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Pippa Drew 30-Oct-2015 14:46:22 6 min read

5 steps to effectively manage your spooky PSL!

Halloween is approaching, and with ‘19,823 recruitment agencies registered with HMRC in the UK’*, we understand one of the most daunting tasks clients face is to manage their increasingly growing recruitment Preferred Supplier List (PSL). However, here we share with you ‘5 easy steps to help you manage that scary PSL’:

Step 1: Review your list and keep only the specialist firms.

There are plenty of agencies out there who can help you with your business. But, very few can truly show you they are specialist in your market. Do your current suppliers have other clients in your industry? Firstly, review your list and ensure all those vendors in your list have experience with other clients in your market, other than you, because this will indicate they understand the pressures your industry, as a whole, experiences. Secondly, identify the key roles you regularly recruit for in your organisation, whether they are Java developers, marketing specialists, senior analysts, etc. and map these to the recruitment agencies who are specialists for these roles. Good recruitment agencies will be able to demonstrate to you that they focus solidly in the roles which are key to you and your industry.

Step 2: Identify that your supplier has a talent pool.

So you have managed to cut your supplier list by 50%. Congratulations, well done. Now, you are working with those companies that are specialists in your industry and focus on your key roles. But a question remains, can these vendors access key candidates, who are ready to work for you now? You can assess this by asking your suppliers 5 simple questions:

  1. How do they foster their talent pool?
  2. How often do they communicate with previous applicants?
  3. How do they forecast your talent needs?
  4. What process do they follow up to keep a talent pool for you?
  5. How often do they meet with current applicants?

 What you will find is that few organisations are thinking of your organisation’s future talent needs and are keeping up-to-date with what is happening in your industry. For instance, if you are in banking, what are the latest regulations about to impact your organisation and therefore your talent pool? Here is an example of one. Make sure your suppliers answer these questions to keep those that are truly relevant to your business.

Step 3: Test your suppliers’ time to hire.

Ask your suppliers how they reduce your time to hire. The answer should not only include the specific times they get back to you with candidates, but also what are their expectations from you? A good supplier will support you with ideas to help you train your internal team to make the right hiring decisions at the right time. Do they have guides on the next steps to follow after you select a candidate? Your suppliers should not only provide evidence on how they can ‘expedite the interview process’ but they need to demonstrate how they will help your staff secure your hire.

Step 4: Check your suppliers’ candidate experience measures.

You now have a very specific supplier list to work with, and these suppliers meet your basic needs. However, you want to make sure they are also taking care of your brand. In other words, how do you make sure that even those candidates that were unfortunate to not be hired by your organisation, were treated well and positively remember your company? Make sure your supplier is providing the right candidate experience by asking them to give you their latest candidate services survey results. Clients should be constantly screening their candidates, ensuring they are providing great service. Also, social media often illustrates the ‘likes and dislikes’ candidates have with a recruitment organisation. Suppliers should also monitor their social media channels; ask how they do this and ask them to provide you with evidence of their positive reports.

Step 5:   Keep your final suppliers motivated.

Adios scary PSL! You now have an effective list of suppliers that can provide you with the right talent at the right time. However, efficient suppliers have plenty of business, a recent report revealed that 36% of recruitment agencies are expanding*, which means you need to ensure you are paying the right price to your suppliers to keep them motivated to work on your business. You can do this by reviewing what you pay and ensuring it is consistent across all suppliers and comparative with industry norms.

When applying these 5 steps, if you keep in mind your knowledge and experience of each of the suppliers and their performance indicators, we believe you have the winning combination to effectively manage your PSL, which is hopefully not that scary anymore. 

For more information on this topic or to help you with your recruitment needs, please contact us.


*According to Sonovate.