The process itself triggers transformation—with benefits all around With Jeanne MacDonald, President, Global Talent Acquisition Solutions, Futurestep
Is the time right to reconsider networks of local providers and instead contract a global RPO? For many companies with operations around the world, the answer is more and more likely to be yes. Futurestep’s Jeanne MacDonald, President, Global Talent Acquisition Solutions, believes global RPOs provide unmatched opportunities and benefits.
Q: What do your clients value most in a global RPO partnership?
A: All global clients want something similar, which is consistency in reporting, consistency in key performance indicators (KPIs) and one go-to person. They want to create synergies that will facilitate the talent acquisition process both in terms of cost and effectiveness. Customers with global RPOs also recognize that with a holistic view of a company’s talent acquisition function, providers can offer valuable insight on what’s happening within the business and what changes and improvements could be made from a talent perspective to better support the overall strategy.
Q: Does a global decision itself make a difference?
A: Yes. A global client may start out buying services in North America; so there’s a North American buyer. Then there’s another in China, and a third in Western Europe. There may be different KPIs, different contact employees, and different kind of programs. Ultimately, the executive sponsors may think they are dealing with three different RPOs.
When a buyer purchases RPO from a one central standpoint, they are making a big global decision. There’s typically something happening in the company that’s transformational that makes that happen such as a move toward shared services or the launch of a new service offering. It’s a thoughtful buying process, and it’s an organized buying process. In return, they get one main contact, the consistent reporting, and the consistent KPIs and SLAs. And there’s the overall insight into the client that we can provide when we have that kind of global scope.
Q: What drives the effectiveness of your global partnerships?
A: When the client embraces a strategic partnership, the RPO is successful. In these cases, the RPO partner is included in strategic roadmap meetings about talent and discussions around business strategy and the budgeting process. That’s why our points of contact are close by and ready to be pulled into meetings. You don’t want your project leader for a global client sitting 3,000 miles away from important conversations.
Q: Who are the points of contact?
A: Global project leaders need to be very senior, so they can provide strategic insight. They are typically former Vps of talent acquisition from multi-billion dollar companies. They’re seasoned global leaders who have walked in our clients’ shoes.
Part of what makes the engagement thrive is the client embraces that level of interaction. They have the leader close to them, they have strategic conversations, and that enables us to really be a fabric of their overall strategy and to provide best in class services. The SLAs and the KPIs evolve according to what the clients’ business priorities are—and those progress every year.
Q: How important is the consultative role to a global RPO?
A: It’s crucial. Let me give you an example. We have a global client who called me and said, “We need you to staff up faster and the reason we hire RPOs is for scale.” I looked into it and what was happening was this: The client was having a hard time predicting their staffing needs. They needed 800 more hires than they thought. The fix is not to put a bandage over it and hire more recruiters. The fix is to sit down with the client and help them predict their hiring needs.
That’s the kind of consultative approach we, as RPO providers, should offer: seek to address a core problem rather than deliver quick-fix solutions. If we don’t have the right tools or technology, then it’s our responsibility to tell them what the right tools and tech are. That’s how you act as good solid partners.