Three situations when you don’t need the complete recruitment service

sometimes unbundled recruitment is the right choice

I am a whole-hearted believer in the value of recruitment agencies. No surprises there! I write to you from my desk at Madison where I’ve just reached my five-year Maddiversary. I’ve been recruiting for 10 years total, love my role as Team Leader and have no plans to switch jobs anytime soon. I see the positive impact of our work every day and think there’s truly a lot to be said for concentrating on doing this one thing well. A day-in, day-out focus on scouring the earth for those five-star candidates, interviewing intrepid job hunters and taking incredible job briefs from employers means we’re excellent at what we do—and that means better results for our clients.

Now I’ve read those posts where people sound off about their horrendous agency experiences and I’ve cringed at my desk and shaken my head in disbelief like the rest of you. Like in any industry, you get a few bad apples who aren’t hitting it high up on the service or value scoreboard. In recruitment, because it’s people’s livelihood in the mix, we tend to hear about it at loud volume—which is totally valid I think. But for the most part, if asked, I personally would advise you and your business to use the recruitment expert to do the recruitment, when you can. (How to choose the right recruiter? well that’s a whole other blog post).

However, despite my never-ending adoration for our industry, there are a few situations in which I would hesitate to recommend full-service, end-to-end recruitment. What I mean by ‘full service’ is likely your typical experience of working with an agency.  Employer has a vacant position. First port of call: Madison. We find out all about the role to be filled, magically locate an awesome selection of interested candidates, check they match the employer’s criteria, test them, interview them, test them again, check they are who they say they are etc., etc. Until a placement is made and your shiny new employee starts.

Instead, sometimes the best solution to your recruitment need is not the full shebang but a piece, or two, or three, of the process. This is sometimes called ‘unbundled’ recruitment. You’ll be pleased to know that I am not doing myself completely out of work. Madison is tuned into what the market needs, and we offer unbundled recruitment services. We call it ‘Recruitment Unwrapped’. So as much as I’d love to run a recruitment exercise for you from whoa to go, here are three scenarios when I think you probably don’t need the full service:


You are a small or medium sized business with a vacancy for a role you’ve hired previously. This type of talent is currently plentiful in the market, you’ve got in-house recruitment expertise, and uh-oh, your 2018 human resources budget is looking pretty tight.

I’ll go ahead and say, ‘save those dollars for your exciting new career development program’.  In this scenario, as you’ve got an up-to-date job description and a great advert from previous recruits, do a quick update, post on job boards and source yourself some candidates. Then use Recruitment Unwrapped to take care of some of the time-consuming steps and leave the higher value components to your in-house expert.

Your Recruitment Unwrapped solution looks like:

With a long list of applicants provided by the client, Madison completes the Resume Screen, Phone Screening and Shortlisting, possibly including some Skills Testing. We then handover the shortlist back to the client to manage all interviewing, along with associated candidate communication etc. The client could then refer the preferred candidate(s) back for Reference Checking.


Your large organisation has an in-house recruitment team (yay!) and business is growing big time (also yay!) but that means everyone is under the pump, there are tons of vacancies and your team needs support to complete a big recruit.

Hey, we all need a little help sometimes, don’t we? An internally staffed recruitment function is a beautiful thing but having one doesn’t mean never outsourcing again. In this scenario, to keep your business pumping, protect your employment brand and ensure that candidates continue to have a great experience, it makes sense to bring in some extra resources to support you.

Your Recruitment Unwrapped solution looks like:

The client kicks things off and manages the process through to sourcing of candidates. We manage the Candidate Communication; we acknowledge those applications, respond to queries etc. Then, we work alongside your team with Phone Screening the long list, and then Interviewing, providing extra resources so you can get through your recruit faster.


You’re a small business with an integral-to-success vacant position to hire. You’ve had some great candidate referrals and your recruitment skills are top-notch. You just want to be very careful about who you hire, with no mistakes.

We understand that sometimes you want to look after recruitment yourself, and if you’ve got the skills, time, and a candidate pool, why not? You can get through the majority of the process and then leave the checking and verification to us.

Your Recruitment Unwrapped solution looks like:

Client handles the process until first and second place candidates are selected then hands over preferred options to Madison for: Reference Checking, customised Psychometric Testing, and Verification of education, right to work in NZ and a credit check. We quickly return results to the client making the top candidate selection clear and easy.

These are three examples but naturally there are variations on all of the above when an unbundled solution could work for you and your organisation. The drivers tend to be a combination of existing recruitment skills, time or cost pressures; often Recruitment Unwrapped can be an economical solution. We’ve also figured out all the details so that your candidates get a seamless, professional experience.

You know I love to talk all things recruitment so feel free to give me a call on 09 303 4455, or email me at to discuss your recruitment needs. I’m always happy to advise on whether taking an unbundled approach might work for your business. I can also provide you with a document that gives an overview of the Recruitment Unwrapped services with more information about each of the different process components.