Why Training & Recruitment synergy seems common sense, but does not work
Bias: Recruitment businesses are supposed to be independent arbitrators of jobs and candidates, but if it is to complement a training organization, it must necessarily operate with a bias, that in favour of students trained.
Time: Recruitment is a here-and-now business, while training is essentially long term. One can not find a job for the candidate who will be ready in a year’s time, nor is it possible to place a trainee in a job which requires his end-of-course skills.
I have studied those who have done this, and I think there are three distinctive traits in these models which make them different from an usual training or an usual recruitment model. Here are those three differences:
- Capacity building as the goal: The organization creates a phased plan to create a full-blown recruitment and training model, building capacity on both sides in the initial phases. So, a best practise model will create capacity on the supply side [by equipping students with workplace skills and seeking employer endorsements of the training courses] and on the demand side [by developing employer preference for its students and by arranging internships which allow closer employer-student interaction]. In fact, I have hardly seen a successful company which has created a recruitment complement straight from their very successful training operations. It has always been gradual and almost always started with an altruistic goal of finding learners jobs.
- Benchmarking as the critical skill: The core assumption from the recruiter’s side is that there must be a perfect candidate for every job. The educator’s assumption is that there must be a perfect job for every candidate. The truth is somewhat in-between these two extremes, and a business model, which excels in benchmarking and competence building can successfully bring the two poles together. The benchmarking works both ways - by exposing students as interns or trainees in the businesses and making businesses involved, in a close engagement, with the training process. Most successful business models come out of years of engagement in such interaction activities.
- Learner-funded to Employer-funded as the commercial model: There is a shortage of jobs for under-skilled people, and a shortage of people for skilled jobs, at the same time. The training-recruitment business model, while trying to profit from the economic opportunity, needs to move from one end to another. In the context of an existing training organization, the logical path is move from learner funded capacity building to employer funded training and skills search. This gradual transition of the business model has been the key differentiator of all successful combination models, and these stand apart from the usual each-on-their-own business model that most people cherish.