RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

The Smart Money is on RPO

GE Money Americas learns that an outsourced solution can expand to support its own growth, even when the need is cross-border.

by Tammy Grisham

We often hear the buzzword “sustainability” in reference to our planet’s environmental resources. At GE Money Americas, we link the term with human resources too. Our recruiting process delivers sustainable global results today, thanks to our partnership with Kelly Services’ Outsourcing and Consulting Group (KellyOCG).

    In 2000, GE Money Americas (formerly GE Consumer Finance) wasn’t getting it right, and we knew it. Our company, a leading provider of banking and credit services, had staffing challenges common to many large organizations: a decentralized staffing process, inconsistent interview practices, and variable candidate quality from a small number of colleges. Moreover, the cost per hire averaged more than $9,000, and the time to fill a position typically exceeded three months. We also felt the effects in our nonexempt and high-volume staffing. In short, our process was unsustainable.

    A parade of vendors told us they had just what we needed to reform our troubled staffing function. It was no surprise that in selecting a partner, the key difference came down to people.

    KellyOCG helped us launch a revamped process in early 2001. A centralized staffing process and a dedicated team were crucial. This shift included a customized candidate application web site, as well as standardized, screening methods that were more thorough and enhanced candidate quality and service level. The solution also incorporated:

  • A hiring logistics strategy to ensure consistency, standardization, and efficiency from interview to offer;
  • Management of an Internet-based applicant tracking system;
  • Automation of manual processes; and
  • Measurement of staffing and activity costs, and establishment of new benchmarks and goals.

Following implementation, the results were telling.

Our total staffing costs decreased 54 percent, due largely in part to a halving of sourcing expenditures and an 80 percent reduction in travel and relocation costs. The average cost per hire fell from $9,280 to $3,900 in 2007.
Indirect savings included a cycle-time reduction from 115 days to 47 days.
Our nonexempt, hiring class fill rates improved from an average of 74 percent to 95 percent and have continued to perform at 90 percent or above since program inception.
In the course of our eight-year relationship, KellyOCG has helped GE Money Americas achieve year-over-year cost reductions ($2 million in 2007) while continuing to manage a best-in-class staffing process. By focusing on operating more efficiently and sharing best practices, we have improved both candidate quality and our interview-to-hire ratio.

Flexibility Defines the Future
Like all successful programs, this one is evolving to meet the needs of our ever-changing organization. During the past year, we’ve embarked on a lean quality review, working closely with KellyOCG. Our challenge was to enhance the applicant experience by reducing process delays and redundancies. In the end, we were able to meet more stringent federal compliance standards while maintaining cycle times and quality of service.
The outsourced solution has also helped us respond as our business has evolved in today’s global economy. In 2004, the provider’s centralized staffing team began managing our staffing process for our Canadian business center in Edmonton. And they responded again in 2007 when a Canadian business partnership resulted in hiring needs that spanned from British Columbia to Quebec. Today, the centralized KellyOCG team of English- and French-speaking recruiters has enabled our Canadian business centers to realize process efficiencies, cost savings, and an improved interview-to-hire ratio.

In 2008, we challenged the provider again to respond to our immediate hiring needs in our newly established business center in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Kelly OCG entered the market and implemented technology and processes, resulting in a training class of new employees after just six weeks. It identified and eliminated redundancies within our existing process and provided market research that was key in establishing a successful and cost-efficient advertising strategy.

Today, KellyOCG’s RPO practice provides recruitment support for us across the U.S., Latin America, and Canada. Kelly’s has enabled the recruitment program to extend borders while maintaining process and candidate quality.

We will continue to demand more from our outsourcing provider as new challenges surface. With KellyOCG as our right arm, we can meet our recruiting needs with flexibility, scalability, and strategic thinking.

Tammy Grisham is the Staffing Center of Excellence leader for GE Money Americas. Based in Stamford, CT, GE Money is the consumer and small business financial services unit of General Electric.

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