Is it you? We’re on a quest to find out.
At ERE in Chicago last week, our team asked a recruiting executive from a large, brand name employer how he evaluated recruiting agency performance. “Not a relevant question”, he said, “because I’m pretty sure we don’t use headhunters that much”.
That was surprising.
US companies will spend over $8B on third party recruiting fees in 2014. And yet, this Fortune 500 HR executive didn’t think he was spending anything on headhunters. How could that be? We could think of two possibilities.
First, it could be that he doesn’t realize how pervasive agency usage truly has become in his company. Maybe he has hiring managers doing an “end around” recruiting to maintain relationships with agencies that procurement doesn’t approve of.
Maybe getting headhunter candidates into his ATS is so cumbersome that his recruiters work with headhunters offline. It’s possible that, as Bersin & Associates wrote in their Talent Acquisition Factbook, “companies spend a whopping one-third of their recruiting budgets on agencies”, but they don’t have the tools to track and realize the enormity of the issue.
On the other hand, maybe his gut feeling was right. His company really doesn’t spend anything on third party agencies. In fact, it could be that he’s not alone, and no companies in the US spend much on recruiting agencies.
Like a kid with a monster, if they close their eyes to it, maybe it ceases to exist. It’s entirely possible (we guess?) that there is one company out there that is, all by itself, supporting the entire third party recruiting industry. One company pouring billions of dollars a year into fees. What would such a company look like?
If this mysterious company is out there, help us find them! Between Jason Scheckner, Mike Fox and myself, we’re spending a lot of time on the road in the next two weeks.
Tomorrow I’m speaking about the Future of Work at an event for technology firms hosted by WTI in NYC, next Monday I’m joining George LaRocque for a panel at InfluenceHR, and all next week we’re working the floor at HRTech in Las Vegas. We’re bound to run into all sizes of employers and all sorts of recruiting industry experts and we’ll ask ’em.
Like the National Enquirer searching for the Loch Ness Monster, we’ll tweet grainy photos to report our findings and track our progress! Follow us on twitter @bountyjobs #whospent8billion?