The University Recruitment Revolution

The University Recruitment Revolution

There is a rising tide of educational institutions who have realised just how much time and money they waste on external recruitment services and agencies.

A university is just like any other large organisation – it employs a wide variety of part time and full time staff throughout the year and they often need to attract decent candidates in a short space of time.

But universities also have a high requirement for volunteers and they are also keen to make sure their students get offered as many of these job opportunities as possible – after all,  it makes sense to use the talent already under their roof.

But external recruitment agencies are costly, and are often not geared up for looking within the university walls to see if the student talent pool can fill the post. Of course, if you are a recruitment consultant, you’d prefer to find candidates outside the student walls – so you can bill a hefty fee.

And some of those fees are indeed hefty. And they attract VAT at 20%. Where universities differ from other organisations is they cannot claim VAT back, so 20% of a recruitment agent’s fees are lost while other businesses get relief on that element.

So universities perhaps have a greater set of drivers to move away from using recruitment agents and save a not inconsiderable sum of money, whilst also offering more opportunities to their students.

And that is exactly why so many universities are choosing to modernise their recruitment methods, push it online and bring it in-house to avoid high agency fees.

These solutions are colloquially referred to as ‘Talent Banks’. Keystone Employment Group is currently the leader in the field of online Talent Banks, and uses a cloud based solution to make the recruitment tool available anywhere at anytime.

A university has its own branded Talent Bank and this allows managers, tutors and other hirers to add their vacancy in one single place and advertise it out across websites, social media and jobsites. At the same time (and here’s the smart part) the Talent Bank looks at the internal database of university students and offers any eligible candidates the positions too.

In one fell swoop a university can dramatically improve the amount of work experience it offers to its own students, but even if no students are able or qualified to do the job, they can still recruit from the wider world and save on agency fees (and their VAT).

But doesn’t this method put a burden on the university by bringing in a once outsourced solution in-house?

The answer is that it does not. Think about the process when one uses a recruitment agency. You still have to create a job spec, detail the role and what you are looking for, salary, terms and such forth. Then you relay all that to a recruitment agency who then gathers candidates which they then pass onto you to deal with. Most of the time the recruitment agency has simply sourced those candidates online.

With an online Talent Bank the job details are entered once on the online portal and the vacancy is pushed online immediately (which is what most recruitment agencies do anyway). By then gathering suitable candidates and delivering them directly to the hiring manager via the online portal, a huge amount of time and effort (not to mention money) is saved.

Many universities, and increasingly sixth form schools and colleges, are finding this an absolute revolution, saving them tens of thousands of pounds in agency costs, saving substantial amounts of time and also generating great opportunities for the students who crave (and demand) more work experience from their universities.

With a third of UK students recently surveyed stating they did not feel they got value for  money from their universities, being able to offer them work – paid work- ought to be top of a university’s list of student services.

So the recruitment revolution has arrived and it benefits universities perhaps more than any other group, and there has never been a better time to cut costs and put more work the way of the students.

Keystone Employment Group is the leading provider of online Talent Bank solutions to the education sector. Keystone is an approved supplier to both the London University Purchasing Consortium and the Southern University Purchasing Consortium.