7 Golden Rules of Successful RPO for Banks and Financial Services

by Michelle (Shelly) Wallace Johnson

RPO Leader presenting the benefits of Recruitment Process Outsourcing

“Competition to attract the type of talent your business needs is coming from all sectors—it’s no longer possible to simply talk of an FS [financial services] talent market as boundaries are now increasingly blurred, if not non-existent,” according to a report from PwC. With the U.S. unemployment rate at a record low, competition for top talent remains at an all-time high. In addition to the tight labor market, financial services are challenged by digital disruptions that require changes in the operating models, changing consumer needs and expectations, and regulatory shifts and security concerns. PwC states, “As financial institutions’ business models evolve, they’re really going to have to think differently, and that means hiring and developing people with vastly different skills and views.”

In “A Common Sense Guide to RPO for Banking and Financial Services,” Chicago-based RPO company TalentRISE states, “New approaches for hiring are needed not only for traditional banking and financial services jobs, but also new emerging roles in quantitative analysis and Artificial Intelligence.”

Although these are not the only changes within the financial services industry. “ According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official unemployment rate for the Finance and Insurance sectors is hovering at 2.4 percent, while Banking industry rates are slightly higher at roughly 4%.” The talent shortage is not just a people shortage, but also a skills shortage. Digital innovation has created a change in talent that many executives are anticipating. In an article by Don Bergal, he states “ 78% of banking executives believe their workforce is going to change considerably in the next 3–5 years as a result of digital business trends.” It is the talent acquisition team and the organizations’ executives who would determine the appropriate solution to these changes.

Partnerships are on the Rise

An option that is gaining speed amongst the banking and financial services industry is utilizing a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company. “RPO solutions can, for example, scale hiring to quickly address new opportunities, M&A transactions or help deliver digital innovation.”  An RPO can customize a program for your organization's specific needs. TalentRISE tells us “many forward-thinking organizations of all sizes, specializations, locations and focus are considering flexible, customizable RPO solutions that can be integrated into overall talent strategies. Outsourced or internal shared service recruitment solutions can provide the necessary hiring support structure to select and hire the talent they need— when they need it.”

Things to consider when evaluating an RPO, whether to fully outsource or co-source the recruiting efforts, remember these three things: quality, speed, and scale. The quality of a candidate from an RPO is strategically sourced for best-fit, saving money with the cost of turnover. The hiring time is reduced due to the technology and efficient process design they use. An RPO can create a talent pipeline in advance of need. Finally, an RPO can scale up in times of hiring surges or for specialized roles, even emerging in new markets. Creating and maintaining these partnerships can save the organization time and money.

7 Golden Rules

Once the organization has decided to utilize an RPO, there are seven golden rules for the banking and financial services industry to follow for a successful partnership. These rules are based from the eBook from TalentRISE.

  1. Be present at project setup and implementation.
    The goal for the RPO project team and the internal stakeholders, for example human resources and hiring executives, is to get on the same page.

  2. Respect the role of the service delivery manager.
    This person is a talent acquisition expert that has oversight and accountability over the RPO engagement.

  3. Invest in the partnership.
    You cannot achieve ROI from any relationship unless you are willing to invest time, and resources, into making it successful.  Both human resources and senior financial services and banking executives have to ‘buy in’ and do their part to be successful.

  4. Immerse the RPO team in your culture.
    The better the RPO team understands and is a part of your organization's’ culture, the better candidate they can bring to the table.

  5. Establish expectations and manage meaningful metrics.
    Don’t just look at the typical recruitment measures. For example: cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, and interview-to-hire ratio. Look at turnover, being understaffed or overstaffed. These have business impacts on the bottom line.

  6. Be flexible and adapt accordingly.
    There are simply too many variables that impact talent needs—by turnover, by role, by geography and in the light of regulations and innovative new technologies—to make workforce planning little more than an educated guess. By working with your RPO to anticipate some of these changes allows for a stronger and more successful partnership.

  7. Communications and training.
    Communications should include all people within the organization about the reasons for the change, the benefits they will achieve, and how the RPO may change the way they work.

Following these seven golden rules for recruiting from TalentRISE’s eBook will allow the RPO partnership to deliver the expected results. Find out how TalentRISE delivered in the Speed Case Study in this eBook as well as a few others. If the partnership is built on a common trust and all involved work together the RPO can reduce overall business costs in terms of recruiting.

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