5 Reasons Why Merging Contingent & Permanent Recruitment Makes Good Business Sense

Australian employers are increasingly accessing the value of streamlined recruitment processes, where the hiring of both permanent and contingent workers are merged.

My early experimentation with blended solutions began in the 90’s when I opened Robert Walters Australian operations, this experiment was further proven with the blended recruitment function designed to deliver permanent and contingent recruitment services to Fujitsu’s national “break fix” business.

However it was during my time in the UK, working in the RPO sector that I developed solutions that enabled my clients to use their employment brand, modified ATS and permanent recruitment teams to manage both permanent and contingent recruitment.  More recently, implementations of blended solutions in organisations such as Macquarie Group have proven the efficiency and effectiveness of the model, achieving equally impressive results in key performance measures in both acquisition of permanent or contingent workers.

Here are some of the benefits I see for aligning your contingent and perm recruitment, for better business outcomes:


1. Improve Quality and Fit of Hires


Contractors are no longer simply filling talent gaps. They are being hired to work on business critical projects. So, the need to undergo the same level of screening as permanent hires is a must. A merged recruitment process will ensure this and maintain quality and fit of hire

Having the same team managing both contingent and perm hiring, means there’s a consistent brand message across all candidate experiences with the employer. A team that lives and breathes the company culture, vision and value proposition, keeps the ‘employer brand’ equity high throughout all recruitment activity.


2. Cost Benefit


Combining perm and contingent recruitment reduces costs by streamlining both the process and suppliers. It also gives the opportunity to leverage the same team and shared services infrastructure (and then most often, talent is managed under separate specialist providers: RPO, MSP)

Temporary workers are becoming an increasingly permanent solution. So, differentiating the hiring practices for permanent hires and contractors makes less commercial sense

Ultimately employers will see a better ROI on their approach to engagement and hiring of talent if they start to think beyond the traditional “permanent” component of the workforce


3. Better Resource Leverage


Candidates are becoming more and more flexible with taking on contingent roles. And I guess the same goes for contractors wanting to make the move to a perm role. Keeping perm and contingent recruitment totally separate, prevents the potential offered from a merged contingent-and-permanent talent pool

A challenge I have come across time and time again is the lack of transparency employers have of their contractor population. Centralised recruitment reporting give employers a clearer picture of where they are at


4. Capitalising on Existing Recruitment Resources


As I mentioned back in point two, leveraging the skills of the permanent hiring team, to secure contingent talent, capitalises on existing internal resources

Line managers that hire ‘on the fly’ to fill a last minute need or project requirement aren’t achieving the best possible outcome from their contractor hiring practices. They often hire in haste. Focus less on spend. Are less likely to focus on the due-diligence of the hire from a scope, quality and benchmarking perspective. And frequently disregard the ‘best fit’ of the contractor for the business


5. Aligned to the Business Strategy


Managing contingent workers centrally, like via an MSP, reduces the likelihood of employers hiring contractors in a random or haphazard fashion. It also means hires will be within the agreed business benchmarks of quality, contract scope, price and deliverables. No matter the level or scope of project

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What are the barriers to merging contingent and permanent recruitment?


  • A common perception is that temporary workers are too risky to include in the bigger talent picture. Typically resulting in a lack of recognition around the value of having a specialist management strategy specifically for contractors
  • Many businesses are also concerned that the cost of hiring temp workers the same way as perms, will blow out the cost allocated to talent acquisition
  • Combining two distinct approaches to recruitment can be complex. But once in place, the benefits of streamlining the hiring process are significant
  • Hiring manager and procurement disengagement: many don’t see sourcing contractors as part of their function
  • There’s also the perception of increased employment risk in relation to hiring contractors
  • Traditional recruitment management systems are not always designed to manage contingent workers
  • Temporary workers engaged as a short-term or interim talent solution carry less strategic weight in the hiring process, to permanent hires


Here are some examples of how some of CXC Global client’s hire and manage their contingent and permanent talent:

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Its’s fair to say, some contract workers are truly unique and strategic, while others are not. Same is the case for permanent hires. For example, an interim (or permanent) CIO or on-site contractor with access to critical systems requires a different approach to engagement and hiring, than say a clerical temp (or staff member).


However, this doesn’t prohibit the option for having suppliers, systems and processes in place to attract, engage and secure both permanent and non-permanent workers. A streamlined hiring approach for both groups can only improve business performance in securing the right talent, at the right time and price, for the right reasons. It eliminates the habit of last-minute or non-strategic hiring of staff. And as a result, all categories of talent are more likely to be aligned to the organisation’s employer brand, culture and vision.



Darren will be speaking at  #CWF15 in Sydney on 22-23 September, where he will be discussing how to further improve your contingent model to gain a competitive advantage.  To participate, register your ticket for the event here or follow the conference as it happens on twitter here.


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