The Unfortunate Rise of Nickel-and-Diming in the RPO Industry

The Oxford Dictionary defines nickel-and-diming as “Putting a financial strain on (someone) by charging small amounts for many minor services.”

For an example of businesses that nickel-and-dime their consumers, one need not look further than many of today’s airlines and the “hidden fees” often added to your bill. We’ve all been there; you paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to purchase your seat on a plane. You believe expenses have been settled, only to find out there are additional charges for food, the weight of your luggage, for having multiple carry-ons and service fees for loading your suitcases. Today, even purchasing a plane ticket over the phone as opposed to online is upping the cost of airfare.

Unfortunately, a number of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) providers have undertaken this no-frill pricing approach, offering a standard, “out of the box” solution—and ultimately nickel-and-diming their clients by not being entirely up front with pricing strategy.

Hands are shaken, pens sign along the dotted line, and recruitment commences. But “out of the box” is not what strategic HR leaders seek when turning to RPO. Savvy leaders understand the true value an RPO partnership can bring, and they require more from their partners—for example, consultation on particular positions, consistent reporting or to alter/hone the recruitment marketing strategy, if necessary. More, they seek access to proprietary technology platforms (i.e., Applicant Tracking Systems, among others). Unfortunately, changes to no-frill standard partnership offerings, like the inclusion of these services, often result in additional hidden fees.

Although not necessarily egregious, this approach is far from strategic, tailored or proactive. In short, it’s generic: This is our basic service offering for every client, regardless of situation. You want pretzels and a soft drink to sip during your flight? That will be an additional $XXXXX.XX.

At Cielo, we believe this approach is unacceptable.

In the 21st century—an age where products and services are being replicated and technology is rapidly advancing the way business is conducted—talent is the one true differentiator. Organizations that seek to separate from their competition simply can’t afford to settle forgeneric. They deserve better; they should crave the best.

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True, Tailored and Strategic RPO
For truly strategic RPO providers, talent acquisition is not a standardized, cookie-cutter or generic process. Providers such as Cielo embed specialists within clients’ internal teams to develop and ultimately deliver customized solutions that transform talent practices from the inside out. Proactive and passionate talent experts are committed to finding, engaging and attracting the talent clients require to spearhead positive change—aligned with the company’s brand, mission and values—and to strengthen strategic advantage; in short, to optimize the bottom line. Standardizing or generalizing this approach would be an injustice to the organizations Cielo serves.

The total cost of a solution is customized to each partnership’s scope, size and desires. At Cielo, a dedicated team, continuous improvement and support resources, proprietary ATS technology platform, talent analytics’ capabilities, recruitment marketing strategy, partnership management and reporting, among all other components of partnership are tailored to clients’ precise needs and built into the partnership agreement. Stringent “pay for performance” agreements are likewise built into the partnership contract to ensure transparency and unrelenting-accountability at every level.

Truly strategic RPO providers become an extension of the client’s internal team, working as they work and functioning as stewards of their employer brand. It is a hand-in-hand, “We’re in this together” process.

For a closer look at how Cielo shuns the generic, becomes a true extension of clients’ internal teams and drastically diminished agency usage for one global organization in the midst of unprecedented growth, access this complimentary case study: Smiths Medical Partners with Cielo to Transform Talent Acquisition into a Proactive and Consultative Function.