Benefits of Custom Recruiting vs. Using a “Bench” in Tech Staffing

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Finding the right developer is a task that requires nuance and effort. It is a complex process, so it’s no wonder that various staffing agencies try different approaches to it. One of the most common you might encounter is a bench – when a company keeps a number of specialists on standby. However, in Turnkey, we are strong believers in the power of custom recruiting. We don’t keep a bench, but search and hire the best candidates in a custom manner for every client, whether they are a corporate-level enterprise or a startup gaining momentum.

So why have adopted the “custom recruitment mindset”? Let’s dive in!

Table of Content

Custom Recruiting vs. Bench Model

Custom recruiting in tech staffing is a highly tailored approach. It involves a deep understanding of the specific needs of a role and the unique culture of the hiring organization. This model leverages detailed job analyses, and skill assessments, and often involves personalized headhunting. It focuses on finding high-quality candidates who not only possess the necessary technical skills but also align with the company’s values and long-term vision. This method is dynamic, adapting to the evolving requirements of the tech industry, and places a premium on quality and long-term fit.

The Bench Model, in contrast, is more traditional and relies on maintaining a pool of pre-vetted candidates who are ‘on the bench’ – essentially, on standby until a relevant role arises. These individuals are typically employees of the staffing agency and are paid a retainer or salary. The advantage of this model is its immediacy; it allows for rapid deployment of resources as soon as a need is identified. However, this model often leads to a generalist approach to staffing, with less emphasis on specific skill sets or cultural fit. It’s akin to having a reserve team in sports, where players are ready to jump in but may not be the ideal match for every play.

Advantages of Custom Recruiting

Tailored Skill Matching

Custom recruiting stands out for its ability to ensure an exceptional match between candidate skills and job requirements. This precision is achieved through a comprehensive understanding of the specific technical and soft skills required for each role. Recruiters in custom recruiting meticulously analyze the job description, company culture, and even future tech trends to identify the perfect candidate. This approach is particularly beneficial in the tech industry, where roles typically require highly specialized skills and knowledge. By focusing on matching these detailed criteria, custom recruiting minimizes the risk of mismatches, leading to more successful and fulfilling placements.

How Turnkey does it: Each developer we consider undergoes a comprehensive assessment process, ensuring not only high-quality skills but also high retention rates. This multi-stage screening includes technical assessments and personal interviews, ensuring a thorough evaluation of each candidate.

Speed and Efficiency

Contrary to common belief, custom recruiting can significantly expedite the entire recruitment process. This might seem counterintuitive given its focus on detailed matching, but the precision of custom recruiting reduces the time spent on reviewing unsuitable candidates. A well-crafted recruiting process anticipates the needs of the industry, meaning that candidates are typically ready to step into roles without extensive training or adjustment periods. This efficiency is vital in the fast-paced tech sector, where quickly filling roles with the right talent can be a critical factor in a project’s success.

How Turnkey does it: We have established a streamlined recruiting workflow based on our best practices that allow us to find and offer you the perfect candidates within 21 days.

Quality of Hire

The quality of hire is arguably the most significant advantage of custom recruiting. This model goes beyond matching technical qualifications; it also emphasizes a candidate’s potential for long-term success within the company. Custom recruiting considers factors like cultural fit, career aspirations, and the ability to adapt and grow with the company. This holistic approach results in hires who are not only capable of performing their immediate duties, but are also likely to contribute positively to the organization’s overall environment and growth. In the tech industry, where innovation and adaptability are key, having employees who are both skilled and aligned with the company’s vision is invaluable. This leads to better team dynamics, higher job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates.

How Turnkey does it: We focus on recruiting only the top 3% of tech talent from Eastern Europe and Latin America. We also focused on hiring middle and senior developers for our clients. You always see the transparent info for their compensation, so you can ensure that you get the specialists we promised you.

Let’s find a perfect match for your company together

Limitations of the Bench Model

Resource Wastage

One significant limitation of the bench model in tech staffing is resource wastage. In this model, a pool of candidates is maintained on standby, often on a retainer or salary, regardless of whether their skills are currently needed. This approach can lead to inefficiencies, as resources are expended on maintaining a workforce that may not be actively contributing to projects. Additionally, there can be underutilization of talent, where individuals with specialized skills are not fully employed in roles that leverage their expertise. Eventually, this model can result in a mismatch between available resources and actual staffing needs, leading to financial inefficiencies and reduced operational agility.

Skill Mismatch

The bench model often struggles with skill mismatches and a lack of customization. Since candidates are pre-selected and kept on the bench, they might not always align perfectly with the specific requirements of new projects or roles that emerge. The tech industry is known for its rapidly evolving skill requirements, and the bench model does not inherently account for this dynamism. As a result, companies may find themselves with a workforce that is either overqualified or underqualified for certain tasks, leading to challenges in project execution and employee dissatisfaction due to underutilization or overextension of their abilities.

Long-term Costs

Maintaining a bench of readily available employees can have significant long-term financial implications. The cost of salaries, benefits, and continuous training for a bench workforce can be substantial, especially when the utilization rates of these employees are inconsistent. Additionally, the opportunity cost of not having the ideal skill match for specific projects can affect the quality and efficiency of work, potentially leading to project delays and increased operational costs. In the long run, these factors can cumulatively result in higher expenses for clients compared to a model that focuses on recruiting highly skilled talent specifically tailored to each project or role as needed.

Summing Up

Custom recruiting, with its emphasis on tailored skill matching, speed coupled with efficiency, and the overall quality of hire, clearly stands out as a superior strategy in the current landscape of the tech industry. It addresses the core needs of tech companies for specialized skills, adaptability, and long-term employee engagement. Therefore, we believe in custom recruitment superiority over the bench approach and actively promote it.


What are the main differences between Custom Recruiting and the Bench Model in tech staffing?

Custom Recruiting is a tailored approach to recruitment, focusing on finding qualified candidates who precisely match the specific skills and cultural fit required for a role. It involves a comprehensive analysis of job requirements and company culture. In contrast, the Bench Model involves maintaining a pool of pre-vetted candidates who are readily available for various roles but may not precisely match the specific requirements of each new project. The main differences lie in the customization of the recruitment process, the precision of skill matching, and the adaptability to the company's evolving needs.

How does Custom Recruiting enhance the efficiency of the hiring process, despite its focus on detailed matching?

Custom Recruiting enhances hiring efficiency by utilizing advanced tools of targeted headhunting to quickly identify potential candidates who are a close match for the role. This precision reduces the time spent sifting through unsuitable applicants and speeds up the process of finding the right candidate. Moreover, by focusing on detailed matching from the start, Custom Recruiting reduces the likelihood of costly hiring mistakes and the need for future rehiring.

Why might the Bench Model lead to higher long-term costs in tech staffing?

The Bench Model can lead to higher long-term costs due to several factors. First, it involves maintaining a pool of employees on a retainer or salary, regardless of their current engagement, leading to resource wastage. Second, the potential for skill mismatches can affect project efficiency and quality, possibly resulting in project delays and additional training costs. Finally, the static nature of the bench can lead to a workforce that is not aligned with rapidly changing tech industry demands, necessitating further investment in retraining or additional hiring.

January 26, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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