hearing from Engage about what’s on our minds, news, events and anything else that’s relevant to recruitment in New Zealand.

Without getting too wrapped up in ‘legalese’, there are a few ground rules:

  • there’s no room for product flogging
  • we want healthy debate that is upfront, open, candid and unhindered by political correctness or rudeness
  • any opinions expressed are not to be taken as advice - always get professional assistance before implementing any ideas you might read here
  • Engage reserves the right to remove any comments that are offensive or don’t comply with these ground rules.

Please familiarise yourself with the Blog “Policy” under the Links section on the left-hand side of the screen.

So, welcome aboard and we look forward to engaging with you.

Happy blogging!

Paul Jacobs