Painful, Senseless, Low Value!

Painful, Senseless, Low Value!

November 16, 2018
Why then is it still commonplace that a company would engage in the madness of a PSL project?

Why on earth are PSL’s still a thing?

Every recruiting function worth its salt is trying to improve how they engage and bring on new talent directly, or through strong relationships with a small number of trusted partners.

So why then is it still commonplace as part of a cyclical process, or worst still as part of a transformation that a company would engage in the madness of a PSL project?


When I hear PSL


Yes, I have been involved in a few over the years within some big companies! My brain translates into:

“So, we are going to contact every agency that has somehow managed to place a backdoor hire with us (the “amnesty part”)? Also a bunch of other large, multi-vertical suppliers – the ‘cover our bases’ part. And ask them to answer a 50 page RFI document to be in with a shot of getting loads of future business?

…then, internally we are going to load hundreds of hours of work onto multiple, well-paid folk. To read the same monotonous drivel that comes back in the responses. Score them against a procurement pro forma that invariably means the ‘big boy’ agencies come out near the top?

…then realise that Suzy at ABC recruitment down on the high street who has worked with Finance for 5 years and who they think is a magician at finding part qual accountants, is in dead last! BUT we’d better bump her up to keep internal relationships tight and get buy-in to the wider project goals…

…then invite those suppliers lucky enough to have jumped unharmed through all the hoops in the procurement process to an engagement event. Where someone speaks eloquently about how great our company is. How well it’s doing. How much hiring we need to do (cue salivating salespeople as far as the eye can see)…

…then send them away eager to start sourcing for all these lovely new vacancies that are about to flood into their inboxes from our ATS…

…then go back to work as usual. Job well done guys – we’ve shaved 0.5% off the contractual terms and increased payment days to 97…


…not long afterward we start getting daily contact from our lovely new PSL asking when they are going to be getting some work from us. “Why don’t they understand that we are running a direct sourcing model here and we’ll use them when we need to? Jees!”


Rant over


I just don’t get it! Seems like one of those corporate processes that need to die out quietly.

Have terms of business that work for your business but retain the agility to use who you need to as part of a crafted attraction plan. Not who you have to because their in-house bids team did a good job on that procurement RFI document 2 years ago. Madness!

But what do I know?

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