It’s an all-too familiar stage in the business cycle when we experience periods of expansion after a period of economic downturn; your company is going through a notable stage of growth or change and you’ve enlisted the expertise of an outsourced recruitment provider to help deliver your recruitment. Having spent a considerable amount of time contemplating, assessing and then implementing a Recruitment Process Outsourcing function into your business, things should just slot into place, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as that. To gain maximum results from such a relationship, it needs to be mutually tended to and cared for, otherwise it will simply wither into just a well-moulded transactional recruitment model.
One of the key elements which needs tender loving care is the relationship between the RPO and each hiring manager within the business. People tend to have conflicting views in regards to processes and strategies; just because the HRD and/or CEO has bought into the RPO model does not necessarily mean that every hiring manager shares their view. This resistance can be due to a multitude of reasons but needs to be addressed early on in the partnership to prevent it from damaging the recruitment process, candidate experience and overall employer brand.
First and foremost, a strong alliance must be formed between HR and the RPO provider in order to quash internal resistance. Being incorporated into the HR team will solidify and clarify the importance of the RPO function as well as its place within the business. This level of buy-in must be encouraged from the top-down, so it is the duty of decision makers to help HR understand why the RPO has been introduced and how the two can work together to make more efficient and considered hiring decisions. A united front is far more withstanding than the “us vs them” attitude that can be bred when an outsourced business is brought it, and should be fortified by conducting joint meetings, sitting in the same departmental area as other and a general display of working in unison rather than as two distinctively isolated functions.
The general thought as a Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider is that you have been enlisted to provide industry specific knowledge and insight into the recruitment strategy, process and day to day sourcing. You are often working alongside seasoned hiring managers who have gained experience recruiting their own team and who hold strong opinions on how to approach each hire. These opinions can be highly valuable and when used in conjunction with the RPO’s methodologies can make for a smoother and timelier hiring process. However, there are times when these opinions can be formed for the wrong reasons and are not always the best approach. Listening is key here and understanding the reasons behind such opinions. The RPO should be submitting reports and analysis of similar roles they have worked on in order to illustrate the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the process being used.
Consistent and detailed communication is the last point to touch on and something that will help solidify a strong relationship with hiring managers. If a particular role is taking longer than expected to be filled, this needs to be addressed. One of the most damaging things an RPO account manager can do is lose contact with the hiring manager. The process should be discussed, difficulties should be transparently outlined and updates in the form of reports and analytics should be submitted on a regular basis to ensure that everyone is pursuing the right avenues.
These are just a few of many things that can build a strong and successful partnership between an RPO and hiring managers and the initial efforts early on in the process will make for a more productive and successful recruitment function in the future.