Fresh Perspective

freshperspectiveReturning to the human capital game, Bob Lopes has a bird’s eye view on RPO’s maturing market.

By Debbie Bolla

After spending the last three years at the helm of healthcare technology company Acclaris, industry vet Bob Lopes is back in the talent game as president of RPO for North America for Randstad Sourceright. Lopes has had a varied career in the human capital management space with stints at Towers Watson, ExcellerateHRO, and Aon Hewitt, where he served as a human capital national practice leader and executive vice president.

In his new role, Lopes is zeroing in on three pillars: 1. Top- line revenue growth to scale the business; 2. Scalability as the industry begins to commoditize; and 3. Integration of services and leveraging the reach of Randstad both domestically and internationally.

His three-year break has given him a unique perspective on the many changes in the maturing market of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO).

HRO Today: What’s your perception of the current RPO market?

Bob Lopes: There is solid growth around RPO and a high level of confidence. But similar to the HRO business years ago, and with any market that begins to mature, there is a transition toward commoditization with RPO, especially in the United States. With that, scalability becomes key to focus on—and it’s not just about the scale of services. As we being to commoditize, buyers expect very competitive price points so it’s really about scalability around new business process, onboarding, delivery, and much more expanded reporting.

As you commoditize, you don’t want to diminish the value proposition of RPO. How organizations approach it will really separate the men from the boys.

HRO Today: What are some market trends you are seeing? Lopes: A global component is increasingly becoming a large part in the request for proposal process.

Organizations are looking for a unified approach when there are additional geographies to the U.S. headquarters.

Employer branding will continue to be critical in talent attraction. Organizations need to have a strong brand, and need to take steps to promote it with potential candidates. The market is full of different tools and technology in order to attract the right talent.

Service level agreements (SLAs) have also matured as buyers have become more sophisticated. If you go back 10 years ago, net promoter scores were probably biased based on hiring mangers. Today, instead of being measured by perception, the hiring process is being measured by performance. This is a very good thing. Organizations can get better insight into the management of individual, the onboarding processes, and turnover rates.

HRO Today: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the last 5 years?

Lopes: Talent acquisition strategies have evolved greatly in the last few years. There have been so many changes, but the more impactful ones:

• Clients are looking for a partner, not just a provider;

• Social media has elevated how organizations can source candidates;

• Data is a bigger part of the equation and provides deliverables previously unobtainable;

• Integration of technology allows for this data; and

• Adoption of different work situations—like working virtually—expand organizations’ reach to talent.

It’s great to see these changes, and gets me more and more excited about where the industry is headed.

Posted September 11, 2014 in RPO & Staffing

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