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Behind the News: Farming Out RecruitingCWS 30 May 2.10

Contingent Workforce Strategies 30





Despite the economy -- or perhaps because of it -- finding the right people to fill jobs is tough. Throw in the complexities of a workforce ranging from baby boomers and Generation Y and encompassing sophisticated technology making time zones irrelevant and mobility of the labor pool, and we can appreciate why recruiters have their work cut out for them.

So what are staffing firms -- whose bread and butter is finding talent -- going to do? Initial findings from the 2010 Staffing Industry Analysts survey of such firms revealed that many agencies are planning to use outsourced recruiters. Currently 18 percent of agencies surveyed do so. Another eight percent are planning to follow suit.

Here's why. It's cheaper to use outsourced recruiters. Industry watchdogs claim that end users of contingent labor are constantly trying to cut costs, placing pressure on staffing agencies' margins. As a result, staffing firms are forced to look for lower-priced ways of doing business.

Outsourcing the recruitment function is among them. Staffing firms can now tap a specialist recruiter working from home at a lower price. The recruiter in turn can tap a pool of people that the staffing firm perhaps did not have access to. The end user of contingent labor gets a better quality person at a lower rate thanks to reduced overhead.

Increased productivity is also another reason using off-site recruiters works for staffing firms. Temporary employees working from home don't have to deal with office distractions. Chatty co-workers and water cooler politics are avoided. It's a win-win situation for all.

Staffing companies aren't just going off-site; they are going off-shore as well. The survey revealed that 10 percent of staffing firms currently use India-based off-shore recruiters. Another five percent plan to do so in the next two years. The advantages in such an arrangement are that, given time zone differences, client companies can have people working around the clock for them, at a reasonable rate. Such an arrangement can also help companies tap into the best talent worldwide.

It's a great arrangement. And by outsourcing the recruiting function both domestically and abroad, staffing companies are taking their own medicine.

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