Could the grass be greener?

Preferred supplier lists (PSLs) are common place in the majority of business and for good reason. Developing good relationships with your recruitment partners is vital as choosing the right employees can make or break your business.

So, why have a PSL?

Working with a select number of recruitment partners over a period of time allows these agencies to learn more about your business with regards to culture, preferences, goals and objectives. This information allows recruitment partners to source candidates which not only fulfil requirements of the role, but also match your business’ culture and objectives. Recruitment partners can often become an extension of your in-house team due to the close working relationship you develop with them. These are all valid reasons for having a strict PSL, however the most common reasons businesses follow a PSL is to save time, money and ensure a consistent high quality of service, but this isn’t always the case which I will explain shortly. Knowing exactly who to go to for your resourcing needs with as little admin as possible makes life a lot easier for hiring managers.

As I mentioned, one of the major reasons companies use a PSL is to ensure an excellent level of service without having to shop around every time you are looking to take on new staff. However, it’s a common notion among the recruitment industry that once you’ve become part of a PSL; you won’t have to do much leg-work in order to stay there. Agencies often become complacent which can see clients receiving just an ‘okay’ service for the foreseeable future.

Reviewing your PSL.

Within a fast evolving recruitment industry, companies that don’t review are at risk of missing out on higher calibre candidates, improved quality of service and cost reductions.

Yes, your current suppliers might be getting the job done, but with increased competition many agencies are taking advantage of advances in technology and tailoring improved services that are better suited to their clients’ requirements.

My advice?

You should aim to be reviewing your PSL at least once a year and ensure those currently on your PSL are aware of this – make them work to keep their spot!

Set KPIs for your suppliers and track their success. Who is bringing you the best candidates? Who is providing the best cost per hire? Who has the fastest CV submission to hire time?

PSLs are in place for your benefit, and not reviewing them can result in your suppliers taking more than their fair share of the benefits.

Good recruitment partners are constantly evolving to ensure their clients’ needs are met.

Most recruitment agencies pride themselves on always providing the highest calibre candidates, but they should also recognise the importance and value in aligning the overall service to help their clients meet their objectives. Top agencies seek feedback and are always looking to provide a tailored service for their clients’ needs.

The start of the year is the perfect time to review your current PSL and what have you got to lose? You may find something you never knew you were missing….


Give Stage a call and see what we can do for you.


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