Working with External HR Service Providers

Instructor: A. Casey Carr-Jones

Casey Carr-Jones holds a Bachelor's degree in English & Psychology. She is currently a PHR-certified Human Resources Consultant.

Working with external Human Resources (HR) service providers is often necessary to complete certain tasks. This lesson discusses the ways that HR departments work with providers, such as third party recruiters, training providers, and benefits providers.

External HR Service Providers

Human Resources (HR) departments come in all shapes and sizes. Some companies have one sole HR representative, and others have a whole team of employees who specialize in areas like compensation or recruiting. But no matter the situation, most HR departments use some external providers of services. From external recruiters, to trainers, to benefits providers, good communication is key to a successful relationship.

Working with Third Party Recruiters

Third party recruiters, also known as staffing agencies, are companies who recruit for full-time, part-time, and/or temporary employees on behalf of another organization. Third party recruiters reach out to companies regularly to form relationships and determine current and anticipated staffing needs. These recruiters will take a position's job description, which is a list of responsibilities and qualifications for a particular job, and perform candidate recruiting on the company's behalf. They present several candidates' resumes for review, and schedule phone and on-site interviews. In return, if the company extends an offer to a candidate from a staffing agency, the agency is entitled to a fee for performing recruiting services.

Working with a third party recruiter involves negotiating a contract that details the fee percentage (typically based on the candidate's salary). HR also needs to communicate back and forth during resume screening and interviews. Ensuring that the recruiter is on the same page as the organization in terms of candidate skills and experience is essential.

Working with Outside Trainers

Hiring external training providers can be a great way to increase professional development for employees. Working with trainers often involves identifying training needs or issues that are specific to the organization, and agreeing on the best format for the topic. Some training sessions may be best presented in a small classroom setting. Others might be more interactive with large groups. Some training sessions may be web-based, like a live or pre-recorded webinar. HR must work with the outside trainer and provide input that would lead to the most effective form of training. HR can also assist with feedback after the training has concluded to improve future training programs.

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