That’s great, but with your PSL delivery based on 1-2-1 relationships with individual recruiters who may or may not have access to the best candidates in the market, and who might or might not have the capacity to deliver, why would you limit yourself to only accessing candidates through that small group? And what happens if those individuals leave? Surely, as an employer, provided you continue to manage your brand messaging, you would want access to the best and highest quality candidates irrespective of where they might come from?

Having recently started working for a technology platform, based on the concept of crowdsourcing to manage an extended supply chain, it has made me question the very foundations of the deep-seated concept of a PSL.

Is a PSL viable in today’s market place?

1. Saturated market place – more than 12,000 agencies exist in the UK to cover every region, every role and every specialism. 90% of this entire market have an employee base of less than 10 people. Many of these smaller companies specialise in niche roles, regions or areas. How does an employer connect with them?

2. Changing face of agency recruitment – direct delivery has meant that recruitment agencies will, inevitably, only ever receive niche or hard to fill roles. Candidates will typically have a skillset that is hard to find or who are in short supply in the market. If this is the case, why would you limit yourself to a small group of larger, well-known and mainstream agencies to find these candidates?

3. PSLs do not offer the control you expect – PSLs are there to ensure strong relationships, good performance and high quality, whilst reducing the administrative burden on in-house or onsite teams. However, is that really the case? With agencies circumventing your PSL process or calling your recruiters incessantly, is it realistic that your PSL is reducing the amount of effort? And surely the main performance measure is the quality of the candidates they are submitting?

In a perfect world then, imagine if, as an employer could...

  • Remove the requirement for a PSL and increase your reach to a wider supply chain through one technology platform
  • Manage your procurement process and terms & conditions through that same technology platform
  • Target a wide range of niche / specialist (and generalist) agencies for every role
  • Gain access to market insight, including nationwide fees & rebate periods
  • Source all roles that require agency support through one portal
  • Limit the number of agencies you engage with at any one time
  • Maintain control of your employer brand
  • Ensure only agencies who are confident of filling the role will engage with you by requiring them to pay an engagement fee
  • Engage agencies on specific projects (multiple vacancies) and get their commitment to fulfil through a fee paying model
  • Agree one contract and process all forced hires through one platform, speeding up the procurement process
  • Manage your employer brand by still maintaining direct contact with agencies
  • Consolidate all your agency invoicing through one supplier

As a recruitment agency, imagine if you could:

  • Reduce the need to business develop by using a platform that alerts you when an employer needs additional supply chain support
  • Access a wide range of jobs from well-known corporates and SMEs alike who you might not have access to via the typical PSL route
  • Work with one technology platform for all clients
  • Gain immediate confirmation of the fee available before engaging on a job
  • Sign terms online
  • Communicate with your clients directly through the platform
  • Compete with only limited agencies for each role you engage on
  • Demonstrate your commitment & capability to source candidates for each client
  • Maintain direct contact with the employer

There are technologies out there, but is the talent industry ready for it? Could the face of the talent market be changing? Is it time to embrace that change?

Originally written by Christine Gregory of The Job Post