RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

What Does Flexible RPO Really Mean?

By Debbie Bolla

HR leaders greatly understand how important flexibility and business agility have been to the success of talent acquisition and management strategies. An RPO engagement can provide the agility organizations need to scale rapidly to new demand, adjust to shifts in requirements, expand geographical reach, and enable technology changes.

“Flexibility is a critical component. There’s a lot of work out there where it is an immediate response to current demand with the great unknown of what the future holds,” says Jaye Denson, Director, RPO, for workforce solutions provider Allegis Global Solutions. “Some of that is because of the world we live in, and some of that is because of the talent dynamic of fluctuating market demand.”

Advantages of a Flexible Talent Acquisition Function

Quickly responding to market dynamics and demands is a key attribute of a successful RPO partnership and a flexible talent acquisition capability. As Denson explains, the talent agility it offers comes through a bevy of beneficial ways.

  • Scalability. There have been many changes in supply and demand of talent over the last few years, and an RPO partnership offers the ability to ramp up quickly or pump the brakes if necessary.
  • Shift in skills and roles. Technology has been a great enabler of change, and many organizations are seeing their needs and demands pivot.
  • Process flexibility. In the last few years, RPO partnerships have expanded in service offerings and can help TA leaders with the parts of the process that need the most expertise: sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, employer branding, communication, and more.
  • Geographical reach. RPO partners can set up and expand in new locations, as well as easily tap into their networks of global candidates.
  • Services adaptability. With the move to a total workforce solution, RPO partners can leverage their resources to bring in external workers, contingent labor, contractors, and SOW for a holistic workforce.
  • Technology resources. RPO partners often have a tech stack to offer, plus the ability to integrate with current tech solutions.

What to Look for in an RPO Partner

Not every RPO provider has the bandwidth to deliver the flexibility for a changing global business environment. “Even if an organization faces an immediate and specific talent need, it should also look to a future where additional demands arise,” says Denson.

“Often, companies grow focused on a niche need, and it is tempting to take shortcuts in researching and vetting RPO options,” Denson adds. “Instead, it is good to invest in the time up front to get the best long-term fit. That’s where an ecosystem approach makes a big difference.”

Consider the questions that reveal an RPO’s flexibility. Can the provider expand to support the management of contingent workforce engagement? Can they hire outside of your industry for talent with transferrable skills? Do they have industry partners to deliver new technology to the table? Can they cover geographies or enable remote “anywhere” hiring?

These are just a few of the issues that a mature RPO partner can address. While flexibility was a nice-to-have idea for a recruiting partner in the past, it is essential today for weathering change. Asking the tough questions now is the surest way to connect with a talent solutions partner that delivers on its full value today and in the future.




Tags: RPO & Staffing, Talent Acquisition

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