Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
When we’re creating our recruiting strategy, we have to decide how we will bring people into the organization. I’m not talking about sourcing. I’m talking about when there’s an open job, we have to decide if we will fill it from within, hire someone from the outside, or maybe even outsource the work to a consultant. We often refer to this decision as buy, build, or borrow. As a quick refresher, here’s a brief explanation of each.
BUY is where the company hires workers from the outside. The advantage to this recruiting approach is that the organization gets fresh perspectives and new ideas. The disadvantage is that it can be expensive to attract high performing workers from the outside. And the organization needs to make sure the new hire acclimates to the company culture.
BUILD is when the company develops their existing workforce. The upside is that this strategy is great for employee morale. And the employee already knows the culture and has built working relationships. The downside is that developing a future workforce takes time. It also means having the learning and development resources available.
BORROW is using freelancers, contractors, or consultants when the need arises. Not every job is a full-time job, so the positive side to this approach is getting the necessary skills at the moment it’s needed. The challenging side is keeping freelancers engaged so that, when you need them, they’re available and ready to work for you.
In today’s technology age, I think we need to add one more recruiting strategy component to the list – bots. The groups I described above all rely on human beings. Advances in technology, like artificial intelligence (AI) and bots, are allowing organizations to do things never before possible.
Please note, I’m not suggesting that we eliminate the human workforce. It’s important to realize that while AI and bots are an important technological advancement, they haven’t been developed to the point where they can replace all human workers. But I’m thinking if we added bots to the buy, build, and borrow elements, this is what it could look like.
BOTS would be used when the organization has a defined, predictable, repetitive task. The plus would be that the organization would gain consistency and scalability in managing these kinds of tasks. Employees could focus on work that only humans can do. The minus would be initial investment costs as well as the perceived loss of human interaction.
I know bots are getting mixed reviews right now, but I can see this fourth element in recruiting strategy being important in future staffing discussions. Organizations need to ask: Is this a full-time, part-time, freelance, or bot job? That will determine how an organization goes about finding the worker (i.e., sourcing). Do they buy it, build it in-house, have someone occasionally work on it, or automate it?
The workforce is changing. Even if your organization isn’t looking at AI and bots right now, it’s possible they will be in the future. HR and talent acquisition professionals need to be prepared for a strategic response.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Miami, FL73