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How to build a successful candidate redeployment strategy

By Peter Linas, EVP Corporate Development & International at Bullhorn

Company Profile


In today’s competitive recruitment market, a candidate redeployment strategy is essential. Recruitment professionals continue to cite the global talent shortages as a key obstacle, and with talent at an all-time premium, the pressure is on to meet client demands as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Redeploying candidates means leveraging existing relationships to make sure that clients can access the talent they need, when they need it.

What’s more, redeploying candidates for other jobs after their current assignment ends improves the recruiter’s bottom line. Where sourcing new candidates costs time and money, redeploying existing workers is fast and affordable. What’s more, these existing workers have already been sourced and screened, and demonstrated professionalism, making them an incredibly valuable resource.

That’s not to suggest that implementing a candidate redeployment strategy is simple. To achieve a high success rate, you need to put your data to better use and offer a superior candidate experience. Here are three crucial steps to building a successful redeployment strategy.

Boost your current redeployment rate

Research conducted by Bullhorn shows that less than six percent of recruitment agencies measure their current redeployment rate. What’s more, one third redeploy fewer than 25 percent of their candidates. The only way you can improve your redeployment success rate is to know your current figures – and this is where data comes in. Data provides a baseline and helps recruiters make informed decisions about how, when, and who to redeploy. If you haven’t already, start tracking and measuring your redeployment rate so that you can aim higher.

Work out which of your candidates you redeploy consistently and what they contribute to your margins. Improving your revenue doesn’t simply mean redeploying more workers: it means redeploying your top candidates. To identify them, you need to track the rate your agency charges clients for each candidate’s services, as well as the following:

  • The Bill Rate – the rate your agency charges the client for a worker’s services
  • The Pay Rate – the rate your agency pays the worker for his/her work services
  • The Pay Rate Margin – a calculation of your worker’s Bill Rate minus their Pay Rate

Using this data, you can find out which candidates are best to target for redeployment, put them forward successfully, and improve your margins.

If you’re part of the management team, it’s also worth tracking your redeployment rate by individual recruiters within your firm. If a recruiter has a particularly low redeployment rate, it can signal larger problems, like a poor candidate experience or a failure to follow up frequently with placed workers. By tracking their metrics, you can diagnose and amend small mistakes before they develop into big problems.

Most recruiters tend to be placement-oriented, but what works for placing candidates doesn’t always work for redeploying them — especially if a recruiter prioritises speed. Consider building redeployment into their evaluation as a key performance indicator, and rewarding recruiters with the highest redeployment rates.

Improve your candidate experience

The only way you can successfully redeploy top candidates is if they enjoy working with you. One of the biggest problems candidates have with recruiters is their lack of communication. In fact, Bullhorn’s research shows that 60 percent of candidates believe that better communication throughout and after the application process would make for a more positive experience.

Another critical element of the candidate experience is the onboarding process. Three out of five candidates say they’ve had a bad onboarding experience, characterised by slow, manual processes that eat into the time they could spend earning an income elsewhere. The best way to improve onboarding functionality and make it more efficient is to automate and streamline documentation. This is especially useful when working with previously deployed workers.

Most recruiters are confident that their candidates have a positive working experience with them. This is surprising, given that less than a third conduct interviews with candidates about their actual experiences, and only two out of five measure candidate satisfaction by any method. To improve your candidate experience, you must know how it currently ranks – so ask your candidates to measure their satisfaction after each successfully completed assignment.

Use the right technology to support your redeployment strategy

To build and implement a successful redeployment strategy, you need a good recruitment customer relationship management (CRM) system. Use your CRM to identify your top candidates for redeployment and how much they contribute to your business. The right CRM will also help you improve your candidate experience by streamlining processes and keeping communication channels open.

Timing is key to successful recruitment, and a CRM can help recruiters stay on top of opportunities. Automated calendar functionality, for example, means recruiters know where their candidates are and for how long. Knowing when a candidate is finishing an assignment makes it possible to put them forward for the next, without missing a beat.

A high redeployment rate can yield enormous benefits.  However, achieving one requires a solid strategy supported by the right technology. By combining an understanding of your business, a great candidate experience, and sophisticated recruitment software, you’ll be well on your way to redeploying more candidates, and becoming more effective and profitable in the process.