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Q&A Forum

Are services such as LinkedIn, oDesk, and Elance, viable alternatives to staffing agencies for SMBs?

Scout Young's Profile

Answers

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

Depends on the workforce strategy you have for the organization and the skills of your internal staff who will manage these processes. With oDesk and Elance you will save costs in agency fees and presumes you will use predominately contingent workforce (with some converting to full-time hires). Linkedin also has a good number of independent consultant pool of resources and you can contact candidates for directly depending on your subscription. Whether an SMB can leverage these lower cost solutions will depend on the process owner of these supplier relationships and having strong project management skills, insight to the technical skills and project deliverables to source the talent, and working with the business managers to have QA along the way to ensure quality results. Hope this helps.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Absolutely. As Malak points out, you will save agency fees, and he makes some other very valid points.

To be fair I am not a fan of recruitment/employment agencies.

In any event, whether you do the actual search or not, you still need to vette whomever is presented to you as a possible employee. Search firms don't have any special or magic software that they wave over applicants.

John Perlowski
Title: Owner
Company: John Perlowski, CPA
(Owner, John Perlowski, CPA) |

I second Wayne's comment. Amen brother!!

Lee Crumbaugh
Title: President
Company: Forrest Consulting
(President, Forrest Consulting) |

Generally I would advocate using LinkedIn as a go-to recruitment resource - almost cost free and the pool is endless. It takes some skill to really know how to find the right candidates and connect with them, however.

For more senior positions, I think a good retained search firm can add value by unearthing, screening and presenting candidates that you otherwise might have difficulty connecting with and attracting. But even in this case I would not sell the potential of LinkedIn short.

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