By Debbie Bolla
Talent acquisition (TA) leaders have faced a variety of challenges in the past year, one of the most pressing being the constant fluctuation in hiring needs. In fact, during the height of COVID-19, industry research found that 78% of organizations reported changes in the volume of recruiting and hiring. From furloughs and hiring freezes to the current talent shortage, TA executives have had to pivot their strategies in order to remain competitive. One approach that has proven successful during these uncertain times is leveraging the expertise and reach of a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner, especially one that brings an ecosystem of capabilities to the relationship.
The term ecosystem is often used in the context of technology, including systems and their related applications. In the realm of talent solutions, an ecosystem refers to the broad array of services available through the provider’s partnerships and relationships. An RPO with an ecosystem in place provides partners, services, and technologies as a solution to ever-arising challenges. And it does so with more speed and flexibility than a company would encounter by going to market to buy additional services and technologies on its own.
In a global business environment where the need for new capabilities can change quickly, an ecosystem approach to RPO can give an organization a competitive advantage over those that commit to a more limited and transactional recruitment partner. Very simply, even if you are engaging an RPO strictly to fill seats today, you will likely need help in other ways sometime in the near future. That need could entail adopting a new technology, enhancing your employer brand, improving DEI, taking on contractor and extended workforce engagement, or any number of business goals.
Boosting Recruiting Results
“An RPO with a supporting ecosystem can help in a few ways,” says Jaye Denson, Director, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, for workforce solutions provider Allegis Global Solutions (AGS). “We’re of the belief that engaging an RPO—a company that focuses on and invests in recruiting—will produce better outcomes in talent acquisition. Bringing in an ecosystem will help with quality and innovation as much as it will with cost, speed, and scale.”
Today’s organizations are looking to fill their talent needs quickly and cost-effectively while also keeping an eye on developing approaches that influence talent attraction and retention, like DEI and employee well-being. An RPO that has built a broad ecosystem should have mature capabilities both within and outside of the partnership, including access to services and technologies.
“When it comes to quantifying and defining the organizational benefits of an ecosystem approach to RPO, many advantages are truly tied to talent acquisition, including more talent, better talent, quicker hires, and a more diverse workforce,” explains Denson.
Some other benefits organizations will gain include:
- a better candidate experience;
- access to more diverse talent;
- a better hiring manager experience;
- a more efficient recruiter;
- freeing up internal TA leaders from the administrative tasks that go into managing technology and applications;
- allowing internal TA leaders to focus more on the strategic and advisory nature of their job;
- reducing time to fill; and
- screening more qualified, more diverse talent faster.
Creating Recruiting and Business Impact
In addition, an effective RPO should access additional resources in a way that allows organizations to reach an existing network of candidates faster—and there’s huge value in that. Denson says a partner like AGS has a database of 30 to 40 million engaged candidates who aren’t just scraped from websites but are derived from an existing relationship that comes with a clear understanding of the person, skills, goals, and interests.
“The sourcing channels that exist in a mature RPO help when responding to market demand,” he says. “The network of candidates engaged as part of the ecosystem allows organizations quicker access to qualified candidates.”
But of course, one can’t exclude a traditional measure of success: the benefit to the bottom line that an RPO with an ecosystem delivers. For example, if the partnership fills roles at a factory more than 20% faster, production output and time to deliver a product will all increase as a measure of impact derived from recruitment metrics.
“You have to start to look at the true business impacts that are being hit,” says Denson. “How did the partnership impact my people strategy to make my business better? I think that’s the value that has to be found.”