By John Paul Caffery - Founder of TheJobPost

Almost 1 in 2 HR & Resourcing professionals are unable to fill their specialist roles via their Preferred Supplier List, yet 64% admit that they have rejected a suitable candidate from a non-preferred agency. These alarming figures from our recent report on the effectiveness of the PSL makes me wonder whether HR cares less about the business needs and more about process.

Our survey comprised of 158 HR & Resourcing professionals representing 200,000 hires a year. Given the above, it can’t be surprising that 63% of respondents stated that Hiring Managers regularly engage with recruitment agencies outside of a Preferred Supplier List. They are also projecting that in a highly candidate driven environment this ‘rogue behaviour’ will only increase. In 2015 our question is simple - is running a PSL still relevant or does it actually restrict an employers ability to access talent?

You may recall from my previous article, I mentioned that the purpose of PSL's were originally set up to ensure strong relationships, good performance and a reduction of administrative burden for the employer. However in the infographic below, we find that 65% of respondents find managing the PSL takes too much time whereby 3 in 5 have too many agencies to manage. However as the recruitment industry becomes more polarised, and specialist agency use is on the up, relative to a growing economy, the effectiveness of the PSL is changing. Is it changing for the better?
There's 19,500 agencies in the UK alone and 90% employ less than 10 people - in simple terms it is impossible for an employer to be 100% confident that their PSL is fit for purpose yesterday, today or tomorrow. 

Some advocate that the PSL should only consist of specialist niche agencies for their roles, (and our report supports this trend). However even that is susceptible to failure in delivery due to its inherent restrictive structure. 

So if PSL's can still fail even though they become more specialist in nature, and the number of specialist agencies in the UK are growing, how can an employer source, and engage with a specialist recruiter at the right time compliantly?

Below is the infographic, you can make your own mind up. You can also download the full report here.