It’s been more than two years since you’ve visited the local dentistry. Like every sane individual on this planet, you hate dental appointments; how they recline you in that 1960’s vinyl chair chock full off scratch marks, how they poke and prod, and that horrendous bubble gum fluoride paste they bathe your mouth in during a cleaning. You didn’t visit the dentist because it was time for a cleaning, though. You went because you knew there was something wrong, something internal that required external expertise. After the x-ray, cleaning and examination, Doc Dentist trots into the room, takes a peak and concludes:
“Someone hasn’t been brushing and flossing…”
That’s right, you have a cavity. In fact, you have several cavities in one tooth that have led to a fair amount of decay and need cosmetic work. Dentists from yester-year would suggest silver amalgam fillings—essentially placing a band aid over likely much larger issues. Proactive dentists, however, are equipped with innovative technologies and evidence-based expertise; they will get out in front of decay and suggest replacing the tooth with a porcelain crown. Although a significant investment, crowns are customized and built around your exact needs, and they replace much of the battered and broken tooth with a fully functional, efficient structure that is free from accountability issues, hiring manager dissatisfaction and excessive time-to-fill rates, so to speak.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is the porcelain crown of the talent acquisition world, while downplaying or sidestepping talent management is the risky band aid/filling; oftentimes, businesses seek out RPO for a quick fix—as a way to instantaneously slash costs and resources and hide a myriad of internal issues. RPO is not a band aid, and it never will be. RPO is a highly consultative function with vast differences in structure, focus, technology and cost. It’s an investment that will optimize your financial and operational health over time and for the long haul; it is not a partnership that will “solve your mess for less” (i.e., improve financial and operational health with fewer resources than those currently invested).
Effective RPO solutions clean out decay and build upon the original structure with a much stronger framework, one that is ultimately still your “tooth” but improves functionality, talent acquisition, employer brand, overall recruitment and quality. But how do you know if RPO is right for you? First and foremost, you need to ponder the following questions to truly understand why you are considering outsourcing the recruiting function:
- Are internal resources overextended?
- Is the workforce continuously growing, or are you anticipating a significant growth event?
- Is your organization’s use of contingent agencies excessive?
- Has hiring manager dissatisfaction reached the executive or C-Suite ranks?
- Is your organization in need of greater accountability?
- Have you realized the importance the right cultural fit?
- Is the cost of upgrading processes or completely altering the current infrastructure substantial?
- Are quantitative and qualitative metrics minimal?
- Are you seeking a transformational recruiting partnership?
If you’re seeking an RPO partnership merely to dwindle the recruiting budget to its skeleton, partnership is not for you. However, if you answered “yes” to any of the questions above; if you desire attracting the right talent, aligned with the organization’s culture and objectives to create a competitive advantage; if you are seeking to create talent communities that personalize communications and provide potential candidates with the depth of information they desire about the organization and position; and you hope to achieve each of these benefits while still having complete transparency into processes as well as final say over hiring decisions—then an RPO-encased crown might be perfect for your organization. Check out this Pinstripe whitepaper, 10 Reasons to Outsource Recruitment, to further explore if RPO is the right option for you.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) has become a world-wide phenomenon (see: more than $1.4 billion in global annualized spend in 2012), helping organizations improve operational efficiency and quality of hires while reducing costs. How do I know this? Until recently, I had no idea. My foray into the world of RPO began just a few months ago when I joined Pinstripe. Since that time I have been immersed in the RPO industry, discovering a service delivery structure has changed the way I view talent attraction and recruiting. For other newcomers, the following will hopefully help educate job seekers, prospective candidates, content marketers (like myself) and perhaps even HR leaders along the way.
To fully understand RPO, it was vital for me to first grasp what it is not: contingent staffing. Such agencies are often referred to as contingency firms or temporary placement agencies. Organizations primarily seek out contingent staffing agencies on a requisition-by-requisition basis (i.e., when hiring needs arise) for a supply of temporary or “temp-to-hire” employees. For example, an excavating company needs three forklift drivers STAT! In this situation, organizational leaders might look to contingent staffing firms to deliver a number of candidates willing to take the job as soon as possible.
One issue with these types of agencies is that there are clones (competitors) at every corner providing the same services. I am admittedly biased in this situation, having had a bit of experience with a contingent staffing service. The summer after my freshman year in college, I needed a June-August job in short order. My qualifications at the time consisted of a high school diploma, several gen-ed courses, working as a steak and calzone cook and tutoring under-privileged students at the local elementary school. I submitted my resume to this staffing service and was offered several temp-to-hire positions within three days. These positions included an electrician’s assistant, landscaping and welding. Having had zero experience in each of these areas, how could they assume I was capable of diving into fields that were alien to me? What part of my resume indicated this? I’m sure my potential employers would have liked answers to these questions as well.
Many businesses will partner with multiple staffing agencies at any given time in order to expedite the recruitment process. As a result (and as an answer to the questions above), immediacy is and will always be the name of the game; reimbursement for these firms hinge on their ability to fend off competing firms and place people before competitors swoop in with their own prospective candidates. Although contingent staffing agencies can prove effective, the rapidness often means experience, quality of hire as well as hiring manager and candidate satisfaction are not be taken into account.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing
Rather than simply supplying prospective hires as quickly as possible, RPO providers offer strategic services uniquely built around their clients’ needs. That is, they act as an extension of the organization’s internal recruitment function and handle the entire new hire lifecycle from sourcing through onboarding and often exit management. Although handling these functions in a timely fashion is imperative, unlike staffing agencies, qualitative metrics like the previously mentioned quality of hire and hiring manager and candidate satisfaction are also a prominent focus.
RPO partnerships are meant to be long term, so that teams can build sustainable talent pipelines, establish and grow talent communities, enable leaders to focus on strategic initiatives and reduce employee attrition. This is executed through a service delivery structure that dedicates expert recruitment teams to each client. These teams, though technically employed by the RPO provider, become an extension of the client organization. As a result, recruiters are completely immersed in the client’s culture and are accessible at all times. In essence, the RPO provider becomes 100% accountable for the recruitment function in order to provide a more efficient, less expensive and customized recruiting solution.
Proactive Versus Reactive
To provide clarity (for my own sake), consider this: Across the globe, there is always the need for talent. Businesses grow and new positions develop; employees move on and attrition occurs. This creates the need for quality talent in a timely fashion—especially because growth and turnover storm through an organization on a daily basis, rarely leaving time to adjust to the swift and sudden changes they cause. The primary difference between contingent staffing and RPO can be found here:
- Contingent staffing providers are reactive. Organizations react to turnover, growth or hiring needs by seeking the services of contingent staffing firms after the need arises. These agencies will identify and recruit talent based on current need with the goal of recruiting and filling all positions as quickly as possible. This is talent acquisition.
- RPO providers are proactive. Conversely, others organizations are proactive by seeking partnerships with RPO providers to bridge the gap between talent acquisition, talent management and talent strategy. Rather than react to need, as an extension of the organization, RPO offers proactive sourcing and builds talent pipelines and talent communities to ensure organizations are always prepared well in advance of need.
Why Should HR Care?
When recruitment processes are handled internally, HR departments need to post job descriptions wherever possible, including job boards and social media networks. They also need to actively engage candidates on these forums day after day. They need to scour the internet for quality resumes; identify, screen, interview and bring in candidates to fill out employment paperwork. They need to conduct background and reference checks, skill testing, as well as gauge personality, work style and cultural fit. Additionally, they need to handle post-employment tasks like evaluating performance and hiring manager satisfaction. With the rise of RPO, many businesses are partnering with a third-party to handle these laborious and cost-hungry tasks by providing comprehensive, transparent services and tailored execution with the evidence-based insight to achieve transformational results.
For those of you interested in digging deeper and learning more about the trends leading the global movement to RPO, how you can define RPO for your business, questions to ask and tips to prepare your organization for RPO, check out this Pinstripe whitepaper: Get It Right to Get Results: Creating the Business Case for RPO.
Post contributed by Richard Ward
Follow me on Twitter @RichWardJr or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Recently, Elliot, my son told me that gum chewing was beneficial to academic performance. Since he is 14 years old, I thought this just might be his way of preparing me for a potential call from school regarding a rules violation.
Well, I never did get a call from school (thank god); however, I did decide to do some of my own research to validate the benefits of gum chewing.
Since researchers believe that the chewing or chomping process is essentially a form of exercise, I really should not have been surprised to find out, like other exercise related studies, that physical activity can produce a mental performance boost. In fact several studies found that chewing gum led to an overall increase in cognitive functioning, particularly working memory, episodic memory and speed of processing, but only when gum was chewed prior to taking a test, not during. The effect was strongest just when a person finished chewing gum and only lasted for about 20 minutes afterward.
They even have a fancy scientific name for this effect: “Mastication-induced arousal”
So if mastication-induced arousal truly improves cognitive ability, like memory formation and speed of processing, then it must be good for Recruitment Process Outsourcing too. I believe all RPO service providers are looking for an edge to increase results and this seems like a really simple and cost effective method. At Pinstripe, we provide our recruiters with other tools, like Talent Relationship Management technology and sourcing training, to improve efficiency. These investments are quite intensive while gum is relatively inexpensive. So why not put gum in the supply drawer along with stables, paper clips and sticky notes.
Let me know how this works out and I’ll let Elliot know that he just may have come up with the next big thing in RPO.Contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
Little-known FGCU beat San Diego State 81-71 on Sunday night, its second NCAA tournament upset of the weekend. Just like in their opening win over second-seeded Georgetown there were plenty of laughs, dunks and dances.
It took Florida Gulf Coast about 48 hours to go from the butt of jokes to one of the most memorable NCAA Basketball tournament stories in history. But just how unlikely was it for the team to have reached the Round of 16? Based on the Nate Silver’s calculations, from the FiveThirtyEight blog, the odds were just 3.3% that Florida Gulf Coast would advance to the Sweet 16.
It is because of the success of the underdog FGCU Eagles that every once in a while I take a chance on an RPO opportunity where the odds are not really in Pinstripe’s favor. Sometimes I just get a gut feeling that an opportunity might not be so far-fetched and I go after it. And if I don’t win the Recruitment Process Outsourcing deal, I have at least got our name out there for the better and made a great impression.
The point is simply that the NCAA tournament and RPO RFPs offer lots and lots of opportunities for highly improbable things to happen. More importantly every now and then, we do win the whole thing and, like the Eagles, we celebrate our success with lots of arm waving, big smiles and high-fives.
Contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
March 17-23 is Health Care HR week, and Pinstripe Healthcare would like to tip our virtual caps to all healthcare partners and HR friends, extend a note of thanks and show our gratitude for a never-ending, tireless job well done. This week is about you, and we feel honored to join in celebrating your efforts.
Health Care HR week is meant to appreciate and celebrate HR professionals across the healthcare industry for continuing to drive talent strategies and enable positive change through the services they provide. This work is vital, as your efforts directly impact leaders and employees at all levels, prospective candidates and ultimately the quality of care patients receive. Health Care HR week may only last seven days, but you deserve endless praise for striving to not only attract, hire and retain top-quality talent but drive strategic improvement.
We appreciate healthcare HR professionals—especially our clients, who are early adopters of RPO—and want to congratulate each of you for making a difference not only across your organization, but across the industry. For all that you do, Pinstripe Healthcare would like to say, “Thank You.”
Wishing you all the best,
The Pinstripe Healthcare Leadership Team:
Jill Schwieters, Ashley Gouge, Diane Fleischmann, Jennifer Mann, Judi Dorazio, Kristen Wright, Lauren Trollope, Mark Tippery, Mike Soisson, Shelly Olejniczak, Tara Cassady
Recently, I stayed at the Westin Colonnade Coral Gables along with my co-workers, Angi Calkins and Sadie Zobel. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a problem with our reservations. While our reservations were in the Starwood computer, they were not in the Westin system and the hotel was fully booked for the night.
If you think that this situation is heading for disaster with me ranting on and on (like I did several years ago when my Hilton Honor points magically disappeared) and declaring a boycott of Starwood properties, then you are absolutely wrong!
Here is how the Westin turned the situation around and made me a happy customer:
The 1st thing was that the front desk personnel promptly said “Mr. Diamond, I know we can’t find your reservations and the hotel is booked, but we guarantee you’ll all have rooms for tonight. So why don’t you relax in the lobby while we fix the situation. And while you and your friends are waiting, beverages are on us.”
Situation resolved and life goes on…but wait there's more…
While I was roaming around waiting for the room glitch to be resolved, I noticed a placard in the lobby inviting all guests to a 6:45 AM refreshing morning exercise walk hosted by the hotel General Manager, Michael McMahon. So the next morning, I joined Michael for a 45 minute jaunt and discussed the hotel business, Recruitment Process Outsourcing and our customer service philosophies.
What a fabulous thing Michael is doing! Every morning he connects with his customers, finds out what is on their minds, and learns how he can make the Westin Colonnade Coral Gables a better hotel. Starwood and Westin take notice, clone this guy and make the “walk” a replicable GM best practice.
And to my RPO service provider friends, here's my recommendation:
Take a walk with your customers, ask questions and spend time listening. You’ll learn a lot and the exercise will be good for you too.
Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
In the world of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), the “post and pray” method for recruiting and hiring qualified talent is, to put it bluntly, antique, ancient, archaic… just plain old. Placing a job advertisement in a newspaper or other general location and hoping qualified candidates respond is no longer sufficient. Rather, it’s tremendously inefficient. To put this in proper context, consider Everett Rogers’ world-renowned Diffusions of Innovations
theory. The scholar, sociologist, writer and teacher originated this argument to explore the increased prominence of the internet and how it has transformed the way people and businesses not only communicate but adopt new ideas. Rogers’ model features five groups of consumers, including: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.
Businesses still recruiting prospective candidates through the post and pray approach fall in the laggard category. Laggards are suspicious of change, set in their ways and “late to the party” in almost every respect. Conversely, innovators and early adopters are launching new ideas and highly respected as future-forward thinkers and role models. Today’s form of post and pray includes online job boards and career websites. Leaders may believe posting openings on job boards, social media engines like Facebook and LinkedIn, and company career pages are innovative and effective strategies—but in reality, it’s not nearly enough to fulfill the precise, challenging needs of companies already shaken by tightening bottom lines and competitors siphoning off quality talent.
Assuming applicants will not only stumble upon your job advertisements but meet your salary requirements, live in the perfect location, be experienced, and have zero non-compete issues is a pipe dream. Further, many businesses no longer have the internal resources to pinpoint and hire best-fit candidates; they no longer have the luxury of posting a job opening and waiting for the applicant to come walking through their door. As we move further into an era driven by budgetary restrictions and the need for efficiency, those who refuse to catch up risk being left behind by the competition.
In light of these industry challenges, many leaders are turning to RPO to reduce expenses while attracting and retaining a motivated and engaged workforce. In fact, according to a study by Aberdeen Group, Inc. in late 2012, more than half of surveyed businesses are currently investing in or planning to invest in RPO within the next several months. Effective RPO involves attracting the right talent, aligned with an organization’s culture
and objectives to create a competitive advantage. It involves creating talent communities to personalize communications and provide potential candidates with the depth of information they desire about the organization and position.
However, many RPO providers operate under the principle, “Give ‘em exactly what they ask for.
” If businesses request or have only ever known post and pray, rather than helping them transform, lazy RPO firms will continue to offer exactly that. Failing to truly capitalize on an RPO partnership can stick businesses in the mud of the laggard category. Innovative RPO is transformative, customized outsourcing performed by a strategic partner—one that recognizes the need to respond to new changes and dynamics and ensures organizations stay ahead of the curve.
To learn more about how Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation
model relates to talent acquisition and how HR leaders can pave the way toward meeting the risks facing all industries by staying ahead of the innovation curve, check out Pinstripe, Inc.’s recent webinar, Is Early Adoption Against HR’s Nature? Examining Innovation Adoption Models
—featuring the insights of China Gorman, HR thought leader and CEO of the CMG Group.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) continues to grow in prominence, as leaders across all industries seek to deliver better business results and position themselves to adapt to the always evolving landscape. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Aberdeen Group indicates 53% of surveyed organizations are currently or planning to invest in outsourcing relationships over the next several months. An additional survey conducted by Aberdeen suggests that human resources outsourcing delivers more strategic support while simultaneously providing the tools necessary to enhance day-to-day talent management—burying the perception that outsourcing is simply a way reduce the tactical burden on the shoulders of HR.
Despite irrefutable benefits of an outsourced partnership, there are still holdouts who believe out-of-site translates to out-of-mind; these holdouts also believe out-of-site partnerships lead to a general lack of control and transparency when team members are not working at the same physical location. For organizations enjoying the competitive advantages of an outsourced relationship, this perspective feels as archaic as refusing to embrace technological advances like email. However, there are a number of legitimate concerns in forming a successful out-of-site partnership that must be addressed through proper management. Like all relationships, a successful business partnership must be built around accountability, transparency into expectations, mutual trust, and credibility.
Effective RPO solutions deliver out-of-sight
outsourcing relationships by maintaining a customer-focused, personalized methodology. At Pinstripe, we do this by holding true to our WE BECOME YOU™
approach; we initiate relationship building by gaining insight into our clients’ objectives and style of work to ensure our teams deliver strategic consulting and recruiting services that are molded to fit perfectly within your organization. We become fully immersed in your culture and work seamlessly as members of your team to deliver the talent and analytics that will optimize your bottom line. Recognizing organizations’ desire for relationships built around accountability, we strive to be a highly renowned customer service organization
—bringing the focus on innovation and industry evolution to the best practices from organizations like Zappos and Southwest Airlines.
In today’s environment, the perception that out-of-site translates to out-of-mind is obsolete. Organizations must embrace the inherent strategic advantage of focusing on what your organization does best and partner with experts to elevate non-core functions to their very best as well. Business leaders that believe they can’t benefit from, or are unable to adapt to, an outsourced relationship risk falling behind their competitors.
So, the question you should be asking yourself is—Will your HR department sit on the sidelines while competitors recruit, hire and retain top talent, or will they move quickly enough to embrace the advantages and make an efficient out-of-sight
relationship their very own.
About a month ago, I heard author Dan Slater interviewed on NPR. Dan Slater’s new book, “Love in the Time of Algorithms,” explores the history and modern-day implications of the explosive growth of online dating, now a $2 billion business in North America. His book offers an interesting history of computer-aided matchmaking and an investigation into the mystery of whether science, with the help of a computer program, can actually predict love.
When I heard Mr. Slater interviewed on public radio, I naturally thought of all the possible RPO algorithm applications. It seems to me that it would be so much easier for buyers if they could go to RPOmatch.com or RPOharmony.com enter some data, have some automated reasoning applied and out comes their RPO service provider soul mate.
No more RFPs. No more site visits and lengthy presentations. The entire recruitment process outsourcing vendor selection would be completed by buyers’ and service providers’ profiles being connected through mathematics.
For example, if a Recruitment Process Outsourcing buyer entered the follow characteristics:
- Pure play RPO
- Financial Services Life Sciences, Healthcare, Technology and Consumer Brands industry focus
- Has exclusive TRM technology
- Loves challenges, directness and innovation
Then the algorithmic RPO service provider output would be:
I like everything about this revolutionary matchmaking method except, there would be no need for sales people anymore and I’d be out of a job.
Yeah, now that I think about it, RPO algorithms would never work.
Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
In January, Pinstripe, Inc. founder and CEO, Sue Marks
, explored in an article published by Talent Management Magazine
the importance of taking smart risks when establishing New Year’s resolutions—including steps to help HR drive innovation in 2013. As she explains, the increased rate of change across all industries has made the power to adjust with these changes more and more valuable. However, depending on where you look, somewhere between 70-95% of personal resolutions are destined for failure from the very beginning.
In general, this is because we set impossible goals, push ourselves
beyond our limits, or accept defeat at the first hint of failure. For example, empowered by an inebriated state on New Year’s Eve, people establish personal resolutions like vowing to give up the Mc-Whatever (with extra cheese), quitting smoking, or promising to put down the remote and pick up a book every so often. Whatever the commitment, we rarely hold ourselves accountable because failure can be excused with a simple, “I’ll get ‘em
For HR leaders and businesses, however, failure to achieve organizational goals is not an option. In the current economic environment, with competitors lurking in every corner of the market and the landscape continuing to shift without notice, it’s vital to set realistic yet challenging goals. But what’s the solution to our resolution challenges? The answer is accountability and, according to Sue, “Organizations need new insights to achieve growth, and must quickly adapt and respond to new dynamics as the business landscape shifts.” Responding to new changes or dynamics means taking steps such as:
- Fostering experimentation and collaboration
- Encouraging the courage to innovate
- Leadership holding themselves accountable for driving innovation
Check out the complete article, Add “Taking Smart Risks” to Your New Year’s Resolutions
, where Sue expands on the above bullet points and provides additional steps to drive innovation and talent acquisition. For leaders seeking to reassess goals established at the outset of 2013, the article can act as a barometer—helping leaders make sure their New Year’s resolutions are supporting a culture of growth, innovation and accountability.