RPO Adds Value to Your Total Talent Solution

by Joshua G Rodriguez

Smiling total talent team because of the value RPO brings to total talent

The contingent workforce continues to grow, and organizations are having to manage a mixture of permanent and temporary staff. In 2015, contingent workers (contractors, freelancers, and other non-permanent workers) made up 18 percent of the total workforce. This number is expected to more than double to about 40 percent in 2020. What do organizations do to attract and hire all types of workers in a holistic manner? In comes total talent solutions.

This article acts as an introductory guide to total talent through the viewing glass of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). With so much information to cover regarding this topic, we decided to divide it into a two-part article.  

We’ll answer a few questions throughout this piece. What is a total talent solution? What is the role of an RPO provider in a total talent solution? How can total talent solutions be applied at a global level? 

Stay with us throughout this exploration as we will share insights and first-hand perspectives from a few distinguished talent acquisition leaders.  

What is a total talent solution? 

Total talent solution (TTS) is most commonly described as a blended program of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) into a single customized solution that helps organizations hire all types of talent—no matter the worker classification.

From permanent to contingent workers, better ways to identify talent have become tricky. It can become even more of a challenge when you throw in freelancers, payrolling, and statement of work (SOW) suppliers.  

Now we can see there are many components of traditional and contingent workforce needs that can benefit from one consolidated solution-or a total talent solution. Besides, having technology that accommodates total talent needs can provide a competitive advantage to organizations. 

TalentLink, for example, is proprietary software developed by technology leader, Saba. It manages both applicant tracking systems (ATS) as well as vendor management system (VMS,) in the first software of its kind, enabling companies to hire all types of talent. 

Andrew Brown, Global Head of Partners and Alliances Talent Acquisition with SABA, resolutely expresses:

“The goal should be to provide hiring managers with a total view to talent no matter the type of contract, enabling the hiring manager to view all talent pipelines and to identify the right skills for the right work requirement. Technology should make life easier for everyone and allow contributors to do their jobs better.”  

We could not agree more.   

What is the role of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) in a total talent solution? 

Recruitment process outsourcing is a strategic talent acquisition solution that enables organizations to align their recruiting needs with business goals and results. In a total talent solution, recruitment process outsourcing providers (RPOs) guide their clients on talent strategies for their permanent workers, which in most cases, comprise the largest part of an organization’s workforce. 

Ryan Baca, Vice President of Denver-based TTS company About talent, says RPO contribute value in three distinct areas:

  1. expertise in the recruiting process, technology, and metrics; 
  2. measurement in the form of service level agreements (SLA’s) and key performance indicators (KPI’s); and
  3. scaleability which supports recruiting ebbs and flows seamlessly.

Corrine Ripoche, President of Pontoon Solutions, a global TTS provider, describes the approach of total talent as “the 360-degree view of client needs.” Not an easy task to accomplish when executing multi-continent deals of global talent acquisition strategies. 

Ripoche recommends three essential drivers for a successful total talent solution:

  1. technology--using technology to attract talent effectively and seamlessly;
  2. candidate Experience--Providing a positive experience that impacts talent retention; and
  3. forward-thinking--Considering talent needs today and in the future.  

As Ripoche alluded to, a key differentiator of RPOs is their ability to elevate the user experience for all people involved-be it the candidate, hiring manager, or recruiter. When applied in a total talent solution, this positive experience expands to all parties involved. It starts with RPO recruiters identifying candidates with the best skills and culture-fit, accurately providing classifications to hiring managers, and making the process much more fluid for the MSP’s and their suppliers. 

RPO partner showing TA leader the value of recruitment process outsourcing to total talent

How can total talent solutions be applied at a global level?

As Brown explains,

“The global skills shortage is driving companies to reinvent the way they look at talent by breaking down the traditional barriers between their permanent and contingent workforce. Technology is allowing companies to bring traditional siloed-hiring practices, providing them with insight across their total workforce, enabling them to make informed strategic decisions.”

Brown continues, “combine this with an evolving workforce, driven in large by the rise in the gig economy, RPO’s and MSP’s must evolve their services to address the shift toward a total talent strategy.”

RPOs familiarize themselves with modern regulatory recruitment structures and allocation. In collaboration with local experts, RPO providers help determine how to cater to specific bylaws and how to be mindful of diversity needs and employer branding while moving into new territories. When selecting an RPO provider, look for a provider with a good culture fit with your organization and experience in total global talent. 

This is why an RPO can help assess the cultural fit of an outsourced talent model for your organization and strengthen international talent management. “Lest we forget” to mention cost-control aspects and substantial reduction of typical agency fees associated with adopting a global program.  

Recommended: RPO Communication: Global Challenges of “Speaking Business”

In part two of our total talent exploration, we’ll dive deeper into the total talent subject. We'll speak to additional talent acquisition leaders to uncover its value. Total talent becomes a hot topic as we continue to ask questions and inspire thoughtful dialogue.

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