We have previously establish that a preferred supplier agreement is a cost effective solution to your recruitment that will improve the effectiveness of your recruitment process. Now let’s look at tips on creating a preferred supplier agreement;

  1. Create a robust process Map out your internal process first. Make sure that you have the right systems and technology in place to capture candidate and agency data. Is your applicant tracking system sufficient and is it being used properly? What support have you got in the resourcing team? Will this process work effectively across the business functions? Do the relevant operations teams understand your objectives; are they onboard with the change? Ensure the external process is the same for each supplier.

  2. Reduce or limit the amount of agencies that you use By rationalising your supplier base you are able to negotiate betters deals with key suppliers and have control over the process and candidate management. Be fair in your terms, remember that your database suppliers work with your competitors and may decide to reserve the best candidates for clients paying higher fees if you are unrealistic.

  3. Communicate clearly Invest time with your internal customers and recruitment suppliers to ensure that the process is clear. Create enthusiasm amongst your suppliers with training days and business updates to ensure that they understand your business and can confidently articulate your brand. Provide suppliers with candidate packs that can also be downloaded from your careers website.

  4. Trial the agencies If the agencies you selected are not a proven quantity or have failed to deliver in the past then trial them on a 3/6 month period depending on the flow of your vacancies.

  5. Create code of practice and key performance indicators It is important that you drive quality opposed to quantity. You want your suppliers to be achieving good ratios in candidate matching and time to hire. Ask suppliers to provide you with quarterly performance updates. Equally, set internal objectives in providing CV and interview feedback; be prepared and willing for your suppliers to hold you accountable.

  6. Review your PSL regularly Agree a formal three year review of agencies with a clause that addresses underperformance with the employer’s prerogative to remove suppliers if required. Strategies for replacement agencies that are prepared to work harder to retain preferred status is important but remember to be fair to existing suppliers and agree the same fees or your suppliers will disengage with you.

  7. Have a formal application process available to agencies that want to work with you Calls from agencies not on your PSL can be frustrating but there needs to be a strategy for you to assess new agency talent especially at review period or if one of your suppliers is underperforming. An online application process with a date of the review is often a deterrent to the agencies that don’t have the aptitude to work as part of preferred supplier agreement but the credible agencies will complete them and adhere to the process. Outline this process on your website. If an agency then adopts a route via the hiring manager and introduces a CV, you have the power to not accept their terms or CV introduction because the approach is unsolicited.