RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Resource Guide: Recruiting, Staffing, & Search Case Study

Harnessing the Power of Recruitment Process Outsourcing

by Steve Wood


The winds of change have been blowing at Sierra Pacific Resources, the fastest growing utility in the United States. In 2004, the company underwent a major reorganization from top to bottom in order to become a single company with two dominant brands–Sierra Pacific Power in the north and Nevada Power in the south.

In so doing, we ended up shedding two of our seven original layers of management, which shifted some workers to new locations and overall flattened the management structure and improved efficiency throughout our organization. As a result of this shift, we were also challenged to replace or add upwards of 100 or more positions at multiple locations on an aggressive timetable.

Our CEO, Walter M. Higgins, III, and I set out to strategically partner with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm that could address not only our hiring needs but one that also could provide insights into other related aspects such as training, onboarding, and so on. We decided to turn to Futurestep, Korn/Ferry Internationals recruitment outsourcing subsidiary.

After an eye-opening diagnostic session conducted by the Futurestep team, we identified our goals, and established benchmarks and metrics to measure performance along the way and to ensure accountability. To date, we have received favorable results and we are set to complete our primary goal on time and on budget.

Interestingly, more than half of the placements we have secured thus far have resulted from direct sourcing of passive candidates working for other firms. This is a credit to the skill and professionalism of Futuresteps expert recruiters. Job boards brought in roughly 20 percent of candidates, while referrals added another 15 percent to the mix.

Moving forward, we believe that employee referrals will become a more substantial recruiting method and we are currently assessing ways we can further bolster that program.

We have found our relationship with Futurestep to be advantageous for a number of reasons. In a nutshell, what they have helped us do is to really tighten up all phases of our recruiting processes.

The Futurestep team added another layer of value by also implementing a recruiting and onboarding program for our hiring leaders. The results have been what I like to call night and day. Now that our hiring leaders have sharpened their interviewing skills, they are in a much better position to find the best talent fits for our organization.

The overall discipline that Futurestep brings to management with regards to measurement is impressive. Monthly project reviews provide time for us to examine performance against targets and to discuss open issues or challenges.

We are constantly evaluating our recruiting outlook and determining which aspects are best suited for our internal team and which are best for our trusted partner.

As with other units of our business, we always maintain strategic oversight of these activities. However, we realize the value of extending our team and leveraging the collective expertise of a veteran outsourcing provider.

No matter which way the wind blows, we appreciate knowing firsthand the advantages of bringing a quality RPO partner such as Futurestep on board to grow and maintain a healthy organization.

For more information, please visit: www.sierrapacificresources.com, www.futurestep.com, and www.kornferry.com.

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