The Business benefits of RPO
by Paula Parfitt, Head of Client Development at Randstad Managed Services
Whilst recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) normally conjures up a solution that is associated with simply reducing cost to hire, RPO actually has a positive impact on a business both operationally and strategically, so it is not just an outsourcing solution that should be thought of during harder times.
Resourcing talent should be a fast and cost effective process, whilst still delivering a quality service for the candidate and efficiencies for the hiring manager. The process should reflect the employer brand and, above all, ensure the best candidate is sought for the position required. For large organisations that don’t have specialist recruitment teams, the procedure for filling a position can be a long drawn out process and one that incurs a number of internal challenges and hurdles.
Effective recruitment processes
Maverick recruitment processes are often prevalent within organisations that do not have a central recruitment function, resulting in increased costs and increased time to hire whilst diminishing the candidate experience and employer brand. Well-defined processes need to be designed and introduced to enable effective coordination of the complete recruitment cycle and to match the company’s strategic goals.
An RPO provider will take a holistic approach to provide the right solution and quite often will be able to introduce simple yet effective processes that haven’t been possible for an overstretched HR team, such as Competency Based Interview tools for hiring managers or candidate management contact schedules to retain candidates through the difficult counter offer / notice period.
Once best practice is identified, tested and implemented, compliance to those processes is vital for the organisation to realise the full benefits. An RPO partner understands that ongoing internal PR and communication is crucial - morale is affected positively if the right messages about recruitment activity are socialised across an organisation.
There is also a good chance that valuable talent already exists within a business and, in these inauspicious times, retaining talent is fundamental not just from a cost basis but from a business intelligence perspective as well.
But how does a hiring manager or HR business partner get access to this information?
RPO account teams devise reporting mechanisms that help retain talent within a business through redeployment and mobility programmes. What RPO account teams have is the resource, expertise and information platforms available to them that HR or hiring managers often do not.
The same can therefore be said if a business needs to look externally. Time and money are of the essence, so fast effective processes need to be in place that bring the right skill sets into the organisation. As recruitment is not always a core activity for HR functions, through outsourcing specialist knowledge is actually being brought into the business to make sure this happens.
RPO account teams are experts in their fields when looking to source talent. They have access to market information on where to find the best candidates and this is extremely crucial in a market where the gap between top talent supply and demand is increasing. As a result, better people are recruited into the organisation and retention is improved.
Partnering with an RPO provider brings other specialists into an organisation including compliance experts, employment law specialists, employer brand champions, recruitment technology business analysts, assessment and screening designers and supply chain management strategists. These people are essential to an RPO business, but are only needed on an on-call basis for clients, and are therefore unlikely to sit in-house.
With the recruitment market evolving fast over the past decade, the pace of legislation has increased. In the EU a minimal legal framework has been introduced – the Agency Work Directive (AWD), which had to be implemented across EU member states before 2012 – that on the one hand ensures that all unjustified restrictions are lifted, and on the other that temporary workers are protected via the equal treatment principle.
Reliance on a contingent workforce has become paramount for organisations over the past few years - the flexibility of contingent labour provides organisations with a workable solution for resourcing talent in this unpredictable market.
So what does this increase in legislation mean for organisations?
This has proved to be a huge additional administrative burden for HR departments that are already feeling the strain due to streamlined teams. An RPO solution therefore provides the additional resources and processes required to gather all the relevant data for existing temporary staff within a business and also provides a framework for managing the information going forward to ensure a company is compliant.
It should come as no surprise that, with all of these additional benefits, growth has been realised within the RPO sector. Employers have recognised that the cost benefits associated with an RPO are not just about the cost to hire but encompass back office support and efficiencies, as well as the supplementary services that an employer gains with an outsourced recruitment provider.
From the perspective of an employer, an RPO brings four key business benefits: improving quality of the hiring process, reducing risk, aiding retention, and feeding into the employer’s talent management strategy which subsequently gives the business a competitive edge.