Off-shoring Your Recruiting

If you haven’t been contacted by a recruiting off-shoring company yet, put yourself into a rare segment of Talent/HR Pros.  Almost daily I receive an email or phone call – from a U.S. phone number – telling me how I can save thousands of dollars by using their services to help us recruit for our open positions.  I always find this funny since my company is a third-party recruiting company.  So, basically, they are telling me that they can save me thousands of dollars from the thousands of dollars I tell my clients we are going to save them – sounds to good to be true!

But I’m also a sucker!  Yep, I took the bait!

Here’s the deal:

  • For about $1200/month you’ll get a “Full-time Recruiter” (the price might change a little based on how many you need, volume, etc. but that’s the ballpark)
  • This “Recruiter” works Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm EST.
  • This “Recruiter” will have a U.S. based phone number.
  • You can have contact with this recruiter via phone or email – in fact it’s encouraged.
  • This “Recruiter” is actually based in India, in a call center environment.
  • This “Recruiter” has access to the major job boards and the internet and is trained at making a basic recruiting call.
  • You can get some guarantees on how many “candidates” presented, screened, etc.
  • The “Recruiter” has an email address from your company and presents themselves as working for your company.

Here’s my reality:

  • At $1200/month I had to try it – it seemed like a small investment for some education into this off-shoring recruiting world I keep hearing about.
  • The recruiter was pleasant, a bit hard to understand, and I felt wanted to do a good job.  It also sounds like they are sitting on the busiest street corner in Mumbai! (imagine giant call center with 500 folks all on the phone at the same time – with the windows open – sitting on Time Square – that’s the sound!)
  • They basically just call off of folks they find on job boards and/or an internal database of contacts which consist of H1B candidates that need sponsorship (we had them working on some IT openings to see what they came up with)
  • In 30 days of working a JAVA Developer opening, working for a U.S. client in the Denver Metro area with a competitive wage – this off-shoring recruiting company presented zero candidates that didn’t need sponsorship and only 1 candidate overall.
  • It wasn’t an easy opening – but that’s why I gave it to them to see how this person would do.
  • After the first 3 days I got a message and a call almost daily from the Recruiter and this person’s manager asking for more orders, even though they had yet to present one candidate.  This didn’t stop. We tried at the end to give a couple more IT openings we had, that I had my internal recruiters working on to see if they would come up with different candidates – and again we got a bunch of H1B candidates.

I don’t consider this to be a total failure – the experience let me know exactly what kind of orders that an off-shoring company could handle and do well with.  Those orders would most likely be ones where you have a healthy candidate base and just don’t have the internal capacity to go through the process of screening, or you have a staff that just has a hard time picking up the phone and calling potential candidates (stop laughing – that’s most corporate HR folks – or there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar recruiting industry).

Would I do it again?  Probably not, although the lure of a $1200/month recruiter is very enticing – especially one that isn’t afraid of the phones, but the reality of what I got doesn’t match up with what I paid.  Now – if I had to hire for a U.S. Call center and needed someone to plow through Monster and find 50 candidates a week for us to interview – maybe that might be the key to making this thing work.

$1200 education for myself.  You don’t have to get this same education – if you are seriously considering this – call me and I’ll tell you some better options for your $1200!



2 thoughts on “Off-shoring Your Recruiting

  1. Great experiment. Enjoyed your balanced pros and cons. I spent some time watching folks in India in a [similar] call center environment. It’s even louder in person. The work spaces are minimalist and teamwork limited let alone the long-term impact of working on US time. You would not be surprised about how many 3rd party firms offshore initial contacts to India, Argentina, etc.

    Dream job might be to set up a call center in the Caribbean where the time zone is the same…but the incentive to work that hard…not so much

  2. Hey Tim – we tried that last year and got the same result. We tried for 3 months and got one viable candidate that ended up not working out. We also got a lot of negative feedback from the candidates about the initial call from our “office”. Not worth it…

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