Rina Lee - Director (Digital & Data) Employer Resources

Recruitment - could an Embedded Solution be best for your company?


​Over the years we have seen massive shift in how companies manage their recruitment strategy. A lot of companies have seen their already strict recruitment budget become tighter and as a result have looked at bringing the recruitment/ talent acquisition function in house. Aside from being a cost saving effort, they have also looked at keeping their employer brand/ talent acquisition/ recruitment process consistent throughout the organization by building an internal team to deliver it.

However, in doing this, some have felt they lost access to wider networks of specialist talent, recruitment agency experts who work in the field day-in,day-out, to highlight the best talent to them all year round, not just when there are live roles. As a result, they have ended up using an agency to supplement the internal TA team’s work, which has diluted the benefits of the original intent - to save money and have only one team delivering the process.

The question is now being asked, is there an alternative to the time honoured options of briefing a recruitment agency or doing it yourself? Is there a third way that could create cost savings, consistency in process, but still give companies the leeway to work with external experts and reap the benefits that it brings?

A less well known, but increasingly popular option, is to use an embedded option for Talent acquisition.

Here, we’ll look at what an embedded solution covers, why companies choose it, and why it is becoming an increasingly popular solution for companies that want it all.

What is an Embedded Solution

There is more than one option for a company that works with a vendor on its recruitment strategy.

Firstly, an external recruitment agency whose responsibility is to introduce the best Talent in the market for specific jobs and manage the interview process until the roles are filled. They are great at working on the ‘hire’ part of recruitment and will find you the best shortlist available using expertise, specialist tools and great connections - but don’t cover the ‘before’ and ‘after’ moments of what it takes to attract and onboard Talent.

Then there is an embedded solution, which provides full talent acquisition strategy and delivery. In an embedded solution, consultants help you set your talent strategy (attraction, engagement and retention) and then deliver on it, ensuring you are looking after the entire candidate experience journey. This helps to elevate and position the company as an attractive employer and future proofs the organization from a talent perspective.

Services may include looking at employer branding and value, providing best practice interviewing, talent pipelining, providing talent/ market insights, organising and participating in career fairs, stakeholder management, the list goes on. The external consultants are embedded into the company (to the point where some internal stakeholders may not even be aware they aren’t direct employees) and will fully manage the talent acquisition arm of the company.

If this sounds of interest - read on! Here are a few reasons why embedded solutions might be right for your business.


With embedded solutions you have a consultant (or a team of consultants) onsite to help with recruitment, but in reality they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the support you are actually receiving. Your company will have enormous amounts of backend expertise provided by the embedded solution which may not be apparent when you think of it as one consultant, but which you will notice when that flows through into the output they’re able to achieve.

This will range from years of network built up across a whole team (not just the person who’s onsite with you), the accumulated company experience of the vendor you’re working with, best practice workflows which are constantly updated, up to the minute market insights, marketing & operations, and Executive support from the vendor you’ve hired.

In essence, this makes it easier to fill vacant jobs. On a one-for-one comparison between an internal TA and an embedded consultant, the embedded consultant has a lot more expertise at their disposal.


Reducing time to fill is a key KPI under embedded solutions so driving efficiencies in recruitment process is part of the strategy that your provider will set up and deliver on.

There’s no holiday, sick leave or resignation from an embedded solution, the service will continue no matter what.

Fresh perspectives

Internal talent acquisition practitioners may be used to working with one specific company/ industry or exposed to a certain way of working.

Agency folks on the other hand, are used to working with a variety of companies, industries and different ways of working. They can bring fresh perspectives and insights to pull together different ideas to create robust hiring practices, thus improving the overall efficiency of hiring talent.

The best embedded solutions tend to end up being a close partnership between any existing HR/TA teams and the solution provider, to bring together the best of both worlds.

Cost Effectiveness

Many organizations spend a significant amount of money on recruitment through reliance on agencies, job boards and significant investments on unutilized recruitment technology. There is also the indirect and sometimes invisible cost of poor quality hires, lengthy vacancy periods and high turnover.

With an embedded solution you are hiring a team of experts at a known and unchanging monthly cost, they will manage their own tools and workflows to bring you the end result. They can work with your own systems and consult on improvements if required.

Setting the right KPIs so that you see impact where you want it (quality of hire, length of vacancy periods, turnover of staff) means your money is flowing directly into the outcomes you need most.

Continuous Improvement

Embedded solutions aren’t a “one and done” service. They work with an organization's recruitment process as a whole over a period of time and achieve more than just filling a position.

Turnover rates, technology, scalability, candidate experience are all part of the partnership as embedded solutions aim to constantly improve the recruiting process, the quality of hires, which in turn increases engagement and retention, which will ripple up through the business.

In April 2019 33 Talent won gold for Most Innovative Recruitment Strategy, at the Asia Recruitment Awards, for our embedded solutions, which we call 'Subscription Recruitment'. For more information on all of 33 Talent’s embedded solutions, contact rina@33talent.com or visit our website

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