Increased Expectations

RPO Technology

The level of technology delivered by RPO partners is rising.

By Nikki Edwards

Recruitment tools and analytics platforms are now tablestake offerings from all leading recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partners. Today’s RPO engagements typically include a range of tech platforms and tools to enhance the overall hiring process. The days of one-size-fits-all are long gone. In fact, HR practitioners should expect platforms and tools tailored to nuances such as industry sectors; geographic regions; and specific qualities of their target audiences, including stage of career, generation of workforce, business function, and skillset. Seamless integration by the RPO organization of all the various platforms and tools—including proprietary, third-party, new, or existing—is necessary to provide a great user experience.

Some of today’s RPO tech tools are mission-critical to succeed in the war for talent. They provide organizations with the ability to find the talent they want and need to succeed. In 2017, most RPO providers with a proprietary recruitment platform offering made significant enhancements that focused on five main areas:

1. Mobile-enabled. In addition to offering platform accessibility on tablets and phones, some providers incorporated a mobile-first approach to design.

2. User experience. Improvements to the user experience include a more personalized approach with click-to-apply technology.

3. Automation. Bots have enabled process automation in several ways, including pulling of candidates from social media platforms; screening candidates; identifi cation and ranking of candidates; reviewing video profiles and assessments; and giving instant feedback to candidates.

4. Use of AI. Artificial intelligence can aid in the sourcing of passive and active candidates and the measurement of likely candidate success.

5. Multi-functionality. In addition to applicant tracking system (ATS) functionality, platforms increasingly incorporate customer relationship management tools and/ or vendor management systems.

The focus on these five improvement areas will only intensify in 2018 as RPO service partners compete to offer the next best thing in HR technology. Other tech tools offered by RPO partners include:

  • Video interviewing tools. Today’s tools, with both live and on-demand capabilities, can decrease the length of the hiring process and reduce the cost of bringing in candidates in the early stages of hiring. They are often mobile-enabled, branded to an organization, and easily integrated with ATS and recruitment platforms.
  • Online game-based assessments (GBAs). A good way to screen out candidates at an early stage while shortening the length of the hiring process, GBAs can also help organizations differentiate themselves in the marketplace. GBAs are an engaging way to measure candidate competencies and obtain job-relevant insights while enabling fairer and more objective selection decisions.
  • Onboarding tools. RPO partners often offer onboarding tools to provide candidates a better hiring experience and keep them engaged following the job offer. Tools enable personalization of content for candidates via email and text message; access to online activities, courses, and content; and checklists for the first day.
  • Career site improvements. By leveraging third-party recruitment marketing platforms, RPO partners help capture leads in the form of candidates visiting the careers site; track activity; give candidate insights; enable talent pooling of best-fit candidates; and develop targeted/ automated marketing campaigns to particular groups of candidates.
  • Web crawler tools or spiders. Essentially process bots that trawl the Internet, web crawler tools can provide an edge in locating prospective candidates in the job market. For example, a process bot can search for phrases like “bored in my job,” flagging candidates looking to change jobs before they formally start their process.

While these tools have all revolutionized the talent acquisition process, the really exciting part is that there are probably other technologies just about to emerge that will transform hiring even further!


Nikki Edwards is an HR outsourcing principal research analyst for NelsonHall.

Posted May 31, 2018 in Enabling Technology

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