RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

RPO on Target

Improve your talent acquisition process by keeping an eye on these trends.

By Debbie Bolla 
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) continues to be a hot market. Growth is on a steady uptick as RPO 2.0 evolves. Everest Group reports the global RPO market is projected to increase between 12 and 17 percent. That growth may be driven by the more than 500 existing deals that will be coming up for renewal in the next three years.
2013 saw segmentation of services, talent pipelining, and co-sourcing as top deliverables and drivers—what’s next for 2014?

The continuing rise of talent communities. Organizations are leveraging the access to talent through social media profiles and data from applicant tracking systems to develop talent communities. Forward-thinking companies are engaging with potential candidates through these talent communities to increase brand awareness and job opportunities. “Talent communities are quickly becoming a requirement for all companies, not just very large ones or those with the strongest consumer brands,” reports Jason Berkowitz, Seven Step RPO’s vice president of client services. “2014 should see a solidification of this strategy across all industries and company sizes.”

These groups provide a win-win for both the job seeker and organizations. “Talent communities create a strong pipeline. The information sharing and conversation that goes on in a talent community engages passive candidates and promotes brand ambassadorship among current employees,” says John Wilson, CEO and founder of WilsonHCG. “It is the ecosystem that will drive the interest of and secure future top talent.”
Broader use of social and mobile tools. In 2014, Millennials will account for 36 percent of the workforce—and by 2025, that number skyrockets to 75 percent. This younger generation of workers thrives on connectivity through smartphones, tablets, and social networks. Mobile recruiting and a hiring process that leverages social media engagement and innovation will continue to accelerate as this generation becomes the target demographic. Such tools can make a significant difference in the recruitment strategy of any organization, reports Andrew Goldschmidt, global offering leader for RPO. “Two keys to a successful RPO solution are being able to find active and passive candidates as well as being able to accelerate a new hire’s time to performance,” he explains. These can be achieved through new technology and tools.

Jeanne McDonald, chief sales officer for Futurestep, says that to the young generation, innovative solutions show the company is modern and more attractive. “The candidate market is getting tougher, and as such RPO solutions that focus on talent communities, social media, creative sourcing and use technology to reach the youngest audience will become key in the future,” she explains.

And it’s a fact that today’s technology streamlines the process to more efficient hiring. “Video offers a compelling case for improving the recruiting process, from reducing the cycle time for screening to improving the ability to engage talent in an environment where text is no longer the only medium for communication,” notes Rebecca Callahan, leader of Randstad Sourceright’s RPO business and Group President, Randstad Professional Solutions. “A strategy that encompasses mobile is no longer one that will get you ahead in the competition for talent, it is one you need to stay in the race.”

Employment branding. Image is everything—and it holds true for global operations as evidenced by the popularity of company-rating provider Glassdoor. Organizations have to do their part as well. “Companies with a poor employment brand will lose the war for talent,” says Wilson. “Candidates have access to so much information, and they will decline an interview with your company if it sounds like no one wants to work for you. Employment branding is the core of a proactive recruitment model—managing it is essential.”

Data integration. Seven Step RPO’s Berkowitz points out that data sets in the recruitment process exist between multiple systems—applicant tracking systems, human resources information systems and customer relationship management tools. Integration of this data is key to efficiency. “In 2014, look for more companies to focus on aggregating that data into a single dashboard view of their hiring process, allowing for faster and more accurate decision making,” he reports.

Transitioning tools. As the economy remains tenuous and difficult to forecast, some organizations continue to err on the side of caution when hiring. McDonald notes that organizations continue to seek RPO solutions that will help them quickly transition from a strategy focused on growth to a strategy more adapted to possible recession. “2014 will see more proactive RPO solutions, which are agile and scalable, that can change and scale along the needs of the organization, and can be implemented immediately,” she says. “Organizations are also increasingly starting to consider RPO solutions that provide continuous, future-proof service, rather than on-demand recruitment and search.”

Culture’s impact on recruiting. The cost of a bad hire is difficult to quantify but researchers at the National Business Research Institutef estimate a loss of between $25,000 and $300,000 to an organization depending on position. Ouch. This further emphasizes the importance of hiring the right person for the right job, and Kenexa’s Goldschmidt says an organization’s culture can play a role in improving this process. “On the outside, many companies may look the same—retail is retail, manufacturing is manufacturing, and finance is finance. However, the behavioral science and data behind each company reveals its unique nuances,” Goldschmidt says. “ Once the organizational culture is realized and a strategy is put in place to capitalize on that unique driver, recruitment solutions can be designed to create effective and efficient.”

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