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Publish the Preferred Supplier Lists for major consultancies?

 
#1 Publish the Preferred Supplier Lists for major consultancies?
05/02/2010 12:40

Mr Cool

Tony,

A constant complaint from job-seekers on this forum is the (hopefully) minority of agencies that advertise positions that turn out not to exist. One reason for this is agencies attempting to place candidates with large employers when they are not on the employers PSL. They place a low cost ad, harvest CV’s send on some genuinely good candidates, only to be told once again “you’re not on our PSL”.

How about you set up an extra page on the site where major consultancy companies would be invited to list their PSL agencies. That way candidates could be assured their applications are going through the correct channels and the consultancies would spend less time rebuffing the cowboys.

PSL membership is not normally considered confidential – many agencies have “we’re on the PSL of XXX Co” on their sites and tenders to join PSL’s are common – it would just be better collated in one place.

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#2 RE: Publish the Preferred Supplier Lists for major consultancies?
05/02/2010 12:57

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Mr Cool (#1)

Thanks Mr Cool. This sounds like a resource that would be very useful to readers if it could be pulled off; my main concern would be whether firms would buy into the idea to a sufficient degree that the resource would be both comprehensive and up to date.

If only one of the Big 4 bothered to list their PSL then the resource would be of limited use; and if all the Big 4 took part but failed to keep their entries bang up to date then the resource would actually become self-defeating in that candidates would be encouraged to submit their details to firms who were actually no longer on the PSL...

We're hosting our annual conference for consulting recruiters in March and will have a lot of the major consulting firms attending, so will broach the subject there to test the water.

Thanks for the idea

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#3 RE: Publish the Preferred Supplier Lists for major consultancies?
05/02/2010 15:38

Mars A Day to Mr Cool (#1)

It's a good idea - in theory. But the reality is that PSL agreements are frankly a nonsense.

They exist for one sole purpose - as a mechanism to drive down recruitment fees. There is not one PSL which is so water-tight than an agency cannot get on to it, through it, or past it. The real power in determining whether a company works with a recruiter these days is not in the hands of the hiring managers (who can judge whether the recruiter knows his/her stuff) but with procurement - it's a vendor issue these days. And much of that, at least with the biggest firms, has become little more than RPO with bells on.

A good recruiter who does not have an existing mandate with x firm should tell you this, but may then suggest - of they have the networks - they can make an over the PSL introduction directly to the hiring manager who can quantify your worth to that company. Sometimes this will work sometimes not.

Also worth considering is that no firm in my experience, no matter how rigid their PSL (which once implemented becomes the doted on soilt brat of HR) the hiring managers themselves neither care about its existence, nor would they allow the PSL to prevent them making a hire they want. If you are a star restructurning guru and your CV is in the inbox of the right partner at x firm for example, the Partner will want to talk to you, and either insist the introducing firm is appointed to the PSL, or tell HR what to do with it. Cue internal wrangling which can only have one end - seniority wins - and the PSL is busted. Once the exception is made, the PSL loses credibility and before you know 5 hand picked recruitment partners become 30 or more coming out of the woodwork. Go help you if an RPO ever gets involved. At least one major consulting firm has been largely populated with utter dross through RPO, the Partners resent it and will circumvent it where they can, but the procurement issues shout louder - cost cost cost.

If you want this reality to shape your career, insist on PSLs for every role you apply for.

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#4 RE: Publish the Preferred Supplier Lists for major consultancies?
05/02/2010 16:05

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Mars A Day (#3)

Insightful as ever Mars - thank you!

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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