With the exponential growth of Recruitment Process Outsourcing, recruiters should be enjoying lots of potential RPO job opportunities. And since the average recruiter spends more than 40 hours a week on the job, selecting the right RPO provider is very important to your career and life.
So how do you decide the right RPO career move? What are your criteria? How can you differentiate one RPO employer from another?
The following are five (5) crucial items you need to know about your next RPO employer:
1) What is the company's short and long-term plan?
With my extensive exposure to RPO service providers, I’ve learned that most RPO companies have a short term revenues goals, but lack a long-term strategic vision and plan. The majority of firms find it acceptable to be almost exclusively driven by the market versus trying to influence and shape the industry. One of the things I appreciate about Pinstripe is our clearly defined long-term business strategy and how our executive team readily and frequently shares the information with all our team members.
2) Are you and the company a culture match?
Almost all recruiters I know believe that recruiting is a valued profession and talent acquisition is a critical, strategic business function. However, some RPO firms have commoditized their services so much that any opportunity for recruiters to think “outside the box” and find creative solutions is frowned upon. In the world of RPO, there are providers who give their recruiters the freedom to add additional value and there are other RPO companies just looking for a “small cog in their large wheel.” In my opinion, culture often trumps strategy. Decide who you are, figure out the RPO Service Provider’s culture and choose wisely.
3) What is the company doing about training and development?
Smart RPO companies invest in their employees (both onsite and virtual) and offer a number of ways to continuously learn and develop—not just for your current role but for the role you’d like to have in the future. In my position, I interview lots of recruiters from our competition and have learned that many RPO providers are rushing so quickly to keep up with new accounts or expanding accounts that recruiters are just thrown into the “lion’s den” with little to no initial orientation and virtually zero on-going training. Over the past several years, Anne Bucher, my colleague, as built out a comprehensive “certification” program that every recruiter receives as part of their Pinstripe and client on-boarding process. Sometimes this impacts the implementation and transition timeline; however, long-term it improves recruiter success, job satisfaction and employee engagement (and ultimately clients get better results).
4) What are the opportunities for career growth?
Growth doesn't always mean a new position, it could mean a developmental assignment, a mentoring relationship, joining company employee resource groups or volunteering in the community. However, in regards to internal mobility, Sue Marks, our CEO, shares all promotions and internal moves on a monthly basis. She does to help our employees understand potential career paths, improve retention but most of all to recognize and celebrate employee achievements
5) What are the people who already work there saying?
Nothing is better than hearing first-hand how an employee already with the company has grown throughout his/her career. And since recruiters like to network and talk, it shouldn’t be hard to gather information. . This type of “unofficial” endorsement should be an essential part of any RPO career move.
The key to selecting your RPO employer is simple. Don't just take any job; be discriminating.
Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
As 2011 was coming to a close, I sat down and made a list of my 21 RPO observations from the previous 12 months. However, since I never blog over 500 words (a self-imposed rule), I reduced my list by two thirds to just 7 key observations.
So here are my top 7 RPO Observations for 2011:
- A group of RPO service providers talked a lot about total workforce solutions, but buyers were still mostly looking for standalone RPO offerings. In 2012, this should continue to help RPO service providers whose core product is Recruitment Process Outsourcing.
- One of the most frequently asked questions of 2011 was about our recruiters and whether they were employees of Pinstripe or just contractors. All of Pinstripe’s recruiters are employees; however, I learned that, unlike Pinstripe, a majority of RPO firms are leveraging significant numbers of contract recruiters. This contractor “situation” results in higher recruiter turnover, less program continuity and greater hiring manager frustration.
- More potential clients asked for a cost per hire fee model is 2011. In addition, they also wanted us to ensure program reinvestment and resource continuity. I spent some significant time (successfully) explaining that a combination of fixed and variable costs can be the most optimal pricing structure for driving reinvestment, continuity, results and return on investment.
- A major acquisition was completed by a large payroll services/human resource management organization. It seems this move will help them compete in some bundled HRO deals; however, the transaction may not benefit them as much in the Recruitment Process Outsourcing only deals. I’m watching this one closely as 2012 unfolds.
- If a RPO provider was not measuring up, then incumbency meant very little last year. With many 1st generation RPO contracts expiring in 2011, companies that went back out to RFP had clearly decided that RPO was the right solution; however, they also decided that they needed to find a new service provider.
- There was both more talk and more actual global and multi-national RPO deals in 2011. In addition, any service provider who said they can do it all themselves globally without partners, lost credibility in the marketplace. RPO buyers are getting more and more sophisticated and their due diligence is leading them to more credible solutions.
- The RPO market grew tremendously in 2011 and soon there will be a lot of press releases about 2011 results. As you read these announcements, please note that any service provider extolling their 10% or 15% or 20% or even 25% revenue increases, should also mention that they did not keep pace with overall industry growth by 10% or 15% or 20% or even 25%.
In conclusion, I perused of a lot of year end reviews about books, movies, restaurants, sports, politics, etc… and a frequent topic of discussion was whether or not it was a “magical” year.
So in your opinion, was 2011 a “magical” year for RPO? For me, it was really interesting but never quite reached the “magical” level.
Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow me on Twitter @bddiamond
Post contributed by Barry Diamond. Follow Barry on Twitter @bddiamond
However hot this summer gets, it won't beat this story….
More than 230 years ago, around 1775 at the Royal Society in London, three very prominent gentlemen -- Sir Charles Blagden, doctor and chemist, Sir Joseph Banks, botanist and explorer, and Dr. Daniel Solander, naturalist and explorer, -- decided to conduct a heat experiment inside a small room. An experiment to find out how much heat a body could stand.
Those experiments began with the room at 210 degrees. One by one, the team entered the room, reported it unpleasantly hot but bearable. So they made the room hotter. Eventually, they got it up to 240…well above the boiling point of water.
Sir Charles Blagden stayed apparently eight minutes at 240 degrees, and afterwards, he felt he could have actually stayed longer.
The key to their success: Sweating…Profuse sweating.
When you sweat, and then the sweat evaporates, that act of evaporation pulls heat away from your skin. When water on your skin turns to gas, the heat gets removed. So you sweat some more, then there's more evaporation, and as long as you keep up this sweating, evaporating, the air right round your skin never gets too hot because evaporation protects you. And that's what keeps you from burning or boiling.
Similarly, RPO firms have adapted to dealing with “hot” situations. It is not uncommon for us to implement a new account and then suddenly have the thermostat cranked up with substantially more open requisitions. Fortunately, the leading recruitment process outsourcing organizations have their own RPO sweating mechanisms that they rely on. Our capacity is much greater because we have the resources and knowledge to withstand the heat.
Here are Pinstripe’s top five (5) top RPO sweating mechanisms:
- We are accomplished at using technology to enable our dedicated services to expand appropriately without sacrificing results.
- We use accelerated services, with respect to such hiring components as candidate inquiries and background checking services, to alter the recruiter workload more towards actual recruiting and less on administrative transactions
- We train our people to deal more effectively with stress and difficult situations so they are more productive and less likely to boil over
- We sweat the details up front during implementation so there are far fewer surprises and issues for service delivery later on
- We adapt and change because being subjected to extreme conditions indefinitely is not sustainable and everyone eventually runs out of perspiration
So, if you’re like us, embrace RPO and remember to hydrate cause there’s a lot more RPO perspiring ahead.