RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

RPO CASE STUDY: Recruiting Partnership Drives Quality, Efficiency, and Performance

Visteon turns to outsourcing to improve its domestic recruitment efforts.

by Charles E Hudson, VP corporate human resources, Visteon corporation, Michael Cooper

When Visteon Corporation spun off from former parent Ford Motor Co. in 2000, the tier-one automotive engineering and systems provider had to decide how it wanted to handle employee recruiting.

At the time, Visteon had no specialized recruiting professionals, and its cycle time for new hires averaged more than 70 days. The company’s options were to build a recruiting team from the ground up or outsource the non-core recruiting function.

Visteon partnered with Manpower’s Resource Consulting Group (now Manpower Business Solutions) to manage its professional employee recruitment process, including candidate sourcing, screening, hiring, and onboarding at approximately 25 U.S. locations. This approach, now widely known as recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), was ahead of its time six years ago.

One of the most important steps in achieving a successful RPO relationship is the integration of RPO processes into the existing business structure and culture. With that in mind, Manpower and Visteon set out to make RPO a seamless extension of the organization.

A team of 15 people was selected to reside at the Visteon corporate offices. The group included specialty recruiters in finance and engineering to source, identify, and evaluate candidate talent; staffing consultants who interface with Visteon hiring managers; HR professionals to handle candidate offers; and placement coordinators to manage new-hire onboarding.

Initially, the team was charged with managing direct hires for the product development group, which consisted mainly of engineers, and staff groups that included HR and finance professionals. Within 18 months, hiring-for-manufacturing positions were added to the RPO program. At the three-year mark, growth continued with the addition of hourly and salaried hiring for new plant launches and management of the program that assists current employees seeking other positions within the organization. After four years, the program was extended again, and Manpower Business Solutions started working with Visteon to redeploy talent when program launches came to an end or positions were eliminated.

Continued success and improvements resulted in further expansion for the program, including a targeted, pilot hiring program in Mexico as a means to possibly expand the level of U.S. services there. Today, the RPO team supports Visteon in virtually all hiring, including specialty recruiting needs, giving it a capacity of about 1,000 internal and external placements annually.

Until an employee’s first day, Manpower Business Solutions serves as the face of the automotive supplier by overseeing sourcing and talent reviews; interview scheduling; managing offers; handling post-offer processing; and all other communication and interaction with candidates. In addition, Manpower continues to assist Visteon in redeploying talent and managing an employee voluntary resignation/retirement process.

The RPO program has earned high praise from Visteon by delivering performance improvement, cost savings, workforce diversity, and organizational flexibility. Not only does Manpower score well on service evaluations from hiring managers, but metrics also show that the programs are good for Visteon’s business.

As an end-to-end program, RPO has:

• Reduced cycle time-to-hire from 74 days to 27 days;

• Built candidate retention at 90 days to more than 99 percent;

• Hired nearly 5,000 people to date;

• Consistently scored “exceeds expectations” on new-hire and customer satisfaction surveys.

As the RPO program enters its sixth year, it continues to increase service offerings, streamline processes, and achieve hard-dollar cost savings. Meanwhile, Visteon points to the RPO program as a benchmark for HR vendors providing outsourced service, supported by these considerations:

• RPO providers employ teams of specialty recruiters with industry experience in segments such as engineering, IT, finance, scientific, administrative, and industrial. What makes these recruiters a true asset is that they have access to job candidates that an employer’s HR team can’t find on its own. These recruiters are also experts at targeting passive candidates—all-star employees who are satisfied enough with their current jobs to keep them from actively seeking out new opportunities but not so satisfied that they can’t be convinced to consider attractive positions.

• Today’s HR departments are lean and have an eye on controlling costs. Outsourcing non-core business functions frees up more time to address strategic business initiatives and saves money by reducing cost-per-hire and turnover.

• Because RPO providers are in the business of recruiting, they typically invest in the best technology to perform that function. This gives employers use of state-of-the-art prescreening technology and vendor management systems at a fraction of the cost to purchase or develop an in-house system.

• According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, every dollar invested in screening saves employers $5 to $16 in reduced absenteeism, improved productivity, lower turnover, safer working environment, reduced insurance premiums, and decreased employer liability. Using the screening resources of an RPO provider means having access to dozens of assessments.

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