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Embedded Talent: How can you scale and remain agile at the same time?

Previously, the word 'unprecedented' was something used sparingly, kept for exceptional and rare occurrences. But jump forward to today, and that word is now commonplace — the COVID19 pandemic, global events such as the war in Ukraine, record-breaking inflation, and now predictions of the longest recession in recent history are becoming the reality most people and businesses face.

Businesses everywhere are facing greater uncertainty driven in many instances by factors outside of their control. So how do you best plan and prepare for the future when there is a high level of uncertainty? What happens if the unprecedented strikes a fast-growing company?

One of the current challenges many companies, particularly start-ups and scale-ups, face is rapid growth. Indeed, this is a good and means that things are going well. Customer demand is likely high and as such you need to hire the resources quickly to meet this increased demand. There's nothing like seeing your team and your business grow.

Finding the right talent with the right growth mindset to help you take your business to the next level is an exciting time. But how do you do it? What do you need to put in place to attract this talent?

An in-house recruitment team is one tried and tested route to helping you achieve your ambitious growth plans. But it's certainly not a quick fix. Building an in-house recruitment team is a process that requires a lot of investment in time. Onboarding the team into the culture of the business, developing and defining your employer value proposition, setting up processes, and ensuring a first-class candidate experience is central to it, training hiring managers on how to interview, creating a pipeline of potential talent, scheduling interviews, and feeding back to candidates not to mention managing the candidate through from offer to placement all need to be bottomed out.

But once done, it's an amazing feeling. But what happens to this team you have invested so much in during uncertain and unprecedented times? How do you safeguard that recruitment team when the unexpected happens?

Whatever the 'unprecedented event is, in reality, it usually means one thing. For your company to survive, you need to make some tough decisions on where you can cut costs. And as we have already seen from the likes of Netflix, Klarna, and Pelaton, in-house recruitment teams, unless they can be redeployed elsewhere in the business, are often the first to go.

The embedded recruitment solution — an alternative to scaling up quickly. An easy way to prevent brand damage and save you from hiring a complete talent department is to use an embedded recruitment solution. An embedded talent team is a great way to build the flexibility you need into your hiring strategy.

Partnering with an external talent provider on an as-needed basis allows you to scale-up quickly while avoiding the expense of maintaining a full-time internal recruitment team. Either acting as your talent acquisition team or bolstering the one you already have in place; their support and expertise can be flexed up or down as business needs change.

Ultimately you have complete control over the amount of help needed. Whether it's support with ad hoc hires or the need to hire a huge volume of new recruits, the embedded talent team scales with you, making you much more agile to respond to increases or decreases in demands.

A flexible solution to your talent needs. Aside from the negative PR that is associated with redundancies, making a talent team redundant is a difficult and emotional process. With an embedded talent team, you don't have to go through this worry. Because they are not full-time employees, they can be brought in as needed, without the same level of commitment or notice period as would be required for a full-time team member.

This can be helpful when a company needs to ramp up or down their staffing levels quickly, or when they need to fill a specific skills gap on a project basis. Regardless of your growth plans, whether it's five times your headcount or more, the beauty of an embedded talent solution is that it scales with you. Moreover, it scales quickly, much quicker in fact than if you had to hire more into your own talent acquisition team. Essentially it provides you with exactly the right amount of support to get what you need. And when you've finished hiring, or another 'unprecedented' event hits, reducing the amount of support you need is uncomplicated - the embedded talent team roll off-site seamlessly. No redundancies and importantly no damage to your brand. You have complete control over the growth of your business without any adverse effects.

Commercial Benefit There are many benefits to having an embedded talent team as opposed to a full-time team too. For one, the cost benefits are significant. An embedded talent team can be a fraction of the cost of a full-time team, and they are just as effective, if not more so.

As an example, when a company has a full-time team, they are responsible for the salaries, benefits, pension contributions, national insurance, and other associated costs of those employees. The cost of an embedded talent team, on the other hand, is limited to the cost of the services they provide. This can be a significant saving for companies, particularly when the services required are only needed on a short-term or project basis.

There are other benefits too such as diversity of ideas, speed of deployment being significantly reduced. And let's not forget, ultimately they are a supplier to your business and will have a very strong vested interest in delivering results quickly, Expertise On Demand When building a talent team, it is important to ensure all areas of the talent cycle are covered.

Talent is more than just recruitment. In today's market, an experienced talent partner is an invaluable asset. Engaging with people who can create a role priority matrix, devise a skill-set risk assessment and ensure there is continuous workforce planning is critical to any business growth. However, hiring several senior hires in talent can be costly, time-consuming, and often unnecessary in the longer term.

When engaging an embedded talent solution, you also have access to wisdom, experience, and learnings gained from multiple projects. Leaning on this experience will help ensure you lay the right foundations for future growth. Business Brand Finally, a strong business brand and relevant networks is imperative to building your talent pool.

Your network is important to generate a continuous, sustainable pool of potential employees who are inspired by your business. It's not something that happens overnight but can be destroyed very quickly, particularly in instances where you are having to make redundancies within your internal recruitment team. Internally, redundancies can damage morale and motivation levels, which can have a big impact on productivity.

Externally, it can damage your reputation with customers, suppliers, and future employees. Don't forget your internal recruitment team is often the first point of contact for all your new employees. This again is where the flexibility of an embedded talent solution safeguards your brand reputation.

If you do need to roll-off the embedded talent team, it isn't a shock to your new hires. They were always only a support solution. The bottom line is that an embedded talent team offers a number of advantages over a full-time team, including cost savings, flexibility, and access to a wider range of skills and expertise. For companies looking at how they optimize their workforce, an embedded talent team may be the way to go.

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