December 29, 2015

Let’s Give Recruitment Process In-Sourcing A Try

I’ve had the chance to work with several clients ranging from start-ups to established, big brands. One constant I’ve noticed is the negative connotations of the word "outsourcing."  Outsourcing is not a bad word, and it’s not a bad concept. Yet, it has a bad reputation. Tough way to start a relationship considering the business unit I lead includes said bad word--- Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO).

But, what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if the solution was more focused on driving value through relationships and accountability? What if the solution felt like an extension of your culture, and as a result, helped you hire, and keep, great people? That’s what a RPO model should feel like.

When building RPO relationships with clients, three things strike me as critical to ensuring we aren’t written off as a bad word.

Culture. Value / Differentiator. Results.

Culture: While this may be a not-so-popular reference for our firm's headquarters contingent in Columbus, OH, Jim Harbaugh made one of the biggest culture changes to the Michigan football program in 2015; and he did it in 60 minutes – well not quite it was 15 hour-long practices to be exact. His players knew that they had to change the culture to be successful. As recruiters in a new relationship, we need to make a cultural change as well.

With the increase of social media and networking resources, internal recruiting has evolved to a virtual solution for many organizations. So how can we adopt a culture in a remote relationship and more specifically, how do we do that as an outsourced model? As recruiters, we’re always selling. Sometimes we’re selling a title change or financial increase, but more and more, culture is what gets the candidate to listen.

As an outsourced solution, it is imperative that we invest the time to get to know our clients. Despite being remote, be visible. Pick up the phone versus always using e-mail. Use every opportunity to engage with employees to understand what makes the clients’ culture so unique – and ultimately why great talent should come be a part of that culture. Live the brand, values and goals – the candidates and clients will thank you later. And unlike with Jim Harbaugh, this may take more than 60 minutes of practice.

Value / Differentiator: I had a chance to sit in a new business presentation a few months ago where the client asked how our solution was different and what value she would get from using us versus the competition. This was it; the moment we’ve been waiting for, right? While every company has its own value proposition, it’s important to be authentic when communicating how you’re different, much like how we will ultimately do with candidates about why our client is different.

An RPO should feel like a true extension of the company. Process will always be part of the solution in an RPO, but knowing the client’s needs and being able to tailor a solution, is a critical value-add when building an RPO partnership. Same goes with candidates. Knowing the company's values and goals, and being able to communicate authentically to future employees, is a must.

Results: “Sometimes you play winning football, but don’t get the results.” Case in point, (another Michigan reference, but one that my Ohio faithful might be okay with), Michigan is up by two points against Michigan State earlier this football season. All the Wolverines had to do was successfully punt on 4th down, a very common football play, and they win the game. Oops. Fumble. Returned for a touchdown. Game over.

Or when there were three seconds left and a tie game for my Cleveland Browns (if you’re wondering how I am a Michigan fan and Browns fan, connect with me on LinkedIn, I will tell you the story). A field goal wins the game, at home, on Monday Night Football. Oops. Blocked. Returned for a touchdown. Game over. (P.S. I am finding that talking about these disappointments helps the healing process).

It is the same thing in recruiting: sometimes the unthinkable happens. Despite all the work you’ve done, endless hours of closing the candidate--sometimes it’s just not meant to be.

The important lesson here is that we can learn from both positive and negative results. Of course, the negative results should be the exception, but talking about each result with the client helps create a level of trust and breeds new strategies when handling future situations.

The people business is not a perfect science. However, successful recruiting organizations must produce consistent results, provide value to key stakeholders, and ultimately help create a culture that ensures success now and in the future – even if it’s an outsourced model.

Tags: RPO, recruiting

Mike Muzi

Being easy-going isn’t just an aspect of Mike’s personality, it’s one of the reasons he’s so successful as a leader of the RPO practice. His solid, even-keel approach instills confidence and consistency between our clients and the delivery of their services.

A former Division I athlete, Mike is both a fierce competitor and a dependable teammate, always championing the need for collaboration to achieve the best solution. Mike will do anything for his clients and his teams, from giving an honest assessment, to solving a problem, to supporting an individual’s growth.

Since joining TSP in 2008, Mike has led the RPO team producing volumes ranging in scale from 30-600+ hires per client annually. He has been instrumental in building teams responsible for delivering metrics-based results across both full-time and temporary positions for clients in the US and Canada. Prior to TSP, Mike recruited for and led a branch of Robert Half International. Mike holds a Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University.

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