The expectations that surround best-in-class recruiting have shifted dramatically during the first part of the twenty-first century. As recently as a decade ago, an effective recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) relationship was regarded as a ‘service.’ The traditional service level agreements (SLAs) related to time-to-fill, satisfaction surveys, and the like – as opposed to true business outcomes measured by increased sales and margin performance – reduced the partnership to something much more transactional.
Today, by contrast, a more effective framework for RPO partnerships can be found in increasingly consultative relationships. Under these constructs, clients assess providers by the yardstick of investment made and business value delivered, rather than just costs saved. The determination of success comes in the context of longer-term partnerships guided by strategic consensus. Such partnerships can deliver cultural transformation and profound, bottom-line outcomes that transcend the simpler cost savings models.
For most enterprises, the days of commoditized hiring are gone. No bots surfing resumes are going to provide the necessary combination of nuance and discipline to effectively recruit for both current productivity and longer-term growth. A major challenge for RPO providers seeking to persuade clients about the value of these partnership models is the ability to communicate what is required of both parties in order to realize this new value potential. In a plugged-in, tweet-fast world, the tension between the press for timeliness and a more rigorous definition of ‘value’ needs to be rethought – and renegotiated. It means using more than short-term key performance indicators like tracking time-to-fill statistics or submit-to-hire ratios.
The new reality goes beyond a ‘traditional’ RPO vendor relationship to contemplate nothing less than a partnership that results in workplace optimization and workforce elevation.