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What is Recruitment-as-a-Service (RaaS)?

Recruitment-as-a-Service (RaaS): What it is, it's benefits, and if it's right for your talent team. 

"Change is the only constant in life."

While that might be true for most, it's not true for talent and HR teams.

Because in the world of HR, there are two constants that talent teams sit with day in and day out…

  1. Top talent is hard to find.
  2. HR teams have a lot on their plate - and the list of tasks and responsibilities seems ever-growing.

These realities mean that setting aside enough time to hire can be difficult. And setting aside enough time to hire top talent is even more difficult.

Like any team, talent teams turn to an external supplier to help overcome their capacity constraints.

Enter the recruitment agency.

But there's just one problem. Traditional recruitment agencies can be time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes inefficient when recruiting at scale.

In recent years, recruitment-as-a-service has emerged as an innovative and cost-effective solution providing various benefits to organizations.

But before you can start weighing the pros and cons of Recruitment-as-a-Service (RaaS), you need to know what RaaS actually is and when it makes sense for your team.

So, let's break down what recruitment-as-a-service (RaaS) is, how it's different from traditional recruitment, and it's benefits.

What is recruitment-as-service (RaaS)?

Recruitment-as-a-service, or RaaS, is a subscription-based recruitment solution that takes the traditional agency model and turns it on its head. Rather than outsourcing your recruitment ops and paying project-by-project, RaaS allows you to plug experiences recruiters into your team when you need it, for as long as you need it via a flexible subscription. 

Recruitment as a subscription offers numerous benefits to companies of all sizes, including flexibility in hiring, cost-effectiveness, and improved candidate quality. In addition, this model allows organizations to focus on their core competencies, save time and resources, and find the best talent out there - making it a game-changer for talent teams.

What are the benefits of RaaS?

Flexibility in Hiring

Let's start with the basics. Flexibility.

RaaS allows companies to bring on additional recruiters for a specific period. Then, when their subscription ends, they can choose to renew, extend, or end it. This flexibility is a huge advantage when navigating ever-changing hiring needs since you can increase recruitment capacity without actually increasing headcount. In practice, this looks like plugging in additional recruiters for short-term hiring bursts and downsizing the team when hiring slows back down.

Cost efficiency

Another simple but important benefit of RaaS is cost savings. The best part is that cost efficiency can be viewed from two perspectives.

On the one hand, adding recruitment resources when needed can reduce overhead expenses associated with maintaining a full-time talent acquisition team. On the other hand, the model provides cost predictability and lower cost-per-hire than the traditional recruitment agency model.

At the end of the day, RaaS is a cost-effective solution for companies of all sizes. Whether you are a startup or a full-blown enterprise, it still takes time and resources to build an employer brand, run job advertising, source and screen candidates, conduct interviews, and bring new hires on board. So, whether you look at it from the perspective of building an internal talent team or just freeing up time and resources for your current team, RaaS can save you time and money.

More than just recruitment

Based on the name, you might assume that Recruitment-as-a-Service is just that - recruitment.

But it can also be a whole lot more than just recruitment.

The beauty of RaaS is the fact that it operates on a subscription model. So whether you need additional capacity, skillsets, or both, you can mix and match your subscription plan depending on your needs.

Do you need someone with in-depth knowledge of the US market this quarter as you build up your team? Or maybe you need someone to finally transition to that new ATS you've meant to switch to? Or you need someone to finally get together the recruitment infrastructure you’ve been unable to get started on? Or maybe your company is still in its early stages and needs someone to act as your interim Head of People.

Regardless of your need, RaaS gives you an easy solution: add the capacity and competence to your plan. And when you no longer need it, scale back down.

That means you can think of recruitment like Netflix, your gym membership, Spotify, or any other subscription you're a part of. Sign up now, and add on what you need, when you need it at a later stage (or don't).

Improved Candidate Experience

When you work with a traditional agency, you have little insight or control over communication or brand perception. The recruiter will of course, do their best to sell your brand and the role as best they can, but at the end of the day, they don't know it like you do.

They don't know the nuances of your company culture. The words you use to describe your company and the ones you avoid. They don't know the ins and outs of your compensation and benefits structure.

And that's not necessarily their fault; it's just how the agency model works. It doesn't set them up to know the nitty-gritty details about your company, and it definitely doesn't set them up to take their time with each candidate. Instead, it incentivizes them to bring candidates into the process and get them signed as quickly as possible. This mindset results in a model full of compromise - for both candidates and hiring managers. It compromises brand perception, candidate experience, and overall process quality, a trifecta that, when compounded, can have some serious implications.

But when you work with RaaS, the recruiters aren't just recruiters. They are a part of your team. They will go to great lengths to understand your business, hiring goals, culture, and compensation and benefits structure. RaaS gives them the freedom to embed fully into your organization to learn its ins and outs, and thankfully its pricing model doesn't incentive rushing candidates through the process at all costs. Instead, removing commission from the equation enables the embedded team to have a steadfast focus on sustainability, quality, and candidate experience.

When should you consider Recruitment-as-a-Service?

RaaS might be the perfect fit for your team. Or it might not be.

Just because RaaS has an array of benefits doesn't mean that it's the answer to your problems, but here are a few signs that it might be a good solution for your organization.

  • Your internal talent team feels overwhelmed, and there isn't enough time or resources to bring on more team members.
  • You don't have a talent team or the budget to build one. However, you have ambitious hiring goals ahead of you.
  • You aren't just dealing with one or two key roles but managing high-volume recruitment over a sustained period.
  • You have seasonal recruitment needs and need to fill many roles in a short time frame.
  • You lack domain or market knowledge to hire very senior or hyper-specialized positions.

To sum up, it's clear that RaaS offers numerous benefits to companies of all sizes, including flexibility in hiring, cost-effectiveness, and improved candidate quality. This model allows organizations to focus on their core competencies, save time and resources, and find the best talent. As the business environment continues to evolve, recruitment as a subscription is emerging as a game-changer in the recruitment industry.

Author profile Meagan Leber

Growth Marketing Manager at Amby, who loves writing about the tech, venture capital, and people space.