Late one Friday afternoon a few years ago a client called me with a couple of IT position she needed to fill fast: CV’s reviewed next week, interviews the week after, the job to start the following week. I knew the client well, I knew exactly what she wanted and I knew the positions would be easy ones to fill. So, I posted a couple of well written job adverts on a number of IT Job Boards, comfortable in the knowledge that, come Monday morning, I’d have a plenty of good response.

Back in the office after a relaxing weekend, I fired up my computer and checked my inbox. There were 512 CVs in there. I was delighted, but I also knew the next 48 hours were going to be tough. Working for a small recruitment company, where staff was responsible for their own resourcing, I knew I was going to be spending most of my waking hours up to my neck in CVs.

By late Tuesday afternoon, I had got through most of the pile and put together a couple of shortlist. But my work was far from over - another 120 CVs had arrived since Monday morning… Finally, just after 10pm Tuesday night, having spent around 20 hours screening over 630 CVs, I had two shortlists of 10 for each position.

First thing on Wednesday, I called each of the 20 candidates and, where possible, conducted telephone interviews. Then, based on the each individual’s performance, I submitted four to five CVs to the client for each role.

The next resourcing step I needed to cover was to check the online CV databases that our company subscribed to through our Job boards. So I then spent most of Wednesday and Thursday searching Jobsite, Planetrecruit, Totaljobs and Monster for further submissions. I managed to find 10 additional candidates, and, after 10 phone calls, I forwarded an additional three candidates to the client.

Getting into the office early on Friday morning, I was - after four full days of candidate resourcing - looking forward to setting up a few interviews in the process towards a couple of placements. I called the client that morning to see what she thought of the CVs I’d sent over, but she was not available so I left a message on her voicemail.

Just before lunch, she rang me back to let me know that she had had a couple of internal candidate referred her on Tuesday by one of her staff. That two interview’s had been conducted on Wednesday, and that, today, she had offered and both candidates had accepted the positions. She thanked me for all the hard work I’d put in, and told me she’d be in touch as soon as any other positions came up.

Putting the phone down, I felt pretty frustrated. Four days resourcing and not selling is bad enough. Fours days resourcing, not selling and not getting a deal is a tragic waste of time… but what could I have done about it? Was there anything I should have done differently? It was then that the idea for my company www.os2i.co.uk first came to me.

The concept was simple. Instead of UK recruiters wasting valuable hours screening and searching CVs, why not outsource these tasks? Even better, why not outsource these tasks to a country like India, where a highly literate, specifically trained, English-speaking workforce could do the work at a fraction of the price that it would cost over here? It was watertight, a real win-win situation.

This is how things would have played out if OS2i had existed three years ago. On Friday, following the call from the client, I would have emailed the job specs to OS2i India and discussed my requirements with the assigned Resourcer.

On Monday morning, I would have arrived in the office, glanced at the OS2i status report informing me of the 512 CVs that had arrived and that my Resource was sorting through them. With the rest of the day free from screening, I’d be able to concentrate on some new business leads that I’d been meaning to follow as well as make some calls to regular clients to see if they needed anything.

By Tuesday morning, I would have received an email from OS2i India telling me that they had put together a couple of shortlists of 10 candidates for each role. By late Tuesday afternoon, I would have been emailed again with a further update taken from those extra CVs that had arrived since Monday. And, by first thing Thursday, OS2i would have scanned the online CV databases as well. Job done.

While I am not always going to be able to stop an internal candidate getting a position, by using OS2i I would have saved myself four highly stressful days, I’d still get the best CVs picked out (probably more than I would have got myself: after 20 hours I was getting pretty tired…) a full day earlier than I could have managed myself and I’d have done some good business building in the meantime. What’s more, it would have only cost me £4 an hour.

Subsequently OS2i have developed our service offerings and to complement our CV screening and searching services we also offer advanced internet mining services. OS2i Resourcers are experts at uncovering passive candidates hidden on the web and most other valuable recruitment information contained on the Internet.

In recruitment, as in all businesses, it’s vital to “work smart”, to ensure that all your resources are used in the most effective way. OS2i has a team of Recruiters based in Pune, India that can do the hard Internet sourcing so Recruiters in the UK / USA can focus on the candidates we provide and their clients

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