“I hired you to get the right people not to pay to outsource recruiting!”
Many an owner in the West has poured Millions of USD down the drain in China with this apparently wise phrase.
This is a complicated idea I want to unpack.
Sometimes the home office should look this way at what is happening in their China organization. They have the wrong leader and need to switch and get it right this time.
Costs to Not Outsource Recruiting
However, I recently talked to a GM who was told not to outsource recruiting though their results to date in recruiting have hurt them.
If he continues to muddle along, just the cost of bad hires and unwanted turnover will be far in excess of the money the home office wants to save. The further risk is the wheels will fall off in some unexpected way due to having people who are not engaged due to a messy culture.
It means he needs to spend 400,000 RMB or more annually to pay an experienced recruiting manager and an assistant. If he can get the right recruiting manager which is a long shot, he still faces the risk of other functional hiring managers around him muddying his world with fuzzy hiring. A new HR manager is liukely to make things worse. See this blog on that topic.
The GM himself might not be excellent at knowing Chinese people. In fact, guys I know who have been leading China organizations for 20 plus years here do not know Chinese people well enough to get consistently good hires. However, they can find the next customer and build good product if they have the right people. They are valuable GM’s and should be supported to spend less than 300,000 RMB a year to outsource recruiting, a non core activity.
Recruiting is not as expensive as keeping hard to find excellent recruiting talent on staff. We recruit for company, and then they do not need managers for a year as our people do not leave, and they create better retention below them. What do your in house recruiters do to maintain their skills during that year. Do they do outside top level recruiting to stay sharp? Ours do recruiting every day.