I, and no doubt some of you, received this email on Tuesday:
We hope you are all well and have had a good year so far! 😊
******** is currently looking to update our PSL for 2024, we invite you to discuss your value proposition on your company being part of new PSL. As part of our PSL, agencies will agree to the TOB we send through and then there will be a decision on what agencies have made our update PSL. Please send through your proposals no later than Friday 1st December 2023, if you wish to be a part of ********’s PSL for 2024.
This decision will be made on Wednesday 6th December 2023, with the successful agencies will be sent the new TOB on Thursday 7th December 2023.
Please send your proposals to @****, ***** and myself.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Talent Acquisition Advisor | People & Performance
Without naming names, this was sent from a globally renowned and revered professional services consulting firm, and there’s a fair bit to break down here. Let’s start at the beginning…
Dear All,: Sorry for the pedantry, but could we not have a mail-merged email? I know a rec-to-rec who sends candidates out via the “bcc” method, and he is rightly vilified for it. Would it be so hard to even say “Dear Supplier” and send it directly to us?
We hope you are all well and have had a good year so far! 😊: Again, grumpy b*stard mode here – but do we really need to be adding emojis to emails like this? Personally, I’m not an emoji guy. I believe the second we rely on them to convey emotion, we start losing our ability to write with emotion. That’s a different blog. I just don’t know if I’d be adding them to this email if I worked for a professional services firm. Anyway Sean, it’s 2023. Move on.
******** is currently looking to update our PSL for 2024, we invite you to discuss your value proposition on your company being part of new PSL. As part of our PSL, agencies will agree to the TOB we send through and then there will be a decision on what agencies have made our update PSL: I totally appreciate that for many in Aotearoa, English is not their first language, so grammatical errors are understandable. And not everyone is a pensmith – no judgement here. There are options to get these corrected however, and this email was sent from a Kiwi. Poor grammar aside, my main issue with this paragraph is one of process. Apparently, suppliers are to “discuss” our value and agree to their TOBs and then we will be told if we’re successful. We are not to suggest a new way of charging for our services. We are not to negotiate our terms. We are not to get a copy of the TOBs in advance so that we can decide if we want to tender for this work. No. We pitch, we are told how much we’ll charge, and then, if we’re unlucky enough, we’ll get told that we’re on the “PSL”
Please send through your proposals no later than Friday 1st December 2023, if you wish to be a part of ********’s PSL for 2024.: Oh and by the way, we have seven business days to do this.
And this brings me to the biggest issue with this email: Please send your proposals to @****, ***** and myself.
So for those who don’t work in Recruitment, or sent this email, selecting a recruitment partner (or any supplier actually) typically looks as follows. A client notifies potential suppliers of services via a Request for Proposal (RFP). Those suppliers who are interested in supplying services are presented with a host of information. Typically starting with the strategic goals of the organisation, then on to the purpose of this procurement process. Eventually, we are asked or told a detailed list of questions and criteria by which we will be assessed against. Before we decide to respond to this RFP, we are often offered an audience with the client, known as a supplier briefing. Here we can query any questions being asked of us, and get some clues on what they’re really looking for. After this, we complete our proposal, and this is often delivered in person in the form of a presentation. Now I’m not saying this is a particularly fun process. In fact, I hate it. However, procurement people do it this way, and I’m sure they have their reasons.
What they do not do is say “please send your proposals to..” whilst giving us absolutely no information on what you want to know or achieve. In nearly two decades in Recruitment, I have never seen any RFP quite like this. There’s no missing attachment to the email either. We are expected to send a proposal based on…well recruitment stuff I guess. I would be very surprised if the people behind it have ever run a similar process previously, and I’d be very surprised if one of the partners who works in this firm which employs 415,000 people globally didn’t agree with me. I don’t want to be mean to those involved, but it really is quite incredible.
Thankfully, I am not the only Recruiter to think this. Less than 24 hours later, I received the below:
Thank your (sic) for your quick replies and responses!
We have created a quick questionnaire that will help with your proposal, If you can complete and send it back with your proposal it would be appreciated.
We don’t have time to share the inane and often misspelt questionnaire attached to the email, but it is clearly something hurriedly put together following the deluge of “WTF??” emails received from agency suppliers. However, we are still not allowed to glimpse the TOBs or select our own. This will be dictated to us once we complete the Intermediate School-level pop quiz. And this brings us on to the elephant in the room. I am not suggesting that this process is indicative of the state of New Zealand’s internal recruitment industry, but this process is indicative of the state of New Zealand’s internal recruitment industry. Nah, I’m joking. Mostly. What I’m saying is that after 12 years of interviewing and hiring for internal recruiters, the number one complaint they make about their agency counterparts is that they are “too transactional”. Sitting on the side-lines of both camps as I do, let’s make this clear. Typically, internal recruitment is far more transactional in its approach to candidates, suppliers, and stakeholders than agency recruitment was, is, and ever will be. The reason that agency recruiters have a transactional approach to their clients is emails like the above. Lack of access, lack of information, and lack of respect does not make for great supplier relationships. Trust me, there is nothing an agency recruiter would like more than to take a hiring manager for a long lunch to get to know them and their business. Instead, we get a shoddy email asking for our “proposal”. Proposal to what end, we do not know.
Anyway, that’s upset enough people for today, and another PSA we won’t be on. Have a good ‘un.