RPO accelerates talent acquisition performance at Chrysler.

By Gary Bragar 
Scalabilty is certainly something the auto industry needs. It’s been a bumpy few years for automakers in Detriot, but Chrysler is back in the fast lane. To meet the recent resurgence in the U.S., Chrysler wanted to be able to hire the best talent while scaling up and down to meet changing hiring needs on an ongoing basis. So the company decided to outsource its recruitment function through an RPO agreement. Through the engagment, the auto manufacturer sought to improve hiring across the board: salaried and hourly employees; contractors and temporary staff; and internal employees looking for lateral and promotional opportunities. The company also aimed to advance its technology offering and free internal resources to focus on its core competencies.
Chrysler wanted to find a partner who could provide best practice processes to meet all of its hiring needs as well as deliver an onsite recruitment team. Procurement conducted a vetting process of three providers that were assessed based on several criteria including cost, service levels, ability to scale up and down, technology, and understanding of company culture. Chrysler selected The RightThing based on its ability to understand its culture, hiring requirements, and willingness to continuously flex up and down in an ever-changing industry. Chrysler also planned to leverage The RightThing’s technology and its flexibility to integrate with suppliers.
Chrysler’s soup-to-nuts contract started in June 2011. An onsite team was an important piece to the puzzle and they currently have 10 to 12 client managers at headquarters. The RightThing currently delivers the following services:
• Recruiting
• Employment branding
• Sourcing
• Screening and assessments
• Administration, including scheduling interviews and entering new
hires into the HRIS
• Surveying hiring manager satisfaction
• Recruitment technology, including an applicant tracking system (ATS), customer relationship management (CRM), and managed services program (MSP)
The RightThing handles all external hiring for the entire company at all job levels, including management, bargained for union employees, hourly, and production workers. The RightThing also supports the University Relations (UR) hiring process, though Chrysler retained its UR recruiters. Just recently in April, Chrysler implemented an MSP program for its 2,500 to 3,000 contractors with The RightThing’s partner ZeroChaos.
Support of the internal hiring process is planned for third quarter of 2012. A relaunch of the Chrysler Careers website to transform it into a platform to identify and attract both active and passive candidates via social media channels is also an intitative. A talent community containing passive candidates with the skills needed to meet Chrysler’s forecasted hiring needs has already begun.
A year into the program, Chrysler’s executives Georgette Dulworth, director of talent acquisition and diversity and Joseph Delikat, talent acquisition, cite valuable lessons learned that would benefit other clients implementing RPO. Ensuring enough lead time in the implementation timeline for testing with the live system and training of users is key. Creating a detailed implementation plan and timeline is important but be sure to allow for flexibility in the process: There will be exceptions that need to be considered based on needs of the business.
During the vetting process, be sure to ask about the composition of the onsite team, including skill sets, knowledge of client industry and jobs, overall experience, and tenure with the company. Select team members as far in advance as possible, and
work together to establish a partnership. For Chrysler, embedding provider resources has proven to be very beneficial from a relationship standpoint.
Taking from the lessons learned, Chrysler and The RightThing have worked together to produce some pretty impressive benefits. There has been improved efficiency of the hiring process with better quality candidates and reduction in time to hire. This has driven up hiring manager satisfaction. Reporting capability has increased, including key areas of the process being tracked on a monthly basis to measure performance and identify trends. Social media, mobile, and online channel marketing programs have resulted in consistency and improvement in brand management.
Due to the newness of the contract, specific time to hire, cost savings, and hiring manager satisfaction results cannot yet be shared. But double-digit cost-per-hire reduction is forecasted for permanent hiring and for net saving on contractor spend.
Gary Bragar is HRO research director at NelsonHall and can be reached at gary.bragar@nelson-hall.com

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