Is the preferred candidate a pleasure or a burden?

In most hiring and MSP programmes, a number of ground rules are agreed upon to ensure that processes and services run effectively, lawfully and smoothly. From the hiring manager’s perspective, these ground rules do not always make sense (see our September 2020 post “Hiring Manager key to success in Contingent Workforce programmes”).

Especially in the first year after the introduction of the hiring or MSP programme, adjustment requires the necessary attention. Contrary to the ambitions of the hiring programme, managers often tend to keep identifying their own candidates and present them as ‘preferred candidates’. It is the task of the hiring program to further handle the administrative process.

Disadvantages ‘own recruitment’ for the hiring programme
From the perspective of the hiring programme, recruitment of preferred candidates by hiring managers is seen as undesirable for several reasons:

  • The ‘level playing field’ agreed with suppliers does not exist.
  • The opportunity to conduct rate negotiations early in the process is being denied.
  • Alternative candidates that are proposed are already less favoured.
  • The added value of the hiring program is limited.
  • Suppliers may be added unnecessarily, endangering the share of wallet of existing suppliers and associated volume and price agreements.

Advantages of ‘own recruitment’ for hiring managers
However, the hiring managers often have their own view of this situation and see the following benefits in a self-recruited preferred candidate:

  • Speed gain by already nominating a candidate, is often used as an argument.
  • The quality of their own candidate is perceived as good/better, as they have found him or her themselves.
  • The network of the hiring manager is better suited to use, from for instance a professional perspective.
  • The desire to be ‘in control’; there are doubts about the quality of the hiring programme.
  • Insufficient familiarity with the hiring programme, working methods and processes.

How do both parties meet each other?
Above arguments can be removed with sufficient attention, a strong and clear recruitment strategy, clear mandate for the internal hiring desk or MSP and an effective and user-friendly process. But there is an alternative route.

How both parties add value to each other in candidate recruitment
It makes sense to integrate the hiring managers’ networks into the recruiting strategy. By making the networks and resources of the hiring managers easily accessible, candidates are known to the hiring programme at an early stage, resulting in these candidates being treated equal to others. When the competencies and disciplines from this network are clearly identified, the over-all sourcing strategy can be adjusted accordingly and the basis can be formed for a direct sourcing or referral channel in which the dependence on suppliers decreases and cost savings can be realised.

To do this successfully, a clear strategy and supporting technology are needed. But it will also have to be supported with employer branding. Traditionally, this focuses on future permanent employees, so the scope of communications needs to be extended in order to reach these groups.

Once set up, the hiring programme and the managers, can both focus on the common interest and benefit from the combined forces.

Eugene van Berkel - TalentInAbout the author

Eugene van Berkel is Managing Partner at TalentIn. With his expertise he helps organisations build and execute their workforce strategy, making sure that what is designed can be implemented.

TalentIn has extensive national and international experience in developing and improving strategies for the recruitment of your permanent and temporary staff. We know how these programmes can be designed and implemented successfully. We advise, but can also provide practical support. Are you interested? Please contact us for an appointment without obligation via, or +31 10 307 54 22

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