Talent Acquisition terms of engagement for vendors – How do they affect your talent acquisition strategy and success?

These days many terms of engagement read quite similarly and seem quite aged (maybe even the same document from 10 years ago with just a few ‘numerical adjustments)! However, one question I often look to answer, is ‘what are these terms looking to incentivize’?

So often, you will see terms of engagement for recruitment services that may incentivize a process and result that likely isn’t desired. For example;

– fee entitlement clauses that incentivize speed of introduction above all else (likely resulting in only being able to select from the ‘easiest/fastest’ to find candidates)

– same terms of business to all vendors regardless of capability, structure, roles worked on etc.

– vendor management strategies and use that are no more sophisticated than a PSL (preferred supplier list) system and new vendor additions are ridiculously laborious.

– fee levels that may be set too high – such that they need to restrict their talent acquisition strategy and engage vendors less often as they see the ‘price’ as too high.

– siloed strategies of talent acquisition and/or vendor ‘engagement’ where vendors may be further and further out of reach from the ultimate decision maker or even hidden behind a portal system.


In Japan, from this article; https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-employer-branding-japan-murray-clarke it is considered that 8% of the talent pool is active, 15% is passive and 77% ‘out-of-the-market’.

Often we will hear of ‘talent shortages’ ( more on my thoughts on those here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/talent-shortagereally-neil-blondell/ ) but then we will find talent acquisition strategies and vendor terms of engagement that don’t look to ensure that ‘at least’ even the passive candidate pool is researched, engaged, approached, romanced and acquired……and is instead only selecting from the active 8% of the talent pool.

As with a contract of employment, the vendor terms of engagement are a huge opportunity to influence / incentivize and ultimately reward the action and representation you desire.

If you are passionate about talent acquisition, feel free to direct message to me at any time to discuss further.