Is The Use Of Multiple Staffing Vendors Hurting Your Employer Brand

Consumer confidence is up and tech unemployment is the lowest that we’ve seen it in years.  The war for talent is over.  The talent won.  So what are you doing to get competitive in 2015 and to increase employer branding?  We could focus on laying a foundation for future success, such as internet marketing, candidate experience, social media, branding rejuvenation, and content strategy but that’s not what this article is about.  We are here to focus on how important your staffing vendor selection process is to your employer brand, and why the use of multiple IT staffing vendors is hurting your employer brand, and ultimately costing you great hires.

Earlier in the year we were doing some analysis on past placements and client relationships, and diving deeper into our successful relationships, and our not so successful relationships.  In our analysis there was one common similarity that kept arising.  Our most successful placements were with clients who had a small vendor list that they trust and rely upon to get the job done with integrity, honesty, and positive client employer branding in the market.   So why do companies continue to add IT staffing vendors to an already unmanageable vendor list?  Listed below are a 3 ways that large vendor lists are impacting your brand.

Negative branding in the market

IT Recruiters, you’ve practiced and perfected your pitch so you can articulate your client’s employee value proposition in a compelling way.  Then starting hitting the phones and connect with 10 candidates in one day who all have said “Is this role with company X?  If so, I don’t want to work there”.  There’s something majorly wrong with this.  In an extremely tight IT job market you can’t afford to have 10 out of 10 candidates not interested in working for a company.  Now there could be a number of things going on here that could lead to negative branding in your local candidate market, but here are a few ideas on what’s occurring.

·       The candidate had interviewed with your client in the past but didn’t get selected for the role. More importantly, the candidate never received the proper feedback and communication from his/her staffing vendor and/or the client.

·       The candidate received several calls from vendors over the past few years about similar roles always being open with that client, which rises concern to employer retention from the candidate’s perspective.

·       A staffing vendor misrepresented the role or the company in a past interaction which turned the candidate off.

·       The candidate applied to a few roles in the past but never received a response from the company so the candidate is ill-disposed toward the client.

Scaring away top performers

In todays IT job market candidates want to be wooed and courted.  The best way to get a bad reputation with your local IT candidates is to give a job requirement to more than 4 vendors, and to have several vendors reach out to the same candidate with the same job all within a few weeks timeframe.   I know you’re thinking this isn’t reality, but we can promise you this happens to hundreds of companies on a daily basis around the US.  Unfortunately a few bad things happen in this situation. The recruiting firm who makes first contact and sparks interest with a candidate to potentially consider a role is impacted.  As the candidate begins to field multiple calls regarding the same role, the recruiting firm’s image employers brand starts to become tarnished from the candidate’s perspective.  As the candidate continues to field more and more calls and emails regarding the same role, the employer’s image starts to look sloppy and careless due to relying on so many recruiting agencies to pitch their role.  This experience often leads to candidate fallout, negative employer branding, an undesirable recruiting image, and eliminates any chance of a candidate referral.

Wrong vendors

Let’s be honest, not all staffing vendors are the same nor are they created equal.  For years companies have tried to commoditize the staffing industry, which has created a race to the bottom for placement fees.  The consequences have severely impacted the recruiting industry in many ways, and more importantly, on employer branding.  Recruiting firms are now holding their best candidates for their highest paying clients.  Lower fees have forced firms to focus less on process, quality, and vetting candidates for technical and culture fit, and have shifted focus to speed and submitting anyone who matches a few keywords on a job requirement.

Who’s to blame for these types of actions?  Because our industry is constantly under pricing pressure and margins are getting squeezed, it shifts a vendors focus to a numbers game.  The goal of a low cost recruiting provider today is to sign on as many clients at low margin placement fees and send as many resumes as possible in hopes that one sticks.  Forget about candidate experience and employer branding.  If you are in need of a niche skillset or an in demand developer, don’t count on your low cost recruiting provider to spend much time on it.  More importantly, don’t expect good brand representation from these vendors with your local IT candidates.

A great recruiting vendor is much more than a job req filler.  Have you ever worked with a great staffing vendor?  If so, you know the difference between the good, the mediocre, and the bad.  Great staffing partners refuse to accept a long and drawn out recruiting process, they take full responsibility for an assigned position, they constantly look for new ways to improve processes, they ask their client questions about goals for growth and upward mobility opportunities for candidates, and they never settle for an average candidate.

In the coming years the employers who consistently communicate an authentic employer brand will ultimately win the attention of top talent.  This starts by shrinking your IT staffing vendor pool and only working with the best at delivering the highest level of quality.  Lastly, you have to start viewing your staffing vendors as true business partners who act as an extension of your HR department. 


About nexus IT group

nexus IT group Was Voted 2013's Best Young Companies to Work For -

Those of us that call nexus IT group home know it is an influential and energetic center of motivated individuals with a passion to serve. The recent headlines touting our progressive culture have come as no surprise. We recognize the caliber of business partners, leadership, and industry knowledge that define nexus IT group. We work and live it every day.

However, a resounding, "I didn't realize that!"echoes through our hallways as newcomers learn more and engage with our culture. And those still on the outside have yet to discover all that we have to offer. 

nexus IT group provides comprehensive technology staff augmentation services in the enterprise, medium size, and start-up space.


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