Let’s get past the marketing fluff… What can a RPO provider
deliver? For the sake of this article,
I am only going to focus on “full life cycle” recruitment process outsourcing
as defined below.
RPO Alliance, a group of the Human Resources Outsourcing Association (HROA),
approved this definition in February 2009: “Recruitment Process
Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) where an
employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external
service provider. An RPO provider can provide its own or may assume the
company’s staff, technology, methodologies and reporting. In all cases, RPO
differs greatly from providers such as staffing companies and contingent/retained
search providers in that it assumes ownership of the design and management of
the recruitment process and the responsibility of results
Today’s blog posting will focus on the difference between “high
volume” and “high complexity” RPO solutions. At the highest levels both
require requisition management, sourcing, screening, interviewing, offer and
on-boarding practices. However the
detailed processes, the people and where the most time is spent, will vary
based upon complexity. So just because
your RPO fills call center roles really well, does not mean they can do high
level professional roles and vice / versa. Let’s talk!
High Volume / Low
We need a lot of people, quickly!! Can you breath, can you pass an assessment
and do you have the basic skills? Okay I
am exaggerating, but these are typically roles that are “volume” based and
there are either many applicants or it is considered more of an entry level role.
The Recruiting Process
Is all about the numbers. (I need so many prospects in my funnel to
create enough out the back end.)
Strategy will focus on how talent has been
successfully attracted in the past based upon the data.
Gaps will be address through very closely
monitored sourcing strategies
Recruiters must do xx interviews per day for x
period of time
Expect at least 10 – 25% drop off due to offer
rejection and background check failure rates
Hiring managers will have to allocated xx amount
of time based upon the ratio’s of interviews to hire
Mass or round robin interview schedules may need
to be established to meet the hiring demand
Onboarding may be automated to expedite the
Approve multiple positions on a requisition
Hiring manager discussions focus more on timing,
geography, interview scheduling and the ability to provision talent once they
Depending upon the talent types, sourcing
strategies may include:
Feet on the street activities
Local market outreach
Resume mining and demand generation activities
High volume, yet targeted advertising strategies
Skills tests, personality tests, online questionnaires
with auto ranking in the ATS is a must
Interviews are fairly scripted for consistency
Screening interviews may be facilitated through
an online self scheduling tool to reduce time spend chasing down talent
Scheduling interviews and coordination of events
Managers may do a round robin to facilitate the
volumes or a have a weekly hiring day
Those who pass the interview will go to
Facilitate background and drug checks through online tool
Facilitate e-verify through an online tool
Facilitate reference checks through a shared services group or online
tool such as Checkster
Very prescriptive and template
Not much negotiating wiggle room
The high volume recruitment processes are administrative,
prescriptive, template and can be delivered in a shared services model. Candidate experience focuses on the process
and meeting basic needs. The recruiters
are lower level but focus on 30+ hires per month. The process is driven by the numbers and is
tweaked based upon the interview to hire rates.
Basically this is a very transactional process that is heavily leveraged
High Complexity RPO
In the six sigma world, this is the process where the most
time can be spent sourcing for the “right” talent, calibration with hiring
managers and closing candidates. More
variation in position types, therefore a recruiter may not be able to leverage
requisitions. A recruiter may have a
quota of 3 people per month in some complex recruiting areas. More time is spent building pipelines,
relationships and the candidate experience.
Requisitions are unique and fit is based upon
skill, industry and experience combined.
Hiring manager calibration is critical.
Recruiter must be knowledgeable of the industry
and be able to push back when the manager is requesting someone that does not
exist or is a purple squirrel.
pre-work in this area where pipelines and communities of talent may need to be
built. Social media and CRM strategies
are super helpful.
Good pipelining does not equate to “hires”, it
relates to “shorter time to fill”.
Pipelining is expensive and cannot be baked into
a cost per hire pricing model.
Sourcing plan development
Inbound sourcing – these are the candidates in
Past hiring success sourcing
Direct sourcing through pipelining, community
efforts, linkedin, internet research and direct sourcing
Time to effectively source candidates can be as
low as 10 hours and as high as 52 hours + depending upon complexity.
screens cannot be scripted. They must be experiential.
Questions must tie to the industry and the needs
of the business unit.
A higher level recruiter with industry
experience, must get a true read on these types of candidates capabilities,
skills and cultural fit.
The candidate experience is critical. These individuals are interviewing the
organization as well as the organization interviewing them.
Custom schedules, with thorough candidate
preparation with all participating in the interview process
Calibration sessions that may trigger a new
sourcing strategy / plan.
Candidates require feedback
Knowledge of current compensation bands, what it will
take to close candidate, benefits and potential escalation should an exception
Offer approval processes much more structured
Offer may be verbally provided by both the
recruiter and the hiring manager – this gets defined in the upfront RPO
Issues must be mitigated to get the candidate to
close or say yes
Relocation may need to be engaged
Interview expense reports managed
Background / pre-employment verification process
must be initiated
Hire and On-boarding
Candidate outreach prior to start date from
hiring manager and peers
On boarding is more than provisioning, it is to
make sure that assimilate well into the new role and culture.
The high complexity RPO has invested in sourcing, higher
level recruiters, industry knowledge, company knowledge and may leverage a
shared services group for additional sourcing, advertising and candidate
outreach support. Potential failure
modes within a complex recruitment process are greater, especially within the
hiring manager relationship and the ability to effectively managing the
process. Most recruiters who support the
high complexity recruiting process do not support volume hiring and vice versa.
RPO pricing for high complexity
recruiting is higher and there may be “special resources” or “programs” that
are billed on a time and materials basis or a transactional services fee to
effectively attract, recruit and hire those with complex skill requirements.
The processes, people, organizational structure and
activities within each step differ. Your
RPO should be able to articulate the difference. Unfortunately I see too many clients select
the wrong RPO to execute a process where they do not have domain expertise and
both client and provider fail.
1. Understand your needs
2. Clearly articulate to your supplier community the
3. The RPO provider should be able to demonstrate proven
4. Calibration and alignment is always required in a people
Tracey Friend, email@example.com Building Successful Solutions That Work!