The recent release of the Everest - Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix Assessment 2013 gives some useful insight into what RPO is about in an international context, and also gives us an opportunity to ask how it is different at a local level.
Everest Group defines RPO as transfer of ownership of all or part of recruitment processes or activities on an on-going basis rather than “out-tasking” arrangements (typically handled by recruitment agencies, staffing companies, or executive search firms) that are managed on a project-by-project basis.
This distinction is much more blurred when looking at the local level, with plenty of recruitment agencies looking to add RPO type service alongside their more traditional offerings.
So what should you be looking for if you want to “transfer of ownership of all or part of recruitment processes on an on-going basis” to an external provider?
With the help of Everest research, and PPS’ own experience, we propose the following list:
1) Market segments – make sure that the providers that you consider are specialists in your area. RPO is about the process, but it’s mostly about the recruitment, and so doesn’t differ from other services in requiring a knowledge of the market and the candidate.
2) Account Management – make sure that your account manager knows as much or more about recruitment than you do! And that they quickly come to understand exactly what sort of talent your organisation needs. Expect to be challenged in what you are doing – this is what you are paying for.
3) Technology – this needs to fit your process, rather than the other way around. Applicant tracking and talent pool management systems have come a long way recently, but configuration to your requirements is likely to be more relevant than some of the fancy functionality available.
4) Management Information – this should demonstrate how you are recruiting better talent more efficiently than before, and over the length of your contract. Hiring Managers will need to be persuaded by any change, and direct evidence that the RPO is helping them deliver is essential.
5) Resourcefulness – Twitter, Pinterest, Situational Judgement Tests, video assessment – all aspects of sourcing and screening talent that have emerged over the last few years. What will be next? Are you going to hear about it from your RPO once it is relevant to your business? You should!
6) Your brand – An applicant sourced and screened by PPS for one of our RPO clients recently fed back to us that though they were disappointed to not have been selected for the role, they were so impressed with the company, that they had gone out and bought one of their products. Make sure you select an RPO that guarantees to uphold your brand 100%.
So what do you think? Disagree with any of these? Think that another aspect of RPO provision should have made the top 6? We would love to discuss it with you.