Hiring often feels like Mission Impossible for companies, especially when it comes to finding experienced professionals. You have a vision of the person you need, but getting the right person with the right experience who embraces your mission and culture can feel as complicated and stressful as plotting a covert operation – without the cool spy gear or intelligence support team. While unemployment remains high, filling niche high-level or technical positions remains exceedingly difficult. Enter your secret weapon for hiring precision and efficiency: Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), one of the fastest-growing HR outsourcing services.
Mind-erase the traditional connotations you have of outsourcing. Engaging an RPO firm doesn’t mean that highly sensitive people decisions will get shipped overseas or become an automated function. Rather, it enables a company to employ a team of experienced professionals with knowledge of the latest recruiting technologies and strategies who operate behind the scenes as part of your brand, enabling your team to continue focusing on the business. Hiring is an increasingly expensive and time intensive proposition, with an average cost-per-hire of more than $2,400 and an average of 34 days to fill a job vacancy, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). For rapidly growing firms with ongoing hiring needs, RPOs can offer a number of advantages from both a financial and resource standpoint:
It can be difficult to predict when you’ll need to ramp up hiring efforts – and, often, once you do identify the need, it becomes immediately urgent and you need people in the door yesterday. Tapping into internal resources alone for quick, large-scale or ongoing niche recruiting demands can be problematic.
Resources are already stretched thin in growing organizations, so outsourcing help can allow your people to remain focused on other strategic initiatives, instead of adding another responsibility that may only be given half the attention of a dedicated resource. RPO providers can scale along with fluctuating hiring needs and can quickly enlist a larger team of undercover agents when there is a demand for large-scale talent acquisition.
There is no easy checklist or process to finding specialized talent for your company, and it will vary significantly depending on the job role. The type of recruiting that happens for specialized and higher-level positions will benefit immensely from an ongoing, dedicated focus to root out where this hidden talent lies. RPO recruiters understand how to acquire and analyze different data sources and market intelligence that lead to the right targets and can build a pipeline of prospective employees who can fill niche roles. Equally important, they can work with your organization to plot the right level of recruiting support long-term that will help you accomplish your organization’s mission. This isn’t about finding “any hire” to fill roles; RPO providers can work with you to map out measurable “quality of hire” results and provide quantifiable data to help illustrate the impact of recruiting efforts.
Hiring strategies have grown more sophisticated and are continuously evolving to keep pace with new data sources, social media resources and demands for better metrics. It’s cost-prohibitive for many companies to retain the knowledge of and access to the latest recruiting technologies; many have had to cut back on recruiting and HR functions in recent years. For RPO providers, the latest tools and techniques are part of their cost of doing business; they can offer innovative ways to find and engage with targets through methods like online talent communities or gamification and simulation technologies.
Technologies – coupled with both “feet on the ground” and an understanding of cultural differences – provided by RPOs can also broaden the universe of potential job candidates, which are no longer bound by your local regions of operation in today’s global marketplace. RPO providers can open the doors to a more global pool of skilled candidates, helping you plan and think critically about possible multi-regional recruiting efforts and providing localized expertise to break through cultural or language barriers.
While cool intelligence-gathering and dedicated recruiting agents are nice, what ultimately matters is that your talent acquisition function produces high-quality people who can help grow your business. Consider the price of competitors beating you to the market for talent – and how the right hiring strategies can help you gain a competitive edge.