As Waypoint Homes exemplifies, RPO continues to prove itself as a valuable partner.
By Gary Bragar
According to NelsonHall’s most recent recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) market analysis, there are several drivers of companies continuing to engage with RPO firms. Waypoint Homes, a real estate company, partnered with IBM to improve their recruiting and hiring processes. The organization also sought this partnership for many of NelsonHall’s defined top drivers, including:
- Scalability and agility to meet business demands;
- Improving performance results including quality of hire and satisfaction;
- Cost reduction; and
- Access to talent management and consulting capabilities.
A leader in providing single-family rental homes, Waypoint has nearly 33,000 homes under management located across the U.S. Services provided by Waypoint’s nearly 600 team members include property management, leasing, and home maintenance.
Rapidly evolving from a start-up to a midsize company, Waypoint needed to be able to quickly hire talent to support its growing business. Prior to working with IBM, Waypoint used internal recruiters, contract recruiters, search firms, and placement agencies. This approach was ineffective and very expensive. Waypoint decided to engage with an RPO firm in order to attract top talent and reduce costs. It was also important that the organization improve the recruiting and hiring process. “Implementing a better hiring process was one of our key goals,” says Andrew Bartlow, vice president of HR for Waypoint Homes.
Scalability was also a factor. As a midsize company, the ability to easily scale up or down on short notice and not have to worry about hiring recruiters or downsizing them would also be beneficial. “In 2013, Waypoint doubled its staff and needed a recruiting process in place to manage its recruitment cycles more effectively in the future,” explains Bartlow. “In 2017, Waypoint plans to hire 225 people in a steady state environment and the best features of an RPO could have an even greater impact on a smaller company.”
During the vetting process, other major RPO providers were considered, but IBM won the contract due to:
- Credibility of the team; and
- Breadth of service offering.
The main services that Waypoint leverages are IBM’s Talent Acquisition Optimization and Employment Branding. The organization also wanted to take advantage of IBM’s capabilities in culture research, employee value proposition creation, and career site development.
One of IBM’s first projects was quantitative and qualitative research to assess Waypoint’s organizational culture. An IBM Organizational Cultural Insight Survey was conducted, as well as stakeholder interviews and a review of company data. In eight weeks, Waypoint realized benefits from using IBM’s Talent Acquisition Optimization and IBM Employment Branding including:
- Being able to more clearly articulate company culture and
- Creating a foundation for the development of a new career website to help candidates better understand what it’s like to work at Waypoint. It also enabled more effective attraction, recruitment, and retention of talent.
IBM also rewrote existing job descriptions early in the process with clearer language to be better suited for external job postings and included a description of the impact these jobs have on the company.
Managers were trained in behavior-based interviewing skills, and interview guides were created for all common job types, including guidance for managers on how to assess candidates for cultural fit.
“The cultural work provided by IBM Employment Branding was a huge value-add that IBM brought to the table,” says Bartlow. “In a very short time, their support helped us to more effectively source and select the kind of talent we need to be successful.”
Waypoint is experiencing tangible results from the partnership with IBM, including:
- A 20 percent reduction in cost per hire. IBM was able to source 100 percent of Waypoint’s hiring needs in the first year, scaling up and down as needed. This decreased hiring costs, while minimizing disruption to the business;
- A 35 percent decrease in time to fill within seven months; and
- A 22 percent reduction in turnover.
The HR team also experienced reduced administrative burdens. “From IBM, we’re getting candidates with a higher hit ratio,” says Bartlow. “When a candidate is presented, they are more likely to be hired than they used to be, and they’re much more likely to stay with us, and we are getting great quality candidates now. Our managers used to spend a lot of time screening and onboarding new people, but we really want them to be servicing our residents.”