RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

How Owens Corning HOMExperts Recruiting Needs Stayed on Track

Case Study: Recruitment Case Study

by Mike Giosso

When a company discovers a trustworthy recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner that has expertise in a category with special demands, its wise to share the reins of responsibility to effectively and efficiently meet the demands of the business.

Such is the case for Owens Corning HOMExperts, who specializes in delivering a wide variety of construction services to builders, retailers, and direct to the homeowner. With beginnings in Boston, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis, HOMExperts is now providing a wide range of construction services in 14 key metropolitan areas across the United States, with additional expansion planned for 2005. To best support the demands of this high growth business, we recently signed a long-term contract with an RPO partner named TalentTrack.

Our decision to outsource began a couple of years ago, when the growth of HOMExperts continued to increase dramatically. To maintain our leadership position in the construction services industry, it is imperative for HOMExperts to only hire and deploy technicians who are highly skilled, trained, certified, and fully insured. The HOMExperts technician bills out at an hourly rateso every hire we make represents an ongoing and incremental revenue opportunity for the business.

Yet the recruiting and hiring challenges for HOMExperts are decidedly different from that of our typical corporate requirements. Our in-house HR team partners with field recruiters to improve and sustain our base of employees nationwide. But our corporate HR experience historically has focused on salaried employeesnot hourly workers who are the backbone of the construction services industry. Another challenge is the sheer volume of technicians HOMExperts needs in the short term, coupled with fluctuations in long-term staffing requirements. As HOMExperts expands business into additional markets, the demand for technicians will continue to grow.

In 2004, HOMExperts hired more than 800 technicians nationwide. As the business continues to grow exponentially, we anticipate adding an additional 1,400 new technicians every year. Once HOMExperts reaches our goal of geographic expansion, the fluctuations in demand for construction services will require an RPO partner to help scale the hiring requirements efficiently.

The unique and demanding characteristics of HOMExperts hiring led us to search for a reliable RPO partner to supplement our inhouse staff. When we discovered TalentTrack, we provided them with two pilot markets where they were allowed to demonstrate their ability to partner with HOMExperts and help us meet the very demanding hiring needs of our business.

As our relationship with TalentTrack has evolved, we believe it provides a blueprint worth considering for any company facing the RPO decision:
1) Admit when you need a specialist. Recruiting and hiring skilled home improvement technicians was beyond the core competencies of our in-house HR staff. TalentTrack, on the other hand, has expertise in this category. They pay attention to contractor trends and have proven processes to identify, locate, and attract qualified recruits. We recognized that Owens Corning HOMExperts could benefit from TalentTracks strengths, and their assistance would enable us to stay focused on growing the business.
2) Find a true partner. With the war for talent in todays job markets, a successful recruiter must sell the company to prospective employees. The recruiter becomes the face of the company to potential employees and represents the brand in the marketplace. For these reasons, an RPO partner must reflect the corporate culture and values. We found that TalentTracks people, skills, and strategies serve as a seamless extension of our business.
3) Define expectations up front. Expectations are more than the terms of the RPO contract. In fact, they should define important intangibles. With TalentTrack, we emphasized how their services would represent the Owens Corning brand and our values in the marketplace. We also had open discussions about possible fluctuations in the construction market down the road and how TalentTracks scalability would allow adjustments to fit changing needs.
4) Put performance measures in place. Establishing metrics for any business relationship is critical for evaluating success. Were impressed with the technologies and tools TalentTrack offers, including cuttingedge Web platforms. TalentTrack provides real-time reporting on recruiting and hiring activities, as well as tools such as productivity reports on their hires. Relevant data thats updated constantly helps us monitor, refine, and improve overall goals such as reduced time to fill, lower cost per hire, and greater ROI.
5) Communicate, communicate, communicate. TalentTracks extensive reporting capabilities help us stay on the pulse of their activities for HOMExperts. But nothing beats picking up the phone or getting together for personal updates. We talk with TalentTrack on a regular basis to keep each other informed on new developments today and new opportunities for tomorrow.

In May 2005, Owens Corning HOMExperts delegated their recruiting and hiring responsibilities nationwide to TalentTrack. And even in this short time, HOMExperts has already found that working together with an RPO expert can provide powerful advantages for the business.

Tags: RPO & Staffing, Talent Acquisition

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