Leveraging an RPO approach carefully crafted to hiring needs can help organizations get ahead in the current talent shortage.
By Zee Johnson
Proactive organizations are always anticipating what’s coming, but if the events in recent years have taught anything, it’s that the working world never really knows what’s next. This impending uncertainty is why agility and flexibility are vital components to a company’s talent acquisition efforts if they want to withstand almost anything–and the right RPO partnership can help.
Peter Simandl, senior vice president of talent solutions at Resource Solutions, says an effective and flexible RPO partnership isn’t one-size-fits-all, but rather one that is customized to a company’s particular needs. “Flexible RPO is really the ability to meet clients where they are, not putting them into a pre-baked solution, it’s tailored,” he explains.
That tailoring provides a soup to nuts approach, customizing everything from timeframe (whatever is suitable for hiring needs) and the right technology to specialized sourcing expertise. And that’s exactly what most organizations need given today’s climate. According to Mineral’s recent 2022 State of HR Report, 60% of respondents report they are struggling to attract the necessary talent and 46% report their bottom line has been impacted by their inability to fill open positions.
These numbers signify that time is of the essence for companies trying to attract the right candidates. A key to getting ahead in the current talent crisis is building a pipeline-a strategy that can be strengthen through flexible RPO.
“When you think about the current talent shortage, you’ve got to focus on how you’re attracting and building candidate pipelines,” Simandl says. “Believe it or not, pipeline candidates have a shelf life and that’s another direct result of the talent shortages.”
Simandl explains that candidates need to be nurtured through multiple touchpoints to keep them interested or chances are, they will move on to the next opportunity. Employer branding, strategic recruitment marketing, and a strong employee value proposition are key levers to maintaining relationships with both active and passive candidates.
Scalability, flexibility, and agility are all benefits to a flexible RPO approach. Organizations are also seeking improved accountability in achieving the results they need from their talent acquisition function. Here’s where hard metrics can make a difference.
“Metrics are in place so that we can at a moment’s notice have the ability to know if a function is working and driving towards the outcomes that we want,” explains Simandl. “When defining what success looks like, I think it’s really critical to identify what the desired outcomes are, then have metrics that tie to them to what I like to call ‘The Big 3’’ quality, speed and satisfaction.”
- Quality. Organizations can measure this by tracking the type of candidates that are submitted to a hiring manager and then accepted for an interview.
- Speed. Time to hire, Simandl says, is a factor most aligned to RPO’s success. This accounts for the time it takes to submit the first qualified, interested, and available candidate. In an era of flexible RPO, recruitment leaders can choose a source to screen, source to shortlist or source to start delivery models. Whichever part of the recruitment lifecycle an RPO supports, organizations need to measure for speed as well as quality to get ahead in the skills race.
- Satisfaction. This is where leaders find out if their efforts are working. If they aren’t, companies can uncover why. For example, perhaps the process is far too lengthy, which is resulting in the loss of candidates to competitors that have a more streamlined approach. An effective RPO partner can design questionnaires that measure the most salient data points for organizational needs. For example, Simandl says that Resource Solutions has an online reporting dashboard, RS Intelligence, that updates in real-time to give account teams ongoing visibility of satisfaction, ensuring that any issues that are flagged can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. This transparent service performance has led to 100% hiring manager satisfaction.
Companies that are seeking quality candidates, cost savings, and improved scalability should seek to implement a flexible RPO program that can stand up against any form of market uncertainty.