When I spoke with Michael Rotelle, senior vice president of HR and CHRO of the Midwestern super-store chain Meijer, for this month’s cover story (see page 12), one of the first topics to come up was employee turnover. Attrition is a notorious challenge for the retail industry, so when I asked him if that was something Meijer was looking to improve, he laughed. You think Captain Obvious? But driving down attrition was simply tablestakes for Meijer’s recent engagement with EG Workforce Solutions. Meijer looked to the provider to fill 1,400 spots -a result of their aggressive growth strategy driven by four store openings in unknown markets -while increasing the quality of candidates and their experience, and retention rates.
First, the thorn in retail’s side: turnover. “The quality of hires that come through EG has reduced our turnover fairly significantly,” says Rotelle. The numbers impress: In the first five months of the partnership, Meijer reported a 25 percent decrease in attrition.
A key to this improvement is a new focus on employee engagement. EG Workforce Solutions recruiters check in with new hires five times in the first 120 days to get a thorough understanding of their initial experience. This allows Meijer to correct any issues and proactively get ahead of potential attrition.
The candidate experience has also improved by streamlining the hiring process and eliminating unnecessary steps in order to get candidates into positions sooner. The numbers impress here as well: Prior to the partnership, hiring was taking 30 days from start (offer) to finish (employee orientation). Now it’s 10 days.
This is all proof of just how far recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has come in the past five years. NelsonHall’s seventh Global RPO Market Analysis reports that the top driver for RPO is the ability to meet business demands for growth. Columnist Gary Bragar shares that organizations are leveraging RPO to improve talent acquisition performance results, especially for increasing quality of hire. Simply put: RPO providers are expected to be able to deliver quality candidates that internal talent acquisition leaders cannot easily find on their own. Learn more from this year’s report on page 61.
Nowadays, RPO is no longer just about quantity, but also about quality.