HR Executive: A Formula for RPO Success

Cielo Healthcare and client partner Rob Brinkerhoff from Palmetto Health were featured in an article on Human Resources Executive Online: “A Formula for RPO Success.” This article describes the recruiting challenges that Palmetto experienced, as well as how their partnership with Cielo has met and solved those challenges. Brinkerhoff offers advice for a successful Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partnership implementation and relationship based on Palmetto’s prosperous experience with Cielo.

Excerpts from the article:

Powering the RPO
Palmetto Health's antiquated talent-acquisition process made it very tough to navigate the choppy waters and increasing demands of healthcare-talent management, says Brinkerhoff.

On the plus side, there was an existing dissatisfaction within the company about the incumbent system, he says, so he had early senior-management support to go the RPO route. Brinkerhoff's challenge was to identify and acquire top-level talent by bringing it into the fold in a very competitive market. Also, Palmetto Health was in a growth mode, as it was opening a brand-new hospital.

"We had built-in momentum, between leadership buy-in and general dissatisfaction with the existing situation, but there were still change-management issues," Brinkerhoff says. For example, Palmetto Health historically is very relationship-oriented, so despite the recruiting process being broken, the challenge was to get affected parties to understand that RPO meant changes in personnel.

Palmetto Health wound up with an end-to-end RPO, as some of the company's recruiting staff made the not-atypical move to work for the chosen RPO vendor -- in this case, Cielo, a global RPO provider (formerly Pinstripe and Ochre House) with offices in Brookfield, Wis., and London. For recruiters who remained with Palmetto, the company worked very hard to identify alternative jobs in the company for them -- a very successful effort, Brinkerhoff says.

"It really is about making the rational and emotional case at the same time," he says. "Clearly, an RPO made sense on every single level; it is one of the best business cases we have put together. But there also is a strong attachment to the old way of doing things. It was about transparency and communications. We addressed every issue at every corner of the process."

Palmetto's Brinkerhoff says, in the end, focusing on culture and transparency will drive a successful RPO.

"You have to meet people where they are; you can't force the change," he says. "Then, meet them again and again and again. It may even take going knee to knee to help them understand the value they will get from RPO. Most of all, if you have made the RPO decision, then go all-in."


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