Newer RPO generations have made great strides by embracing the added value of streamlining their initial approach using modern technology as the foundation from which they build.
Early generations of RPO adopters were primarily looking at high volume savings. Nowadays, companies investing in RPO want and need something more valuable. Newer generation RPOs bring their technical expertise to provide more innovative talent acquisition solutions.
Kim Pope, Executive VP of Global Client Solutions with WilsonHCG, states, “RPO providers intrinsically add value when it comes to implementing new talent technologies, as they often partner vendors to beta test new technologies. RPO firms have deep expertise evaluating worth and can dedicate resources to stay up to date on technology new to the market.”
RPO firms can provide customized technology solutions that streamline and automate processes to improve recruiting initiatives.
However, when it comes to technology, the advancements facing leadership have been building for quite a while.
Recruitment with Technology
I spoke with Hary Bottka, the SVP of Global RPO & MSP Concepts with Randstad. We took a deep dive into how recruiting leaders need to view technology and the future of recruitment.
Bottka gives the advice, "We need to change our thinking about recruitment for the next generation that is more digitally adept, and wants to be interacted with in a different way.”
It sounds like RPO leaders have to build teams of hiring professionals that take action and build relationships by thinking forward. The more comfortable they become with the tech stack tools available to them, the better the relationships can be built with clients and candidates accordingly.
Bottka continues, "Recognize the digital influence of RPO and harness the power of technology to make the process more efficient and attract digitally savvy talent."
Randstad offers a two-part initiative called "Tech & Touch" that consists of:
- focusing on the creation of digital solutions, but with the human element playing a key role; and
- identifying gaps with technology and how the recruitment experience can be enhanced for the candidate and to influence scarce talent (highly critical.)
Bottka elaborates, "Using market information and data as part of the hiring manager intake meeting, is one way to help talent advisors. It helps hiring managers to make informed decisions about the skills available in the market and the potential cost to attract the right talent."
Innovative Technology Requires Resources
Today, the talent tech landscape is extremely crowded. Wading through the options for the best fit and building talent stacks adds additional challenges to the talent acquisition function.
Pope summarizes, “Because there is talent technology available for every stage of the hiring process, it can be overwhelming for in-house teams to find the time to wade through all the options.”
“Agnostic RPOs have the experience implementing multiple technologies and optimizing them for a variety of businesses,” Pope explains. “The benefits of AI-based sourcing tools, recruitment marketing automation, employee engagement platforms, and automated scheduling bots, for example, create a differentiator between organizations and drive candidate engagement.”
"Technology innovation in corporate talent acquisition teams is desired but not always able to move at the pace of the business, so a competitive advantage for the RPO provider is to have a solid CTO in place," says Erin Peterson of PeopleResults.
As a Global Talent Acquisition consultant, Peterson has been at the forefront of RPO evolution, and PeopleResults helps clients through the newest trends coming into the market.
Peterson adds, "As an RPO, you never want to be in a position of your client needing to ask, ‘why didn't you tell me about this new technology that could have helped us?’... RPOs need to be advisors as well as service providers. Strategic as well as tactical."
Pope emphasizes the importance of having internal technology resources within their team, “ At WilsonHCG we have a team dedicated to HR technology and this continual evaluation of the tech market adds real value to clients.”
RPO Provides Value-added Benefits Through Technology
Shouldn't we aim to make an organization more competitive by aligning business strategy with its technology? Absolutely, and RPO does just that.
"Technology consulting has become a service in itself and not just a value-add,” says Pope. “The shift we are seeing in the role technology plays in talent acquisition is bringing a new challenge for HR leaders. It is challenging for them to stay updated on the leading technologies, never mind dedicate time and effort to evaluating the potential ROI for each one.”
RPO enables companies to provide a faster, more efficient service to clients with the latest technology. Recruiters can conduct interviews and live screening, all by using voice or video conference calls.
Recruiting software used by RPO's today provides a better experience by putting together hiring processes that are more informative and fast.
RPO experts improve the speed of the process by discussing complex issues to find a resolution, rather than delaying a process. RPO, in turn, frees up corporate talent acquisition clients’ leadership to look at new strategy.
So, instead of spending time unnecessarily at the micro-level, corporate leaders now have a revitalized focus on the macro of improving best practices.
Thus, internal recruitment teams have more time to implement SLA's (service level agreements) for exceptional hires and diving deeper into the recruiting metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators).
As recruiting technology becomes more advanced, and RPO evolves, recruiters need to become more shrewd with the best recruitment software.
Improving the Candidate Experience
Through technology-savvy recruiters, the use of job boards is changing.
Peterson asserts, "RPO is not just a low-cost solution anymore." RPO market leaders now bring advanced TA tech options to help their clients exceed the expectations of the hiring managers and candidates.
Recruiters need to utilize software tools to the fullest capacity and not just post a job hoping for a response. Bottka adds, "Social media needs to be leveraged for job campaigns to better understand passive sourcing techniques better."
Maximizing social media might be a repetitive message, but not an irrelevant one. It's still a significant method to attract quality candidates.
Because of increased mobile usage, the majority of these job seekers now utilize a mobile device when looking for a new opportunity.
They have expectations that an employer's websites are optimized and synced with powerful apps. Now, end-users can utilize the full functionality of the recruiting software via a user interface optimized for the mobile experience.
RPO recruiters take advantage of these tools for the direct experience but, also it improves their storytelling ability and shows they comprehend how it improves the employer branding.
RPO Makes the Overall Process Better
Recruiting techniques are changing with technology, and so does the experience each individual has with their recruiter or recruitment team.
Bottka reminds us, “A typical RPO technology stack historically consisted of an ATS, but today solutions include CRM platforms, chatbot functionality, video interviewing, and much more.”
All of these tools and techniques, as mentioned above, are improving the talent acquisition process. We can see that an RPO solutions provide more than just better recruiting.
Peterson sums it up best saying, "Great recruiters recognize the privilege they have, being in a position to change the candidates' life. Technology plus empathy can make the experience better for everyone. Know the best recruiters are empathetic and make the process a better experience."
Improving recruiting practices with technology solutions while providing exceptional experience to hiring managers and candidates is a new shift in RPO solutions we can expect in newer RPO generations.