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Sourcing from All Shores
Sourcing from All Shores: RPO Delivers a Better Way to Recruit
By Tim Geisert, Chief Marketing Officer, Kenexa
Turning to specialized expertise can boost business advantage in many situations, particularly amid a competitive business climate. When thinking about recruiting, many organizations consider outsourcing in response to change, such as not having enough on-staff recruiters to meet an uptick in hiring. While Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) can certainly be implemented to provide additional resources for sourcing and recruiting premium talent, RPO should be more than a reactionary response to the market. Tapping into specialized expertise offers a better way of doing business. After all, if you were going to court, wouldn't you seek the expertise of legal counsel?
The benefits of specialized expertise have been established across other business disciplines such as technology, advertising and marketing. However, when it comes to recruiting, many organizations rely on internal resources, yet struggle with achieving their talent acquisition goals due to limited resources or lack of expertise. Instead, these same organizations could benefit from the strategic advantage of outsourcing and gain access to knowledgeable resources and specific expertise by industry, region or skill set- rather than work around the limitations of in-house resources.
Outsourcing has more advantages than in-sourcing. Whether it is access to a flexible model that scales to meet business fluctuations, availability of proven technologies that reduce costs and speed the identification of right-fit talent or access to a global network to meet expansion and growth goals, organizations that take advantage of RPO reap the strategic rewards of additional resources with specialized expertise and can improve their recruiting processes beyond what they could do on their own.
Sociological Change and Recruiting
Sociological changes have made it necessary for organizations to break away from a business-as-usual mindset and rethink their approach to recruiting. No longer can companies afford to say â€˜this is how we've always done recruiting.' Shifts in the available talent pool, an unstable economy and limited recruiting resources have made it necessary for organizations to consider changing their approach to the recruiting function to stay competitive and ensure strong growth.
Following the recent recession, many organizations are left short on internal recruiting resources. As hiring slowed down, internal recruiters have either been downsized, retired or gone on to other careers. Of course, as economic conditions improve, those that remain are stretched to the limit. Not only can this elongate time to fill and cost per hire, it can have other implications such as contributing to a less than stellar candidate experience, ultimately impacting a company's employment brand.
While organizations are functioning with fewer recruiting resources, competition for talent remains fierce and the demographics of the workforce are rapidly changing. Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce in droves and young people entering the workforce do not have the skills and experience required, creating a shortage of critical skills and making it increasingly challenging to fill hard-to-fill positions. Organizations today are also turning to a blended workforce comprised of free agents, part-time workers or virtual employees to fill a wide range of professional positions and meet competitive demands.
Additionally, the talent pool is now global. This requires organizations to have a strategy and resources that can source effectively on a larger scale. Without sufficient and experienced resources, the ability to efficiently attract, recruit and retain right-fit talent across the globe is compromised.
While hiring has been slow for the last few years, economic resurgence will encourage hiring, requiring organizations to have the right resources and recruiting processes to keep current with these evolving trends. Still, many organizations are grappling with how to best acquire qualified talent and have yet to embrace RPO as a way to maintain flexibility and improve access to the best talent available. By breaking down barriers that stand in the way of recruiting success and adopting an outsourcing model, organizations can improve both the speed and quality of hire, and reap the rewards of in-depth knowledge and specialized expertise that can be achieved through RPO.
Why haven't organizations changed their recruiting practices to keep current with evolving trends such as globalization and changing workforce demographics? For one thing, change is hard. Many heart attack patients aren't willing to change their diet and lifestyle in the face of do or die, yet survival of the fittest requires change and novel approaches to age-old problems.
A key barrier is simply tradition. Organizations may have a hard time grasping the concept of outsourcing recruiting, citing familiarity with the organization's culture, product, brand and existing talent sources. While organizations may have significant strength in their core competencies, they simply do not invest in recruiting excellence the same way as an RPO provider.
Another barrier is lack of visibility into global recruiting costs. With disparate processes and solutions, organizations do not have a line of sight into recruiting spend across the organization. As more companies expand globally, having a decentralized recruiting structure can result in increased costs and redundancies. Without a centralized approach to recruitment, organizations are inhibited from collaborating effectively, sharing talent across divisions and regions and best practices in succession planning.
Having a decentralized recruiting process or solely relying on internal resources can create barriers in achieving talent acquisition goals, particularly as organizations expand into new regions. Internal recruiters may have difficulty keeping up with the demand for talent because of lack of resources or not having capabilities for sourcing talent in new regions.
Taking advantage of new and innovative ways of acquiring talent requires a paradigm shift in how organizations think about recruiting talent. By turning to RPO, organizations can implement a strategic approach to the business of recruiting and gain access to specialized expertise that quickly and efficiently delivers high-quality talent.
Transforming the Recruiting Function through Outsourcing
RPO enables organizations to take advantage of additional resources and specialized expertise to advance their recruiting processes. The right RPO provider will have an established global network and have conducted in-depth market analysis. Having conducted this research upfront, an RPO provider can deliver a defined sourcing strategy that produces more targeted candidates. Additionally, they can provide better access to a global talent pool and be able to offer strategic insights across a broad range of companies and industries. As recruitment specialists, they also can deliver experienced resources, which can reduce costs and time-to-hire.
Because an RPO provider is in the business of recruiting, they have made significant investments in a variety of technologies that improve the recruiting process - far beyond what any one organization would invest in their recruiting efforts. Recruitment Process Outsourcing organizations make significant investments across a range of recruiting technologies from assessment and screening solutions to social media, "spidering" technologies, database development and career site optimization, which are shared across their client portfolio. This provides organizations with a wide array of solutions that can improve recruiting efforts and might otherwise be out of reach either due to cost or lack of expertise or resources.
RPO also offers the flexibility that enables organization to scale up or down based on fluctuating business needs. For example, should an organization want to expand into a new territory or region, an RPO provider not only has experienced resources available, but can provide access to those resources where and when needed - rather than requiring organizations to maintain or increase headcount and associated costs.
The benefits of a centralized recruiting structure can also be gained through RPO. Along with standardizing processes, organizations can gain insight into their global talent pool, identify learning and development opportunities and create an effective approach to succession planning. By developing standardized processes, organizations incur fewer risks and experience better outcomes.
RPO also delivers the benefit of better insight into recruiting metrics. This enables organizations to improve recruiting processes by understanding which sources yield the best candidates, how many hires were made over a defined period of time and cost per hire as well as metrics such as the time to fill open positions. Through improved process, organizations realize continuous improvement in their recruiting efforts.
Because the right RPO provider will have systems and resources to define, acquire and measure talent, they are also able to deliver more qualified, right-fit talent in a shorter time frame. With insight into where particular talent pools are located, organizations can take advantage of a more targeted recruiting strategy, thus increasing their efficiency in finding right fit candidates.
A targeted sourcing strategy provides data-driven insights prior to the start of the selection process, which results in a higher quality of hire and reduces the time spent by hiring managers on inappropriate candidates. For example, the right RPO provider will create a profile of the skills, talents and cultural requirements that are demonstrated by successful performers and then source for candidates who fit a similar profile. An RPO provider will be able to translate these insights into action and results, creating key messages that attract the right individuals through appropriate mechanisms such as the company career site; on social media networks, talent communities and job boards, as well as events and traditional advertising.
Along with efficiently and effectively meeting hiring needs, a global RPO provider can also deliver a strategic partnership that influences business strategy. With insight into talent pool locations around the world, organizations can harness operational efficiency by creating jobs where talent is located. For example, an organization looking to staff a call center might turn to their RPO provider to determine the best location for such a facility, rather than building a call center and hoping to find sufficient resources.
The Value of Specialized Expertise
In a competitive business climate, taking advantage of the specialized expertise offered by an RPO provider can reduce costs and deliver better candidates faster. Similar to the relationship a business has with advertising and marketing agencies, fostering a strong relationship with an RPO expert can promote the development of new ideas and innovative solutions to solving business problems. Through access to expertise and professional recruiting advisors, organizations can benefit from the sharing of ideas that shape their business.
As organizations rethink their approach to recruiting, outsourcing delivers more advantages than in-sourcing. Beyond flexible resources, domain expertise, a global network and investment in advanced technologies, organizations that embrace RPO can better serve their business through strategic recruitment processes and meet their talent acquisition goals.
About the author
Tim Geisert is chief marketing officer at Kenexa, a global provider of business solutions for human resources. For more than 20 years, Kenexa has studied human behavior and team dynamics in the workplace, and has developed the software solutions, business processes and expert consulting that help organizations impact positive business outcomes through HR. Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at www.kenexa.com.