What does outsourcing have to do with recruiting?

February 2nd, 2011

My blog really covers a multitude of topics… leadership, culture, sales & marketing and talent acquisition. But one area I do not often write about is the industry I work in. My company, CBI Group, is in the recruitment solutions business; the staffing industry. To most, this is the land of headhunters and images of the old Kelly Girl temporary. When I was starting out at Placers, a temporary agency, I was blessed to work for a pioneer in the industry, a staffing industry Hall of Famer. As I was cutting my teeth learning to sell, lead and build a culture, Placers was building a reputation for doing new things in the world of staffing. The company had a knack for doing two things well: establishing close relationships and building trust. These two things put us in the room with customers to hear and discuss their problems, opportunities and unique challenges.
After twenty years, first at Placers and now at CBI Group, we have solved enough recruitment problems to find that there tend to be core problems. As these problems change, we adapt our business units to solve those problems. Feedback from our customers put us in the recruitment outsourcing business. And as our products have evolved, an entire Recruitment Process Industry has emerged and flourished. Recruitment outsourcing is that misunderstood field full of acronyms and phrases like MSP, VOP, Managed Staffing, project staffing, BPO and RPO, just to name a few. This new industry is saturating the marketplace and people are asking, “What is RPO? And how do I know if my business could benefit from it?”
Here is the industry definition of Recruitment Process Outsourcing, or RPO:

“When a provider acts as a company’s internal recruitment function for a portion or all of its jobs. RPO providers manage the entire recruiting/hiring process from job profiling through the onboarding of the new hire, including staff, technology, method and reporting. A properly managed RPO will improve a company’s time to hire, increase the quality of the candidate pool, provide verifiable metrics, reduce cost and improve governmental compliance.”

This definition is good but I think it requires the addition of some fundamental thinking. Staffing services can truly augment your company efforts. They complement your recruiters or your managers with the effort of putting the right staff in place. Working with a temporary or search firm are exactly that. RPO, however, is a managed service. An RPO firm takes on the recruiting process, technology and owns the outcomes. The last part is crucial. Outcomes are the costs and time commitments that it takes to get the recruitment work accomplished as well as the ownership of making recruitment better in your business.
If you’re thinking, “should I be looking at a managed staffing solution?” – a good place to begin is to answer three “simple” questions:

    1. Is your recruitment process working?
    2. Are you maximizing the productivity gains of your or someone else’s technology for recruitment?
    3. Are you getting recruitment results that fit your goals and strategy?

I am very curious about the outsourced recruitment trends that will unfold in 2011 and I’d love to hear what you think too. Send your links, articles and comments to me via the email on the CBI Group contact page.

One Response to “What does outsourcing have to do with recruiting?”

  1. Recruiting Solutions for Peak Hiring | The CBI Group Says:

    […] you’re thinking, “this is too much for us to handle, let’s outsource” — then you may consider an RPO solution to meet the needs of a new office, new product, […]

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