*The post was co-authored by Marta Lachowicz and Zofia Chmielińska.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a service that has been one of the hottest trends in the world of recruitment for several years now. Quick support for recruitment processes, additional and specialized hands for work or hiring are the first things that come to mind when it comes to working in this model. No wonder that RPO is gaining popularity. But not everyone knows that RPO is not always just recruitment
Is RPO for me?
RPO literally translates to outsourcing the entire (or part of) recruitment process to an external partner. With this approach, we relieve internal HR teams of some or all of the tasks related to a given process or individual client's goals. When there is no HR department, recruitment, or advanced tools (e.g., ATS or an advanced LinkedIn license) in a company, RPO will definitely work because it will save the time and resources needed to build and train an in-house team. As part of RPO, our clients can be sure that their dedicated recruiter will be fully prepared for operational activities. Working this way also allows recruiters to effectively identify and overcome any blockers in recruitment processes, which translates into high efficiency and brings measurable results.
RPO w Bee Talents to synonim elastyczności. W naszej współpracy stawiamy na partnerstwo i efektywność działań w ciągłym podążaniu za aktualnymi potrzebami naszych partnerów. Zaawansowany sourcing, koordynacja procesu a może proces end to end (od sourcingu po ofertowanie) czy nawet dalsze wsparcie w onboardingu? RPO możemy dowolnie dostosowywać do sytuacji, potrzeb i możliwości naszych partnerów oraz do oczekiwań, które pojawiają się przy takiej współpracy. RPO z Bee Talents oznacza także współpracę z wyspecjalizowanym w dziedzinie IT rekruterem technicznym, bieżący kontakt z Team Leaderem i czerpanie know-how całego naszego zespołu. To również cotygodniowe raporty dotyczące prowadzonych procesów, statystyki, benchmarki i insighty rynkowe, które pomagają naszym klientom w podejmowaniu kluczowych decyzji.
When does ROP pay off?
The fastest and biggest successes are seen when the Bee Talents recruiter can closely work with the client's team. Here's what you need to pay attention to when deciding on RPO.
- End to end process (E2E) - by providing the recruiter with the opportunity to participate in each of the stages of the recruitment process, they have a much better perspective and can notice blockers (including potential ones that have not yet escalated) and suggest actions that will eliminate them, and thus streamline the process. An additional value of E2E processes is the possibility of accompanying the candidate from the very beginning until the end of the recruitment process, which allows us to establish a valuable relationship. This often turns out to be crucial at the offer stage and is beneficial for the partner. This also enhances the Candidate Experience and has a positive impact on the image and reputation of the company, while supporting Employer Branding initiatives.
- Contact with the Hiring Manager or other decision-making person is one of the necessary factors to correctly specify the key issues of the processes, such as the correct definition of the candidate's persona or the detailed scope of responsibilities for a given position. Ongoing contact between the Hiring Manager and the recruiter is also extremely important at the next stages after the start of the process. This way, we can introduce improvements during candidate selection (e.g. by confronting feedback with defined criteria), react more accurately to data and conclusions from weekly process reports, or jointly build tools, such as competency assessment cards - all this translates into a reduction in the duration of the process itself and favors budget savings.
- Joint meetings - the contact of the RPO recruiter with members of the client's recruitment team is just as important as the direct contact with the Hiring Manager. Thanks to regular, joint meetings (e.g. weekly status meetings), the recruiter has the opportunity to get to know the team, learn more about the division of roles and how work is organized, and thus more accurately respond to the client's needs (both visible and hidden). It's also a good space to better understand the organizational culture of a given company, celebrate joint successes, or ensure a regular exchange of knowledge, e.g. through creative sessions and brainstorms about blockers encountered by the team during recruitment. Advice from recruiters who have previously faced the same role is often significant support in finding a way to be as effective as possible. Being in constant contact with the recruitment team, the RPO recruiter is also up to date with various internal memos (e.g. recruitment needs, changes in the project).
- Access to ATS (or working in one common tool) - if the partner has its own internal HR department that actively recruits (or has recruited in the past) for the roles entrusted to the agency under the RPO agreement, it's worth thinking about giving recruiters access to internal tools supporting recruitment. Why is it an important element that strongly affects the efficiency of the service? Because access to the internal system also means access to historical information, thanks to which recruiters have the opportunity to apply the best-suited recruitment and sourcing strategies. By analyzing this data ourselves, we save a lot of time for internal recruitment teams that would have to find, develop and provide this data to us as an additional task on their to-do list. The positive impact of access to internal tools at the sourcing stage is most visible when it comes to the need to verify the sourcing database. The recruiter can quickly check whether a given candidate is/has already been in the recruitment process (e.g. whether they actively applied for a job ad). Then we focus on the Candidate Experience (a candidate who is already in the process or has recently dropped out of it will not receive a message from the recruiter encouraging the application), but also on sourcing pace. At the later stages of the process, access to tools and recruitment systems allows you to monitor and track the length of individual stages and to ensure that candidates receive feedback as soon as possible after the process ends. It also helps prioritize and plan subsequent tasks faster and more efficiently.
And what if our client doesn't use ATS solutions internally? We then provide the opportunity to work on our software at no additional cost! Bee Talents takes care of all the necessary tools on our side, guaranteeing effective pipeline management and formalities related to the GDPR.
- Continuous Feedback - being in constant contact with the Hiring Manager and other people involved in the recruitment process and providing feedback on an ongoing basis, allows us to efficiently respond to emerging doubts and prevent the formation of blockers in the process, and thus, in our collaboration. If, despite this, we encounter any obstacles on this road, then thanks to ongoing research and analysis of our client's needs, we create the opportunity for each other to act extremely quickly in a way that is individually tailored to the situation.
What's the point of wasting money?
We already know what we should take care of in the first place so that our rPO work brings the greatest value and the best results. So what can cause not using RPO's full potential, and how does it translate to the final result, where we waste money?
- Lack of access to ATS and communicators - although it's not a key factor in recruiting a candidate and successfully closing the process, from our experience we can see that the lack of access to ATS and communicators significantly reduces the pace of work and, consequently, extends ehiring time and increases costs. Without the ability to react quickly to the data provided by ATS, we build a long chain of dependencies and significantly increase the number of people needed to obtain the necessary information. What's more, when communication is hindered by the lack of access to internal tools, we get additional delays in making key decisions.
- Lack of access to data - this is one of the obstacles that is the main reason for the growing "to do" lists on both sides: the client and the RPO recruiter. Following the "time is money" principle, additional tasks are a factor that is not conducive to cost optimization. More people are often involved in the prolonged process (e.g. decision-makers), which makes it difficult for clients to use the independence, commitment, expertise, knowledge, and experience of our recruiters and Team Leaders behind them. After all, the decision to seek support under RPO is to a large extent an investment in these competencies, which bring additional business value, e.g. through optimization and simplification of processes and tasks. But to be able to introduce accurate improvements, it's first necessary to analyze data, often not only concerning factors that the recruiter can observe on an ongoing basis, but in the case of roles with constant demand or processes opened before the RPO collaboration, also historical data. If such data has not been previously collected by the client or access to it is impossible or significantly hindered, then the proposed solutions may be less accurate, and achieving the goal will take more time.
- Lack of contact with HM - it is also a risk of falling into the trap of cognitive biases at further stages of the process, resulting from the underdefinition of the candidate's persona or their scope of duties. It's then harder to overcome obstacles that affect the speed and efficiency of the process, including through a higher percentage of rejected candidates and extending the path to hiring the person most suited to company needs. Direct contact with people responsible for recruitment also allows us to minimize the risk of downtime in the process due to holidays or longer absences of people key to closing the process. Planning activities in advance, transferring responsibilities (e.g. in submitting and negotiating offers) and necessary information is a significant improvement, which may prove crucial when the candidate receives another offer at the same time and has limited time to make a decision. Another factor related to ongoing contact with Hiring Managers is the subject of feedback provided to the candidate during the recruitment process. Imprecise feedback, a long period of waiting for feedback, or worse, the lack of feedback has a huge impact on the Candidate Experience, and then the image of the company in word-of-mouth marketing. A recruiter who has the opportunity to build efficient and direct cooperation with the Hiring Manager has the opportunity to guard the quality and timeliness of the feedback provided, and thus positively influence Employer Branding among candidates.
- Lack of ongoing feedback - lack of ongoing contact also means lack of feedback regarding the quality of our cooperation. The lack of space to share what is going well and what is worth improving limits the possibility of adjusting the service to the individual needs of clients and the individual needs of Hiring Managers, and consequently does not allow the full potential of RPO to be used. The lack of feedback means more room for errors, spending extra time on fixing them, and unnecessary execution of individual steps in the process several times, which in turn means that we extend the time of the entire process. Feedback and space for its development allows you to immediately notice the aspects that require changes and reduces their growth. This is also the moment when the RPO recruiter not only clarifies the conscious needs arising from the process, but also helps to notice the hidden ones, which in turn is one of the greatest added values in cooperation in the RPO model.
Is RPO E2E really a saving?
The aspects listed above will turn into hidden operating costs because they significantly translate into the extended duration of processes and lower conversion of submitted offers into the number of employees.
On the example oftwo RPO projects carried out by Bee Talents at the same time for two clients from the financial sector, we can see that providing all the previously mentioned elements converts to as much as 4 times better results in ongoing projects.
The ability to operate on a common ATS, access to the necessary data, constant contact with Hiring Managers, who not only provided feedback to our recruiters, but also acted on the feedback provided by us, meant that we were able to expand the team of the first partner by as many as 16 people and therefore, the cost of employing a specialist is significantly lower than in the case of cooperation where these aspects were missing.
When deciding to work with a recruitment agency in the RPO model, bear in mind that its success and profitability will depend mainly on the client's approach. The recruiter's immersion in the internal structures of the organization, e.g. through participation in internal meetings, direct contact with decision-makers and other members of the recruitment team (if any), the use of current and historical data included in the ATS, and access to other tools, allows you to take advantage of the full potential of this service. This, in turn, translates into faster results both in employment and in streamlining internal processes. In addition, RPO recruiters have a chance to feel the true spirit of work in a given organization, learn and feel the most important values for it, and then pass them on to candidates, increasing the effectiveness of their search.
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that RPO with Bee Talents is synonymous with flexibility and it's still true. The decision on the final form of collaboration belongs to our clients, and we are a recruitment partner who can adapt to any situation and respond to the most urgent needs of the client as much as possible. In our daily work, we share knowledge, data and good practices of using RPO. Each RPO is unique and shows new opportunities for action, but our experience shows that there are several common points that accelerate joint success. And although at first glance the above-mentioned aspects may seem of secondary importance, in practice they have a huge impact on the quality of process management and make RPO the most effective, and thus - profitable.
If you would like to learn more about the projects we run and/or the solutions we can offer you to build an IT team in your organization together. Sign up for a consultation and let's chat - more: HERE !
*The post was co-authored by Marta Lachowicz and Zofia Chmielińska.