Recruitment Outsourcing – Evaluating Your Service Provider

    October 20, 2004

Recent development in the oil and gas industry leads to an upsurge of new projects, initiated in various industry hot spots such as Asia Pacific and China. The race for the best talent to staff these new projects will eventually begin, and one viable solution hiring managers may opt for is to outsource their recruitment function.

There are many benefits in using a professional firm in handling staffing needs:

1) Reduced permanent staff headcount. Qualified staff can be hired on a contract basis and placed under the recruitment firm’s payroll. This will reduce the overall cost of hiring permanent staff.

2) Eliminate all recruitment advertising cost. Hiring firms undertaking job requests from clients will handle all advertising matters and related cost, both online and offline

3) Shorten hiring cycle and reduced workload. Traditional recruitment involves huge amount of paper work in processing applications and selecting candidates. Outsourcing will eliminate all these non value-added tasks.

4) Tapping into direct pools of qualified candidates. Specialized hiring firms have ready contacts and databases of candidates that have been pre-qualified. Leveraging on this will save valuable time and reduce workload

If you decide that outsourcing your recruitment function is the way to go, consider the following criteria to evaluate the reliability and quality of your service providers:

1) The firm must be web-savvy. Today’s recruitment landscape is increasingly moving online. Check out if your service provider has a website, and if they offer web-based service delivery model for their clients

2) The firm has a good reputation. Email the firm a questionnaire on things you would like to find out on them – company history, financial performance, references, hiring policies etc. Check their website for company profile. Do a search on major job boards your candidates will likely to use and check if your firm use them as well

3) The firm knows their stuff. Send them a minor requirement. Evaluate how they respond to your request, and how long it takes for them to get back to you. Check also the quality of their proposed candidates, and if you do hire one of their candidates, review their after-hire processes

4) The firm must know their commercial paperwork. Speak to the person responsible for all operations and contracts matters. Evaluate their knowledge on service scope, cost, non-disclosure, payment terms, guarantees, employment contracts and mode of payment. If these are covered, you are probably talking to someone with commercial competence

Careful selection of your recruitment service provider is not the only factor in an outsourcing relationship. Many failures lie with clients’ inability to manage the ongoing process. A close working relationship with the chosen service provider is essential to ensure the best value of your recruitment investment.

Razlan Manjaji is the web editor for EnergySkills, a professional
engineering recruitment and career services firm for the oil & gas
industry. To subscribe to their monthly newsletter, send him an email at with the subject “newsletter”. Visit their
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