TO “RPO” OR NOT TO “RPO” ……. Is that the question?

With RPO trending, organisations are grappling with the need to find the RIGHT candidate at the RIGHT time, across all levels, in the most cost effective manner.

As time progresses, it takes along with it the opportunity to evolve, grow and challenge the status quo. Business has been / is most probably the most committed passenger and will remain so. Through each leg of transformation – whether it has been mechanical, information and cyber, the people aspect in the form of talent hiring has also undergone quite an adaptation. The diminishing, skilled labour pool (mostly due to “retiring Baby Boomers and a shrinking millennial generation”) has forced Local and Global businesses to proactively relook their workforce strategies.

As a result, various channels of “people supply” entities have continued to grow in numbers providing innumerable forms of recruitment conduits, niche skills and variety of sourcing and attraction strategies in order to meet the supply of an ever-increasing demand for bespoke skill. Every organisation is seeking to hire “the RIGHT person”. No longer does business compete for the best skill on a national basis, but now also has to contend with Global enticement.

Approximately a decade ago Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) was introduced as a “bolt-on support” to Human Resources so as to reduce cost, create efficiency in terms of reducing time to hire and still have the luxury of the vast catchment of recruiting capability.

As the uptake of RPO grows at a moderate rate in South Africa, it is a decision that needs to be taken based on understanding and considering the following factors;

  • The Hiring behaviour will need to change considerably. For this to be successful it would require the C-suite’s total buy in and for them to support (in some instances drive) the change management process.
  • Success measurement is critical. A clear tracking of ratios must be mobilised i.e.
    • screen: interview;
    • interview: hire;
    • hire: fit (this may also include candidate & manager satisfaction) and
    • fit: tenure
  • Technology plays a very important role. An Applicant Tracking System to record the duration and virtuousness of the process. This allows business to measure internal performance & external performance, thus providing information to strive toward continuous process enhancement.
  • Change Management is imminent. It will require business – in terms of Line Management at all levels, to realign to the new recruiting process. They would be required to remain engaged in the process as they will be the entity that will provide cultural connection to the prospective hire.
  • This type of model usually requires an upfront infrastructure investment, and in some instances an ongoing management fee. Hence careful deliberation around ROI derived from such an investment would need to be considered.

So whilst business may continue to grapple whether to RPO in conjunction with their internal HR Function, there are real challenges that still remain.

“How is the RIGHT candidate enticed to your organisation? Will outsourcing the process assist?”

“How do you RETAIN THE RIGHT EMPLOYEE and develop their skill to bridge the ever-widening succession gap?”