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Is your PSL holding your recruitment process back?

Flat Fee Recruiter Says

PSL - Taking you forward or backward?


What does PSL stand for in recruitment?
A Preferred Supplier List (PSL) is a list of suppliers that is created to streamline and support a company's recruitment processes and ultimate decision making. This may be something that is reviewed regularly or (in many cases) not at all.

There are many benefits to be had from a well thought out and negotiated list of preferred suppliers, but if you have one, is it holding you back from attracting the best talent for your vacancies? I bet the most innovative and creative suppliers probably do not fit snugly into your recruitment supplier guidelines?

Why do companies have PSL's for recruitment?

PSLs have been around for a very long time and they offer a great way to formalise your recruitment relationships, allow you to set Key Performance Indicators and Service Level Agreements whilst establishing standard terms of engagement. These PSL’s are not just a list of suppliers whom you want to do business with, but they are a group of suppliers who are all working to the same set of goals, with the same service level arrangements and payment terms. Done properly, these agreements allow a like for like comparison, from a number of similar recruitment suppliers that will enable you to achieve tangible solutions that can be measured and improved.

There are a number of reasons why you may choose to create a formalised PSL for recruitment suppliers ranging from: suppliers not engaging with your business to lack of experience in dealing with recruiters or lack of visibility in monitoring and reviewing performance.  But the key element in structuring a PSL is that you are creating a level playing field, for a set number of suppliers, to perform to a given and agreed set of rules. 


What should I be thinking about when creating a PSL for recruitment?

Consider how the recruitment market has moved on in the last 5 years. Consider the impact the internet has had on recruitment and the vast numbers of suppliers that now offer something very different from the traditional recruitment agency model. Consider the impact your own direct hiring methods have had on your recruitment strategy.

Some key questions to think about:

  • How can you compare like for like in today’s modern recruitment world?
  • How do you put together a PSL if you have companies who provide CV database searching with companies who provide multi-job board advertising (quick plug)?
  • How can a company who offers CV screening for high volume jobs, be compared to a company who researches and targets senior-level talent?
  • What about the direct results you get from your careers page and did you know about the service that exists to screen and interview these applicants?

To be the employer of choice and stand apart from competitors, companies are now taking a much more holistic view of their recruitment methodology and their supplier relationships. They are researching and considering all of the products and services in the market, thoroughly understanding how each one could be used to achieve their end goals and they are creating effective review and measurement insights to improve the performance and ultimately hire the best people. 

What should a PSL recruitment look like?

In today’s savvy business world, the best thought out recruitment process plans include a variety of methods and even a number PSLs to tackle various recruitment challenges. Harmonising a tiered and flexible approach to each unique recruitment element with a creative and effective solution not only attracts the best talent but also improves retention and reduces the impact of recruitment spend on the bottom line.

It clearly does not make sense to buy all your groceries, clothes, white goods, electrical goods and gardening tools from 3 supermarkets that all offer the same deals, so why would you take the same broad brush approach to all your hiring needs?

If you haven’t researched the recruitment market recently or you don’t know what suppliers are now offering, I urge you to take a little bit of time out and get educated. If you are still facing the same recruitment issues that you have faced for years (usually high cost and/or limited availability of talent) then maybe it is time to review the effectiveness of your current PSL arrangements and start thinking how you can create a supplier list that tackles these challenges head-on.

Why not take a few minutes to consider the next email or a phone call you get from a potentially new recruitment supplier rather than instantly dismiss it with the “We have a PSL in place – not interested” line. You or your recruitment team may discover that you can get creative, save money, hire better people or even get some clever recruitment ideas for the next board meeting...

Most recruiters understand that our call could be the 10th call of yor day and you are really busy! But, having an old-fashioned PSL in place, in today’s creative and modern recruitment world, really could be holding you back - and maybe making you and your recruitment team a bit more busy than you need to be too!

If you want to pick our brains and discuss some of the best (and the worst) recruitment solutions in the market, then please get in touch - we are more than happy to share our experiences and knowledge with you - to help you build a solid recruitment strategy that is fit for purpose.

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