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CEO’s Letter: Invisible is Not the Same as Transparent

By Elliot Clark

If you think about it, our Baker’s Dozen Process was crowdsourcing long before the term existed, essentially allowing HR leadership to learn about service companies from the experience of their peer group. Companies that do not embrace public scrutiny should be BOYCOTTED and we call for that for three providers. 

This month we reveal the HRO Today RPO Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings for enterprise, midsize deal, and healthcare providers. This is one of our most important towers in the annual Baker’s Dozen publishing schedule. Given the impact of the RPO Baker’s Dozen and the focus it gets from talent acquisition leaders, I want to go back in time a few months to address a really galling issue from our March issue where we published the HRO Today Relocation Services Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings. A few of the larger relocation providers did not participate or openly resisted our survey process. It was brought to my attention that at least one of these providers is trying to make their absence a selling point by criticizing the companies on our list as only “smaller players.”  I want to share the actual story and call on the market to show these companies that they should not be rewarded for their lack of transparency. And, I want to expose this so-called selling point for the farce that it is.

First, the reality of relocation service is not about the size of the provider. Each relocation is, unto to itself, a unique exercise involving different personalities and different challenges. Any relocation company with international capacity can handle any individual case. The bigger relocation firms have the ability to handle more cases and, perhaps, offer more analytics, but new technologies are even making that unlikely. The difference we have seen in our data and through our research is that the some of the larger providers do not offer the best service. Clearly some do, as evidenced by the rankings that include MSI Global Talent Solutions and Graebel Relocation Services Worldwide, among others. I would add this feedback is grounded in customer surveys, not our own experiences. That’s right, your feedback. When you take a Baker’s Dozen survey, you are helping your colleagues at other companies make more informed choices.

A few years ago I called for a boycott of a few background screening companies that did not want to be rated. I was even threatened with a lawsuit for “interfering” with their relationships. My attorneys responded that they were interfering with the First Amendment and they were never heard of again. As a footnote, the market taught them a lesson about transparency. All of them now are back in our Baker’s Dozen process. This is proof that trying to be invisible—even from your own customer feedback—is rejected by HR buyers and the community in general. HRO Today doesn’t distribute the Baker’s Dozen surveys for the benefit of providers: We do the Baker’s Dozens for practitioners and I am about to prove it.

Sadly, it is time for me to call for a boycott once again. In relocation, Cartus, SIRVA, and Brookfield Global Relocation Services (BGRS) are three of the largest players and they have resisted our process. Now, one or more of them is spreading the rumor that the HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Relocation Customer Satisfaction Ratings is for smaller players. Not true: Cartus and SIRVA were openly dismayed over the last few years at their scores. Cartus told us they had “opted out” a few years back and their head of marketing was not happy when we said it was not up to them. We conduct our own outreach to HR buyers and they often opt to participate. Also, bear in mind, sometimes we get enough surveys for a company may be “rated,” but it will not make the list if it is not in the top 13. And in some cases these providers have, in the past, failed even before they decided to not “participate.”   

In my opinion, to achieve economy of scale, some of the larger relocation providers have sacrificed service culture and are not looking to their customers to speak on their behalf. But others respect our research-based, Baker’s Dozen process, and are happy to have clients participate and many are larger providers. All of the providers on our list are highly qualified to deliver relocation services and their customers prove it.

I believe it is time once again to reiterate that the Baker’s Dozen Ratings are about both service and transparency. That is why I am calling for talent acquisition and HR executives to BOYCOTT Cartus, BGRS and SIRVA. If they want to know all about your candidates and your process, you should have the right to know about them. Let’s use the market to show companies that even when they want to be invisible we still see them. Let’s score a victory for corporate transparency.

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