Is your recruitment team as efficient as it could be? 

Do you think your internal team is fit for purpose given market fluctuations? 

During the time in the recent past known as “the great resignation” and the subsequent cooling in the years 2022 & 2023, it was apparent that big internal recruitment teams were not fit for purpose. While ramping up quickly, it was felt that the team sizes were never enough to cope with the hiring demands and aggressive hiring targets. And as the markets started to cool down, and the inevitable layoffs started to happen, the internal recruitment teams were amongst the first to go. Cost considerations play a big role in this and recruitment is not as steady as it used to be, it fluctuates as per the market conditions.

Does this not beg the question that we need to rethink recruitment? The answer, we felt as in-house recruiters was obvious – “Embedded Recruitment” or “Recruitment-as-a-Service”. 

What is the number one benefit of this model, you ask? It’s cost and flexibility. But of course, these are not the only benefits of the embedded model of hiring.

In this post, we will try to demystify embedded recruitment and provide practical tips on why embedded Hiring might make sense for you as a business owner.

 

EMBEDDED RECRUITMENT 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Embedded recruitment, fractional recruiter or Recruitment-as-a-Service are all terms that mean strategic, relatively short-term hiring support that a team might need to tackle the hiring demand faced by a small and growing business. A lot of times, big companies also employ embedded teams or staff augmentation to support hiring efforts or deal with Volume hires.

What Is A Fractional Recruiter?

Imagine what it would be like having expert recruitment support just when you need it. And then being able to scale down quickly as the market conditions change?

A fractional Recruiter or fractional Head of Talent looks to solve the immediate need of the team without the heavy cost outlay of building out an extensive internal hiring team.

For example, if you have recently hired a Chief Revenue Officer for your business and now they are looking to build a team under them, say a few Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and business development representatives (BDRs). 

This calls for a more modular style of recruitment, where you do not ask your internal team to dilute focus from other core roles they are hiring for and get someone who specialises in these hires for a certain period. They embed within your business, work closely with the CRO and sales leaders to design the job specification, recruitment process, design assessment centres and deliver on the hiring plan. 

Once the roles have been filled, a fractional recruiter will usually step away (unless the remit is extended) as they are usually on a flexible contract. 

This isn’t possible with an internal team. Letting go of your internal team is not that simple and can get very messy. Not to mention the cost of these redundancies and the emotional impact on people. So in a nutshell, fractional recruitment drives recruitment efficiency. 

Deep Integration: What Is Embedded Recruitment?

Ever wished for a recruiter who’s practically part of your team but without the associated employment costs? Because let’s face it, firms don’t need to be hiring at the same rate at all times. So if there was a way to augment your team for the periods when you do need them and then part ways when the demand slows.

How is this different from say an external recruitment agency helping you? 

Well, for one, the fractional lead will be onsite and a dedicated resource to your company. In the initial few days, they will get onboarded to your company like any other new joiner soaking in the vibe and culture of the workplace. 

This impacts the candidate experience and time-to-hire metric as the embedded recruiter, a seasoned talent expert, understands the culture and profile better as they are part of the culture themselves. Hence they can deliver on the hires more efficiently.

We at Trifecta Talent worked with Boundless who did not have an internal recruitment team and were expecting a hiring spree – We onboarded and delivered. Here is a case study, and below is a quote from the Co-Founder, Emily Castles

“When we first engaged Trifecta for a number of hires at Boundless, I actually had planned on still using an external recruiter for an urgent dev hire as I didn’t think they would be able to turn it around fast enough. Trifecta Talent stepped up to the challenge and found me dev candidates from within her network with a hire made within 2 weeks of starting. If you’ve hired onto dev teams before you’ll know that’s an impressive timeline. I was super impressed and saved some budget along the way” – Emily Castles, Boundless.

 

The Game-Changing Benefits Of Fractional Recruiters

Fractional or embedded recruitment is not just a new fad – it makes sense in this volatile macro-environment. Startups do not have an infinite runway and having a big permanent internal team for a seasonal hiring spree is not the most cost-effective thing. This is where the embedded hiring model comes into play. 

Maximising Your Budget: Cost-Effective Talent Acquisition

Hiring doesn’t have to break the bank. As a startup founder or a talent leader in an early-stage business, saving costs is likely top of your mind.

Consider this, you want to hire a Software Engineer, a Product Manager and a Marketing Manager in the next 2 months. If these roles were fulfilled by an agency, the cost could range up to £60K and we haven’t even factored in the employment costs yet. For the same roles, an embedded recruiter would charge a sixth of that a month (Fixed monthly cost), providing an unlimited number of hires every month. Of course, having a sensible hiring plan here really helps to narrow focus and deliver on key hires. The return on investment is startlingly clear and massive for the employer.

Scaling With Ease: Flexibility And Expertise On-Demand

Need to scale your hiring efforts—quickly? But unsure if the embedded model is right for you? Here is a handy checklist:

You are ready to ramp up team size in the short to mid-term!

For example, you are a post-product market fit business looking to, say, double the headcount in a year. You have ambitious hiring goals but not necessarily budgets to match. 

You need ‘speed of recruitment expertise’ in the business! 

You need experienced talent partners who don’t need time to ramp up and will own talent fast and provide unbiased advice when required. 

You want to support your internal talent team without a heavy cost outlay!

You might have an internal talent team/person already but looking for additional support which can deliver on the roles with speed.

Cost is top of your mind

If you want to protect your runway, we get it. An embedded recruiter offers you the flexibility to pause the service if and when needed.

The In-Depth Advantages Of Embedded Recruitment

Cost need not be the only advantage when you go for a fractional talent resource. They can have a far-ranging impact as even a short-term resource as they work within the team and not in an advisory capacity only. Such as:

  • Building a Seamless Recruitment Process
    Imagine your embedded recruiter as part of your team. Day to day, they attend the relevant meetings and understand the bigger picture. They are part of your short to mid-term strategy. They are onboarded as any other regular employee and integrated into the company culture, at a fraction of the cost.

This is something we did recently for a client and it transformed their hiring process. Boundless, an Employer of Record platform provider, was struggling to hire the forecasted employees as the managers were spending too much time managing candidates, liaising with the recruitment agencies and in general, spending time away from the core role.
When Trifecta Talent started at Boundless, we did a diagnostic of the as-is process and reviewed the job specifications, current interviewing process and headcount plan.

We then set out to speak to all the key people in the business to understand the culture and get a feel of the work environment. These conversations helped us develop our ‘candidate pitches’.

We then started getting the roles live with the curated job descriptions and took on the project manager piece for all things recruitment.

We started reporting on key metrics such as; offers accepted, time to hire, applications received etc. The leadership really appreciated the insight they had on the process while being hands-off with the legwork.

  • Enhancing Candidate and Hiring Manager Experience
    Our objective when we are embedded with a business is to make hiring a breeze for everyone involved. This means not only the hiring managers and the leadership but also the candidates. An experienced embedded recruiter can coach hiring managers in:
    1. Effective interviewing practices.
    2. Writing attractive job descriptions.
    3. Develop interview process and evaluation criteria.

And ofcourse, hire great candidates for the team at speed! This leads to a great experience for hiring managers as they have someone experienced to guide them through the hiring process and take on the hiring part of the workload.

As for the candidate experience, a key mandate for an embedded talent lead or recruiter is to reduce ‘time to hire’ which automatically means, designing candidate-centric interview processes and job descriptions and informing candidates every step of the way and sharing feedback after every interview.

Implementing Fractional Or Embedded Recruiters in Your Business

  • Getting Started: Assessing Your Needs.

Ready to transform your hiring but wondering how to determine which model suits your business? Are you ready to ramp up team size in the short to mid-term?

For example, you are a post-product market fit business looking to, say, double the headcount in a year. You have ambitious hiring goals but not necessarily budgets to match 

Do you need ‘speed of recruitment expertise’ in the business? 

You need experienced talent partners who don’t need time to ramp up and will own talent fast and provide unbiased advice when required. 

Do you want to support your internal talent team without a heavy cost outlay?

You might have an internal talent team/person already but looking for additional support which can deliver on the roles with speed.

Is cost at the top of your mind?

If you want to protect your runway, we get it.  An embedded recruiter offers you the flexibility to pause the service if and when needed.

 

Maximising your ROI.

So you have an embedded recruiter or fractional talent lead in the business. How do you track success?

It is key that you as a business can track a few basic key performance indicators to calculate the Return on Investment.

The best way to look at ROI from embedded hiring is to calculate all the savings that come with hiring without the use of external recruitment agencies, hiring manager time cost (man-hours * prorated salary) and the cost towards embedded hiring (which is fixed, monthly).

Some other KPIs to track should be:

📈 Hires against the plan (The bare minimum that any recruitment team will report on):

➡ Time to Fill.

➡ Time to Hire.

➡ Offer Acceptance Rate.

However, at Trifecta, we try to report on things which sometimes are overlooked but can be a real indicator of how much in sync your recruitment processes are with business needs. Such as: 

📰 Application Per Hire:

In one of our client’s cases, this was 501 which is double the industry standard. This shows two things:

  1. a) The job specs are appealing to the candidates. Great! 
  2. b) The employer value proposition is sound. Great! 

Hiring Manager Interview Time:

This is a key metric to track to see if your recruitment team is calibrated with the hiring manager on the type of profile being hired for. This is bound to be higher if the recruiter is working with the hiring manager for the first time or if it is a brand new role. But if the hours spent interviewing do not reduce,  this shows something is broken in the job intake or calibration step.

Sources Of Hires: 

All inbound candidates or referrals are NOT a hallmark of a good hiring process.

A mix of candidates from different channels and sources is preferable to infuse fresh ideas into the team and avoid herd-thinking!

🏎 Process Velocity

What do we mean by that? This simply means how long candidates sit in each stage. For a start-up trying to get the best talent at speed,  anything more than 24-48 hours will end up in missed/disinterested candidates.

We have felt hiring managers resonate with us when we present data such as the above which paints a picture of how the recruitment process is REALLY doing.

 

Use Embedded Recruitment To Power Your Talent Acquisition Strategy!

So transform your hiring strategy today! If you are looking for an embedded Talent Partner to supercharge your scaling efforts, please drop me, Nathaniel Benissan or Ashley Osmond a direct message as we would love to hear from you!