RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

BAKER’s DOZEN: RECRUITMENT PROCESS OUTSOURCING – Selectively Outsourcing Recruitment

by turning to an outsourced solution for some of its hiring, us trust could better focus internal resources on finding the best candidates for senior positions.

by Kevin Huston

When Mike Lowe joined US Trust as senior vice president and director of staffing in 2005, he inherited a staff of one recruiter—and no support staff. Within six months, the department had four recruiters and a support staff to service the three different staffing “buckets” at US Trust: executive, middle management, and administrative. But that was just the beginning.

Lowe realized that he and his staff faced a challenge if they wanted to effectively recruit for all open positions US Trust had, which ranged from administrative levels through executive searches. The team reached the conclusion that internal focus on the most business-critical, senior positions was essential, and that outsourcing the lower rank positions would be a more effective approach.

The challenge was not a small one, and the stakes were high. US Trust is one of the longest standing (founded in 1853), most reputable names in America’s financial services sector, and it handles high-net-worth asset management, banking, estate planning and portfolio management for a wealthy client base.

The company operates from 32 locations around the country. At the end of last year, US Trust had $165 billion dollars in client assets under its management.
The company rolled out a program to identify an effective RPO partner in the outsourcing space to support its business goals. The search uncovered TalentFusion, which began serving US Trust in the fall of 2005.

The strategic business goal was to remove recruitment responsibility for positions from administrative through assistant vice president and outsource it to a strategic RPO partner. This would enable the internal US Trust recruitment team to focus on the most critical, highest senior executive positions.

The measurable business goals for the RPO vendor included improved cycle times, cost per hire, and levels of internal service and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it was essential the selected vendor understood and blended into US Trust’s culture to establish a united front to the marketplace and deliver confidence to all hiring managers in the field.

After an extensive research process, US Trust selected four finalist companies that it believed could bring a real solution forward. US Trust was already working with TalentFusion in various project-based capacities, a relationship that had begun the previous year to help meet tactical business demands.

US Trust applied a proactive and intimate approach to its search, as opposed to a rigid RFP process. The search team believed that an RFP process would not enhance the proper selection of the right vendor and that a more informal vetting process was more likely to deliver the right RPO partner, one that might otherwise be overlooked.

Size was a factor, too, in that US Trust did not feel that the largest staffing or RPO players would be able to effectively provide the selective outsourcing approach it desired. There was also concern that client satisfaction and customer service could be a challenge for the larger RPO firms, given the smaller scope of work.

The TalentFusion solution brought forth a very simple delivery and cost structure, complete with a full set of service level agreements that made US Trust confident that the proper levels of accountability were present in the final contract. Furthermore, TalentFusion’s smaller size and track record were a good fit for US Trust’s selective outsourcing strategy. Lowe recognized this as a sign of a provider that knew what its strengths were and had executed before in this type of engagement.

After a careful review of all options,US Trust selected TalentFusion for its recruitment needs.

From a performance metrics perspective, cost per hire was reduced to $2,500. Recruitment cycle time was decreased from more than 70 days to approximately 40 days. All measures contained in the service level agreement have been achieved.

In addition, levels of internal customer satisfaction have improved dramatically. All responsibilities related to recruitment for openings from administrative to AVP level have been transferred to TalentFusion. This has enabled the internal US Trust recruiters to focus on the executive level recruitment, which has further improved customer satisfaction and hiring results across the enterprise.

Kevin Huston is director of service delivery at TalentFusion and in this role serves as one of the senior operational managers within the firm. Prior to joining TalentFusion, Huston served as recruiting manager for Nims Associates, an IT services firm located in Denver. He has been in the employment services space since 1994 and has served in several different capacities during the past 12 years. 

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