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Are PSLs making you lazy?


Preferred Supplier Lists should make life so much easier. You would imagine that a list of pre-screened suppliers would solve all kinds of problems, not least savings in both time spent researching and money too. In theory this is true but in practice? Well, read on.

What could possibly go wrong with a PSL?

To make it onto a preferred supplier list a supplier will have already proved themselves to be affordable. Usually there is a tacit agreement that suppliers will charge a specific fee or rate and offer a particular service level. If you like they are ready, willing and able to do the job and become a trusted partner for your organisation. It all sounds ideal. Staff know who to call and the relationship develops over time. Maybe the preferred supplier almost seems like an extension of the team. What could possibly go wrong?



Is it time to look at your PSLs from a different perspective?


Familiarity breeds contempt.

Obviously anyone on a PSL will have undergone rigorous checks. They get to know the needs of the client. In terms of recruiters this cuts out a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for sure. If you have a vacancy and you know your existing recruiter can handle it then it’s job done surely? Well yes, but you can sense the ‘but’ hanging in the air can’t you?


Before you go straight to your PSL think about these questions:

Evaluate the specific vacancy and ask yourself whether your preferred recruiter honestly gets the true culture of your organisation. These things change and an organisation evolves. No one can afford to do things in the way they’ve always been done. So therefore if there has been a shift in values, culture or mission you may need to ask yourself if perhaps you now need a specialist. An expert in a specific niche or sector can think in a leftfield way as they know the sector inside out and find candidates others might miss.


Is your current agency complacent?

Sometimes business relationships can end up being a little stale and it’s worth seeing other recruiters to see what they are offering. As we all know, change is the only certainty. Discover whether every stone is being upturned to check just what’s beneath. There are always new people who have different approaches and ideas.


I might even suggest that contemporary workplaces often need very different types of personality and skills sets compared to the past. That’s not just a matter of tech competencies but the ability to be flexible, creative, agile and with the ability to handle and then manage setbacks or the unexpected. Technical competency is almost a given. However, the superstructure can differentiate a candidate and add considerable value to an organisation.



How frustrated are you when looking for new candidates to fill a specific role?

Has your organisation become just a port of call on a career journey?

Have you spent time looking at a recruiter’s past behaviour when it came to fulfilling past roles? Have you been delighted or merely satisfied? We are often too busy to evaluate. Data can shed light on their success. Ask yourself how many of the candidates offered were actually selected for an interview. Did you manage to fill the vacancy with the right candidate or an approximation? Think about staff turnover. Does your recruiter supply staff that actually stays? Or are they on a journey where your organisation is a convenient port of call?


Are you taking the line of least resistance?

Sometimes, when we are busy simply trying to get tasks and projects completed we can hand over responsibility for key decisions to someone else. It’s almost natural to seek the line of least resistance. But ask yourself have you checked what contact network your agency is drawing upon. This might take time but it’s worth showing you are on top of the situation.

What kind of screening process is being undertaken by the agency? Are they really getting it right? Do they have a true understanding of your needs or are they playing the numbers game and focusing on turnaround?


Time to write “PSL Review” on your to do list

Having read this article you might be pondering whether it is worth reviewing your PSL. Consider whether you need to add or remove some names and whether it might be worth adding specialists alongside generalist recruiters. Have you considered whether these agencies are right for both permanent and temporary staff?

To find out why you are losing the war for talent in the food ingredients sector discover some little-known secrets that will save you time, money and ensure your business objectives are achieved. Or contact me for a no obligation conversation about how to develop your recruitment success.