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Head to Head – Inhouse or Outsource?

company than the person conducting the telephone interview. Being able to see applications in real-time was also important for us so we can assess both quality and volume - allowing us to re- focus recruitment marketing activity if required and re-validate our selection and assessment benchmarks. And of course, all applications remain with us, meaning we can potentially offer some applicants who are not successful for the graduate programme direct entry roles elsewhere across the business.

“It’s early days, but based on this point in the campaign, last year applications have more than doubled and our autumn campus campaign is underway, with a number of events already held across our target universities proving popular with strong footfall. We also have business representation at every event – not just HR − and we’re using an online tool called Mystery Applicant for real time candidate feedback to allow us to make informed and data driven changes and improvements throughout the campaign cycle.

Our provider played a more important part than we had anticipated in shaping what we did.

“When considering the option of in-house or outsource, ask yourself what you want to get out of it, and if it’s just about cost saving make sure you look at every conceivable area before you make a decision based. You’ll often find that for the cost saved you might be sacrificing service expectations. At E.ON, we believe not only will we make significant savings by bringing this in-house, but that we have the capability within our own recruitment team. We’ve made a stand to say that, on this occasion, we can do it better than through an external partner. It’s a great message to give and it’s engaging

for those involved.”

The Case For…Outsourcing Phil Tomlinson, Senior Manager – European Resourcing, DENSO International Europe

“We formally launched ‘Ignite’, our European Graduate Programme in 2012. We had taken on graduates before but we wanted to have a more joined-up approach across the European business. During the planning phase we realised we would need to have support so we opted to outsource the selection elements. This involved a manual CV screen, testing and telephone interviewing and candidate management, as well as the design, delivery and support for our assessment centres. We invited a number of suppliers to quote for the work but GTI Recruiting Solutions stood out.

“During the planning stage we quickly realised we would need some support. While we had some experience and some good connections, we certainly had gaps in our knowledge and also in our capacity to deliver a quality service to the level we would want. We had a major challenge in that our brand, as B2B, is not known, so engaging with the graduates and giving them the best possible experience through the process was of vital importance to us.

“There were risks related to the time taken away from other key tasks and other work commitments restricting our focus. With the volume of applicants and queries at each stage of the process, we would be unlikely to give the required attention in every case. We wanted to offer a consistently high candidate experience to all applicants and delight our management team with excellent candidates at the assessment stage as a result.

“Our provider played a more important part than we had anticipated in shaping what we did. Simple things like out-of-hours interviews and finding out where candidates were in other recruitment processes, or if we would be their employer of choice, are typical examples of this value add. When we had a shortfall in quality applicants for

a certain location, it was flagged early and we could work to remedy it with our partner suggesting some alternative, cost effective options that delivered results. Without this we may have missed our hiring numbers or paid a lot more to get them. With hindsight, the risk of keeping this in-house was more than we perhaps appreciated at the outset.

“I certainly don’t think companies should dismiss outsourcing without investigating the options. I can understand why a business might want to keep control of the process, but from our experience this was dealt with in such a professional way that we really felt that GTI were an extension of our team. More importantly, the candidate experience reflected this too. They really got to know what a great graduate for us looked like; they got to know our business and culture, and reflected this in the work they did and in their communications with our candidates. Perhaps a company with a strong, centralised identity and infrastructure would benefit less from such a partnership, but with our geographical spread it proved vitally important.

“We have been incredibly pleased with the conversion rates at assessment, which I think is a true reflection of the success of our partnership. This was well beyond our expectations and we were able to demonstrate this to business stakeholders during the latter stages of selection.

“We certainly feel that we got a return on our investment. While GTI have a clear scope of work, they often extend beyond this and add value across our campaign. We dovetail really well and, without doubt, their experience and knowledge has helped shape our successes. We have hired some excellent candidates, and they are adding diversity and creativity to our business. We are about to launch again, with roles across Europe including the UK.” n | Graduate Recruiter 21

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