Five ways to make offshore candidate research work for recruiters

Why use an offshore service for candidate research?

Having been in business for two and a half years now, we are familiar with the challenges recruiters face. The neverending, repetitive task of candidate research gets in the way of larger business development projects and recruiters are tired of heavy workloads and working late into the night.  And, understandably, they’re just sick of candidate research! Recruiters would much rather spend their time on lead gen with candidates and clients and closing more offers.

This is where our service steps in and takes time-consuming work off your desk. Of course, outsourcing any task is never plain sailing. If you’re thinking about outsourcing candidate research, read on for CEO & Co-Founder, Greg Simidian’s hard-won lessons for making offshore candidate research work for recruiters.

What works and what doesn’t in offshore candidate research?

In this blog post, Ally’s CEO, Greg Simidian gives his five key takeaways on what works and what doesn’t today in offshore candidate research:

1. Get clear on your objective for outsourcing

We know all the reasons why recruiters outsource candidate research but it’s important to hone in on what you’re truly trying to achieve from the outset. What problem are you trying to solve? What outcome are you really looking for? What is your ideal scenario?

This may seem like an obvious place to start but how do you measure success at the end of a trial period or even further into a working relationship? Greg says “unless that question is just nailed at the beginning” then it’s very difficult to say whether something has worked or not. 

2. Change your mindset to get the results you want

When people hear the words ‘offshore’ or ‘outsource,’ they tend to think ‘transactional’. Greg advises to try and change your mindset and instead to think of an analyst as your employee, as someone who is part of your business. 

Greg says this simple mindset change “generates the most positive behaviours.” In Greg’s experience, when his team of highly-educated, ambitious analysts are treated as employees by clients, he sees “incredible results.” 

On the other hand, if it’s seen as ok to have a transactional attitude and to skip meetings and check-ins, this is when performance goes down, says Greg. 

Check-ins and meetings don’t need to take up a lot of time, but they are vital to maintain quality. Also, Greg points to a mistake Ally made historically, where they won “the hearts and minds of the principal who’s writing the cheque and maybe a senior consultant” but not building the same kind of relationship with the other consultants involved on the project. Leaders guiding from the top is “probably the most significant kind of success criteria” Greg has seen.

Ally has found that adding analysts to your CRM, messaging platforms such as Slack, issuing a company email address and connecting on LinkedIn are simple but really effective ways to make someone feel like they’re part of your team.

3. Make the briefing process personal

Another way to move away from a transactional way of thinking is to have a face-to-face call. Ally insists on this and no brief is ever taken over email. Greg argues that unless you have a face-to-face call, “you don’t get the nuance, the emphasis, the detail. There’s so much more information that can be shared on a call, even just 10 minutes.” 

A clever way to check that your analyst understands your brief is to ask them to write it! This is another part of the process that Ally has found is just a great way to check if the brief has been clearly understood and cuts down on any potential miscommunication. An interesting thing that Greg has noticed is that this also gives the client the chance to “make amendments, not so much because the partner or we got it wrong, it’s just the discipline of seeing it written out by someone else means you make adjustments.” 

Greg also recommends having your analyst share some data profiles. Ally calls these “range finders” or “benchmarkers”. It’s another quality check that Greg says “is the game changer in terms of what we call the quality jump.”

By changing up the briefing process in this way, Greg assures that you will get up to 90% relevancy on your brief. Even better,  it only takes a small investment of time, just that initial 10 minute call.

4. Manage your expectations

We’ve often seen that when something is outsourced, people can have unreasonable expectations on what can be achieved. Greg often asks clients: “if you had a brand new relationship in your office, would you be expecting 90% after about two or three weeks?” Greg cautions that setting up any new working relationship takes time but what you can expect is to see a steady improvement in quality and volume. 

5. Keep it real, keep it human!

When you’re outsourcing candidate research, you are putting “an unbelievably important part of your process” in your analyst’s hands, Greg says. “So the more they feel at a human level connected to your organisation . . .  quality goes high.” 

This is why Ally schedules a weekly review between analysts and clients, where you can discuss what’s working well and what isn’t. Greg calls this as “a head up meeting” which is different from meetings where you talk about specific projects. It’s a chance to complement impressive work and to tweak anything that needs improvement. 

These weekly reviews have led to some interesting outcomes. To begin with, Greg notes that analysts become more empowered to take their own initiative and do additional industry research. Even more importantly, it breaks down any cultural inhibitors, where the analysts feel more confident to double check and interact with clients. 

Ally Discovery

If you are interested in seeing what it’s like to work with Ally, we offer a completely FREE discovery 21-day trial period, where you gain full access to our service. This means you have the support of a team lead and a dedicated Ally analyst carrying out candidate research and talent analytics for you:

Eight hours a day, five days a week—for an entire 21-day period.

NO commitment. NO cost. NO catch.

Book your discovery trial period today.