26th Mar 2010

Shifting HR Thinking: Less on Head Hunters Fees More Investment in the New Hire

It is time for the HR community to start thinking differently and to understand that just because something is the accepted norm, it doesn’t make it right. 

Most organisations, as we start to work our way out of the recession, should think again about recruitment or there is a real danger- they will go back to the way they always did things; in this case retaining the services of a Head Hunter/recruitment agency to get the best person and paying 30% of the starting salary for the trouble.
The HR community must start to ask themselves if they are really getting value for money from their head-hunters/recruitment agencies. Perhaps now is the time to negotiate better rates with the agencies and start diverting some of the budget into the early development needs of the new hires.

The first 100 days in a new role is a period of pressure and close scrutiny. It is make or break time as to whether the new leader lays down the right foundation for the rest of the first year and beyond. Investment in this period yields a faster return on the overall recruitment costs than doing nothing at all.

Typically organisations take a collective sigh of relief when they hire a new leader/manager. Many feel the job is done and having forked out so much in recruitment fees , the last thing they want is to invest again in the individual to ensure they succeed. This means many new hires are left to struggle through the first 12 months without any assistance (other than the obligatory induction process).
It is little wonder then that up to 25% of new hires don’t work out within 12 months of joining – they have not been invested in sufficiently well enough to make an impact. The solution? Give the new hire an expert coach in the first 100 days paid for by diverting some of your recruitment budget.

First100 Ltd are the leading players in this specialist market, with six years experience of working with senior leaders in Ireland and the UK – the first 100 days is about accelerating performance and making an early impact. The HR community needs to play its part in ensuring this happens and withholding support at this key juncture is not the way to do it.

Investing in the recruitment process is not investing in the new hire – yet the recruitment budget tends to get ‘assigned’ to the new hire when it comes to making development decisions.

It is time for the HR community to change the game – don’t always assume you have to use headhunters/agencies. If you do, negotiate with them and with the money you save, invest in your new hire to ensure they are successful. Otherwise you get stuck in a cycle that has you paying headhunters/agencies more fees again 12 months later.

Garrett O'Keeffe

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