Steve Jobs described the process of hiring top talent as ‘the most important job’ (Jager and Ortiz 1998). Whether you agree with the enormity of this statement or not, it is hard to deny the importance of the recruitment process and more crucially, those who partner you through it.

Sure, you can provide your Recruitment Team with the best possible technology or infrastructure, but it’s ultimately the behaviours they display which will determine whether they are adding value for their stakeholders.

Many organisations, whether they have an In-house Recruitment team or an outsourced RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) provider will tell you they add real value with their team of Recruitment Partners – but how do you add value? How do you ensure that the recruitment team you have in place do not become a team of transactional recruiters, merely facilitating a process? Here are 5 ways that a True Recruitment Business Partner (RBP) adds real value for their stakeholders:

It’s more than just a process

Yes the world of RPO might have ‘process’ in its name, but it’s so much more than that. If it was just a process we needed to facilitate, then we could either do that through technology or from some remote location via a back office team. The RBP is an extended part of your team, they’re your business partner and they need to understand your own objectives. They do this by proactively meeting with you and having open and honest conversations. They don’t sit at their desks and communicate via e-mail or simply react to resource requests.

They challenge

The Recruitment Business Partner is the expert. They’re the one that has been employed to understand how to attract and select the right people for the right role, so it’s vital that they should be determining the recruitment strategy. Once they have a grasp on what a hiring stakeholder needs for their department/team/role, they challenge the way a stakeholder is thinking to ensure they end up with the best strategy to meet their objectives. They challenge stakeholders to think about more than just recruiting a ‘mini-me’ or for the ‘here and now’ and challenge them to look at approaches such as complimentary fit – i.e. what strengths could we look for that would complement the wider team?

They don’t just take orders

They don’t wait at their desk for an instruction on what person you would like to recruit and when. After all we’re not making a cardboard box here, we’re working with the most unpredictable product in the world (with the exception of animals and children!) – people. The perfect fit either may not exist, or be available, in what is an incredibly buoyant job market. The RBP has a responsibility in their role to be clear on what can be achieved and provide clear market insight on what may be available – think of it as talent brokering.

They’re an ambassador

To the hiring business, candidates, their own team and external suppliers. All individuals that come into contact with a recruitment process need to have the best possible experience and an effective RBP will not compromise on fairness and consistency and maintain the values of the organisation’s culture at all times. They add further value by capturing feedback from all parties (including unsuccessful candidates) to look at how to learn and improve together for the future.

Future thinking

This isn’t just about what people are needed and when, but effective forward planning should be about understanding objectives and establishing a strategy. After all, how you can strategise if you don’t understand what lies ahead? Being proactive, creating a strategy fit for purpose and treating each recruitment activity like a mini project plan, will provide confidence with the business that you can help them deliver against their objectives and measure how all parties are accountable along the way.

Martin Finney, Principle Recruitment Business Partner

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