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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | August 23, 2017

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What are the benefits of outsourcing recruitment assessment for SMEs?

What are the benefits of outsourcing recruitment assessment for SMEs?
Outsource Magazine

Recruitment is a serious matter for businesses of all sizes. It is a pricey process, both in terms of time and money. As such, we all enter into recruitment hoping to land an incredible employee who will add value to your organisation for years to come. Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out that way. Sometimes, despite our high hopes for a given candidate, we are let down and have to let them go. When this happens regularly, the consequences can be disastrous and potentially include a damaged company reputation, impaired productivity, loss of resources and low company morale.

Though it’s true that all companies are concerned with recruitment, this area is of particular concern for SMEs. In fact, recruitment has been named the biggest challenge facing SMEs, with over a third of small and medium-sized businesses labelling it the most challenging HR process. To make matters worse, SMEs generally struggle with HR responsibilities, as it is uncommon for companies of fewer than 50 employees to have a dedicated HR team.

This uncertainty regarding recruitment worsens during turbulent times, meaning some SMEs would prefer not to recruit altogether, rather than risk making the wrong hire. It has been shown that over half of UK SMEs have no plan to recruit at all in 2017, following economic concerns after Brexit.

The thing is, particularly during the early days of your company, it is critical that you hire strong candidates, all of whom work together to build a successful, long-lasting business. So rather than delaying recruitment or risking an ill-fitting hire, many companies turn to outsourcing. Outsourcing recruitment assessment, especially when you engage a business psychology consultancy that make use of psychometric testing, has a range of advantages to offer small and large businesses alike.

Outsourcing recruitment assessment saves your company money

Recruitment is expensive. According to Undercover Recruiter, whether you pay an agency to source your talent or do it yourself through various channels such as social media or job sites, the average recruitment cost for lower level roles is £3,000. It costs a further £1,068 to train an employee, not to mention the time and effort required to do so. This is a great investment, as long as you have selected the right candidate, but what if your recruitment selection isn’t tailored appropriately and you end up with a poor fit? In this case, the employee either isn’t likely to stick around and you’ll have to repeat the process, or they’ll remain with your company but not produce the results you’re looking for.

Companies that outsource their recruitment assessment benefit from the expertise of qualified HR professionals. They can perform a thorough job analysis for the role in question, identifying what to include in the person specification and job description and most importantly what demonstrable competencies or behaviours are needed to succeed. This will help you attract suitable people, meaning you aren’t spending time interviewing candidates who clearly aren’t right for the role.

You’ll enjoy a stronger quality of hires

An SME only has so many resources at its disposal. When it comes to the interview, hiring managers can ask probing questions and use their knowledge of their industry to prompt important discussion, but this is generally the extent of the process. When you outsource your recruitment assessment, the company you select will be experts in behavioural analysis, interviewing and best practice assessment processes. This includes having access to and the background understanding of a wide range of psychometric testing tools.

Psychometric testing can help you measure and gain an insight into a number of important characteristics including your candidate’s personality, critical reasoning, motivation and emotional intelligence. When interpreted by an expert business psychologist such assessments can ensure that only the best of the best go forward to a final stage interview or assessment centre, negating the need to rely on gut feeling. You will be left with objective, measurable data that will provide a clear, all-round understanding of an individual’s suitability. It is for reasons such as this that over 75% of all UK Times 100 companies make use of objective testing.

Increased ability to hire for cultural fit

When recruiting, employers should remember the importance of hiring for cultural fit. It has been shown that when employees are a good company fit, they experience greater job satisfaction, perform better and are more loyal.

The first step towards hiring for cultural fit is to decide what your company stands for and what its core values are. Once this is clear, psychometric tests can screen for certain qualities and personality traits that complement your business.

Objective data for use in succession planning

Outsourcing your recruitment assessment doesn’t simply help you during your recruitment phase. Once your selection process is over, you are left with objective, science-backed data which has been analysed by trained experts. This information can assist in shaping development programmes and pinpointing those with leadership and managerial potential. So, the information originally sourced during recruitment assessment can also form part of your succession planning. Remember: though external recruitment certainly plays an important role in shaping your company, promoting the right people from within can really take a business from strength to strength.

Improved retention

All the benefits above — pinpointing relevant strengths and weaknesses, highlighting candidates who are a great cultural match for your company and promoting the right employees — will ultimately result in decreased staff turnover. This saves your company substantial money in the long run. It also helps your business develop a positive reputation, which will attract the best talent for years to come.


About the Author

Nick Davis is a business psychologist and Director at Davis Associates — an HR consultancy in Surrey, UK. Nick and his team have used their knowledge and expertise to boost organisational and team performance for companies around the world.

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