Vendor Overlap: Talent Acquisition’s most costly mistake


There are hundreds of vendor services to choose from when you’re working in talent acquisition, and the landscape is a crowded one. It’s not uncommon for one company to employ service providers and technology platforms that offer overlapping feature sets. But utilizing multiple vendors with overlapping services, all communicating separately, with your candidates is not a good strategy for a whole host of reasons.

It’s pretty obvious that employing redundant services can cost thousands of dollars each month with little to no return when it comes to getting better quality hires. And attempting to manage and integrate all of these HR vendors creates inefficiencies in your talent acquisition processes and prove frustrating and cost you even more. But what is often overlooked is how multiple vendors can lead to frustrated candidates by inundating them with non-branded and mixed messages in the process.

Many HR organizations I know are working with 2, 3, or even 4 (or more) HR vendors—including recruitment advertising firms, recruitment marketing automation (talent attraction platforms), recruitment process outsourcing, social and professional networking vendors, and job board vendors—all of whom are advising and handling how you communicate with your candidates using multiple, uncoordinated messages. These firms often end up being independently managed by various members within HR or the TA group because they fall into their own unique category.  

In more ways than one, it’s a costly mistake.

The multifaceted and difficult nature of talent attraction today requires a more strategic approach, and that strategy can get overcomplicated when talent acquisition departments miss out on bringing that alignment together with their talent attraction strategy.


Streamlining your strategic processes

If you are faced with the dilemma of multiple vendors and each providing a less than favorable return, it is time to consider a highly specialized talent acquisition service.  I am not referring to a headhunter or staffing firm; I’m referring to “RPO” or Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

Today, we would liken the RPO solution to hiring an advertising/marketing, sourcing/recruiting, and HR technology provider all rolled into one.

As the RPO market continues to evolve, these firms have become more than proficient at integrating sourcing/recruiting, branding, technology, and social media into a singularly-focused strategy. Not only do RPOs bring highly specialized teams to help talent acquisition become more efficient executing their attraction strategy, but they also bring the expertise that can help companies reshape their talent acquisition approach.  

In most cases, a single RPO firm can provide the focused approach that can alleviate applicant flow issues, accelerate time-to-hire, and provide coordinated brand communication to candidates, all the while ensuring there is no compromise on quality of hire.  


What RPO brings to the table

What RPO firms do is focus on building an integrated recruitment approach that defines “you” in the eyes of the candidate. They work with you to get a thorough understanding of your business, your competition, and your candidates so they can represent your employment brand in a way that connects with the talent you need. They bring the expertise that can help you build or fine-tune your employment message, revamp your career website, screen and interview candidates, build a talent pipeline and work directly with your line managers to make the perfect “engaged” hire.

RPOs attract the very best recruiting talent because it offers them the opportunity to “flex’ their skills as talent consultants and marketers. Many are drawn to the variety of industries and disciplines they can specialize in, and in working with fellow consultants to design a customized solution that combines marketing, recruiting, technology, and business services. It also gives them the opportunity to stay “on the leading edge” through continual training on new tools and approaches that can help them attract talent to your organization.

With tighter budgets, less staff, and a tighter market for high-quality talent, RPOs provide a unique strategic value over a handful of costly one-off solutions.  Tapping their expertise will not only enhance your engagement with candidates but also put you in a better place to oversee and own the strategy while your RPO partner does the heavy lifting on your behalf.

Written by Patty Silbert

President of Newton Talent since 2018, Patty Silbert has over 30 years of experience developing the innovative solutions that help HR professionals just like you meet their most pressing recruitment challenges and their companies achieve their talent acquisition goals. She is a regular writer and speaker on the subjects of recruitment strategy, employment branding, HR technology, and leadership.