RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Canadian Firms Look to Interim Solutions and RPO for Support

Whether the staffing need is for a week or a decade, RPO and IS offer solutions to employers’ multi-faceted human capital requirements.

by Stephen Mill

During the past decade, globalization has fundamentally changed the way businesses act and interact. It has created an array of challenges but also opened the door to remarkable opportunities. Most executives today recognize that they are coping with a different era that demands different solutions. When it comes to the search for talent, in particular, many organizations find themselves struggling to keep up.

Just as natural resources and supply chains stretch across the world, so, too, does talent. And, increasingly, businesses are discovering that they are in direct competition for a limited pool of outstanding candidates—locally as well as in distant locales. The need to find skilled professionals and build a dynamic foundation for managing a business is paramount.

Canadian firms are increasingly turning to two fundamental solutions for addressing their recruiting challenges. Many start by using an interim solutions approach (IS) to fill key, mid-level positions on a temporary basis. This method offers a basic advantage by targeting gaps in knowledge and skills. Other organizations, usually those looking for larger strategic gains, turn to a broader recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) approach to help improve the speed and efficiency of myriad HR processes. This typically helps an organization improve both the quality and speed of recruiting while also streamlining numerous other HR functions.

Used separately or together, these methods for recruiting and hiring can help organizations address the constantly evolving challenges of today’s business environment. In fact, many organizations find that an IS approach is a good way to test an outsourcing provider and build trust. Then, once it is clear that the process is working, it is possible to build on the relationship and expand it to full-fledged RPO.

Already, the use of contract professionals is common in several fields, including design, engineering, and finance. Yet an interim solution can prove valuable for a host of other positions, including law, HR, R&D, and software design and development. For example, a company might require a specialized manager or executive to address key issues in international trade. During the project, dozens of specialists are required to sort through a tangle of technical issues.

Afterwards, the expertise is no longer required. Using IS, it is possible to adjust dynamically to changing staffing requirements.

Whether an interim position lasts for two weeks or six months, an effective IS initiative helps alleviate the pressures of training new hires and the need to focus on a variety of issues other than skills. That is because the professionals who step into a business already possess the technical and practical skills needed to perform well.

IS cuts across virtually all functions and industry groups. It is all about improving flexibility and addressing a company’s critical need for highly qualified professionals on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

RPO builds on IS by creating a total recruiting solution. It can be used to complement IS or in lieu of it. An RPO provider typically offers a detailed analysis or diagnostic up front to identify breakdowns in processes and how to eliminate inconsistencies and problems. A company might slog through the process of recruiting and hiring candidates, or, it may rely on the wrong set of metrics or criteria for slotting professionals into specific jobs and wind up with less than stellar results.

While IS provides bottom-line benefits for many organizations, RPO takes outsourcing to a more holistic and strategic level. It smoothes out the inevitable peaks and valleys in hiring and laying off workers. It also helps organizations improve branding—thus attracting higher quality candidates. In fact, companies that adopt RPO often find that it evolves into an integral part of an overall human capital strategy. Many find that a multi-year relationship develops—sometimes stretching to a decade or longer.

To be sure, when an organization works closely with an RPO provider to tailor the right solution for its business, the opportunities for strategic gain grow exponentially. RPO is ultimately a tool for providing the world’s best talent through improved processes, long-term flexibility, and far more efficient recruiting processes. And, in the end, that’s a winning proposition for a growing number of Canadian companies.

Tags: RPO & Staffing, Talent Acquisition

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