Category: Recruitment Process Outsourcing

3 Thoughts for RPO in 2015

January 28th, 2015

Guest Blog Spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

ID-100263020After a very encouraging year of employment data in 2014, there’s excitement for this year’s labor market, and in turn, hiring. With just under 3 million jobs added last year, we can expect to see the surge continue in 2015. With that said, how can RPO providers be prepared for increased hiring going forward? And who needs help? Let’s take a look at a few trends to help prepare and embrace the changing landscape of employment.

Technology: Supporting an RPO engagement with the right technology is becoming increasingly important with the rise of predictive analytics and capturing big data. It might be cleaning up and getting the most out of your ATS, or identifying inefficiencies in your direct sourcing tools. Keeping on top of new technology can go a long way to keeping your customer engaged, involved, and committed to the partnership.

Information Security: Sometimes it’s just about what’s going on in the world that identifies a growing market. With the recent security breaches throughout the retail and financial industries, IT security has become an ever expanding role, and is furthering its reach to greater markets, including healthcare, and protecting private patient information.

Healthcare: As an RPO provider, developing expertise within a specific industry can be a great way to attract new clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for healthcare practitioners is expected to grow 31% by 2022. Attributed to new healthcare legislation and the 10,000 Baby Boomers who are turning 65 every day, the BLS also indicates home health care employment will surge just under 60% to almost 2 million jobs in that same time frame.

It’s easy to see that the 2014 employment situation has created momentum for 2015. There’s new strategies, more jobs, and growing industries contributing to an improving job market. As we see these changes, talent acquisition strategies must adapt. In the next CBI Way blog, we’ll look at the effect 2015 will have on sourcing top talent, and where sourcing is headed.

*Image courtesy of

CBI Way: What’s Your Sourcing Strategy?

December 3rd, 2014

With a difficult requisition, sourcing usually requires a new strategy, unless its a position you or your team has worked previously. Sourcing is tactical. It takes critical thinking and an overall strategic focus to be efficient. But what goes into developing an effective sourcing strategy? Let’s discuss a few things to consider when tackling your next hard-to-fill requisition.

ID-10049952By this point in the process, you should have an excellent grasp on the position details, summary, requirements, and the ideal candidate. Additionally, knowing the focus of the client’s strategy is key, be it a long-term or short-term recruitment strategy. As discussed often, constant and open communication with the client is also essential.

Now it’s time to start asking yourself some questions about the ideal candidate you are searching for while executing your strategy. Where would this person be engaging with other industry professionals? Whether it be social media, networking events, associations, publications, etc. Where would you most likely find your candidate “hanging out”? Identifying these outlets is going to go a long way in determining what appeals to and gets the attention of passive candidates.

This part of developing the strategy can lead to approaches you may not have originally established. It is going to be much easier to productively promote and market the opening when all of the outlets most frequented by target candidates are identified and investigated. However, mapping out locations of ideal candidates is just one of the steps to developing an effective sourcing strategy. Check out the next CBI Way Blog where we’ll continue to discuss putting together your approach to sourcing for a hard-to-fill job.

CBI Way: How RPO Affects Your Brand

November 5th, 2014

ID-100221395Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

The CBI Way series has been discussing the value and importance of strong candidate engagement, and just as important, customer engagement. We spoke to some of the problems that are created with a lack of engagement, such as poor time-to-fill and loss of qualified candidates. Also discussed were a couple tips for curving weak engagement between partners, a daily or weekly meeting, for example. But what about the customer’s brand and reputation when it is outsourcing talent acquisition?

Working in an RPO partnership, the provider is essentially an extension of the customer, which cannot be forgotten. Think about it, the designated recruiters are reaching out to candidates and other professionals on behalf of their customer, even when just networking. While actively recruiting, the brand the candidates hear isn’t the provider’s, but the client’s, the business with the open requisitions. If the candidate feels overlooked, awaiting feedback, not only might he or she lose interest, but the customer’s brand and reputation can be negatively impacted.

Constant communication and alignment is essential to prevent any negative impact that could occur. Commitment to asking questions about the requisitions, company culture, and an equally strong effort from the client can be the difference between success and failure. Gather as much information as possible that can be applied to the job, company, and hiring process during the recruitment efforts, ultimately creating a better candidate experience.

Again, RPO is a partnership, and a commitment to the process and its many layers can be the difference between a frustrating situation and an efficient, brand-building placement.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.


CBI Way: What About Customer Engagement?

October 8th, 2014

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Last month, CBI Way brought attention to the problems a lack of candidate engagement can create, especially with millions of job openings. Well, you guessed it, reported by this month’s BLS Job Opening and Labor Turnover report, there were even more (predicted) job openings on the last day of August. Up to 4.8 million, the number of open jobs has an effect on a candidate’s potential options, and reiterates the importance of steady candidate, and customer engagement.

ID-100264594Client engagement can sometimes be overlooked, but in a partnership, active communication can set you apart from other providers in satisfying critical metrics with the customer. Established guidelines in the Service Level Agreement for feedback, timelines, and continuous improvement can be negatively impacted without making sure the customer is fully engaged. A daily or weekly meeting between the two partners is a great way to keep the customer informed, and reiterate the need for quick and thorough feedback.

It’s not difficult for a candidate to become uninterested in an opportunity, or simply think he or she is out of the running, especially passive candidates. That candidate engagement is directly altered by the feedback and turnaround by the customer. As a candidate, would you feel confident after waiting twenty days for feedback following your initial conversation? All parties involved are hurt by poor engagement; with money, quality talent, and ultimately, success, among the casualties.

Diagnosing problem areas or identifying needs for change can also be supported by great communication and commitment. In the next CBI Way blog we’ll identify some of what could go wrong, how to prevent, and if needed, how to resolve problems in an RPO partnership.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.


CBI Way: Improving RPO with Metrics

June 11th, 2014

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Throughout the last CBI Way blog, we examined the importance of setting the partnership up for success with thorough guidelines for the duration of the engagement. A significant part of the guidelines mentioned related to measuring success with key metrics and reporting of that crucial data. While a few metrics for a successful RPO were discussed, every partnership is different, and there are certainly a number of ways to support success.

ID-10082598When “Teeing Up Success”, the metrics incorporated can vary and may not be traditional. We cannot improve what we are unable to measure. Therefore, choosing the correct metrics for your partnership can drastically improve the process and flow of an RPO engagement. Allowing certain areas of focus to grow along with the partnership can only help both parties’ main objectives be successful. For example, source of candidates is decisive for improving any recruitment solution. Not seeing the same number of quality candidates that were originally presented? It is easy to take a look at the sources from which the best candidates were obtained, whether job board or a more passive candidate approach. If tracked and reported, that data can help alter the sourcing strategy to become more effective.

There are number of metrics that could be tracked and reported to help improve any lapses in efficiency and effectiveness. Time between steps of the RPO process is another example that is hard to overlook. This could be the number of days between kick-off and hire, or submission date to interview day, and many more. Reporting the duration between the key points in a recruitment cycle can help identify where a gap in the business may lie.

Metrics and reporting give you the capability to not only provide your client, but also your own internal team, with data that can translate to improvements in the project. And as discussed in our earlier CBI Way blogs (Building Blocks of RPO Solutions and Post-Implementation Success), the flexibility to alter, change, and then improve the partnership is one of several benefits or advantages of an RPO solution.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

Boiling Down the State of People in the Clinical/Scientific Industry

February 24th, 2014

Jobs and People by the Numbers

BioScience-Job-GrowthBased on the numbers in our infographic below (scroll down to take a look!), we know that number of jobs in the Clinical/Scientific Industry have been increasing, predicted to be at 97% of peak levels in 2014, and also anticipated to continue to grow through to 2022 by 10%. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) occupations will continue to remain center stage, with more than one in four employers (26%) planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months.

We also know that clinical/scientific jobs are at the top of the list of skillsets for which employers need help finding qualified potentials. And that 60% of CFO’s say it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today.

Finally, when it comes to workers, we know that more professionals are seeking new jobs in 2014 than they have been in prior years since the recession. While various sources present drastically different percentages of workers that will look for a new job this year, they report that in 2014 the percentage is greater than it has been since the recession. Our sources also note that workers are more optimistic about the outlook of the coming year.

CareerBuilder states that, “A drop in job satisfaction may account for the expected rise in turnover.” The percentage of workers that are satisfied with their jobs dropped from 66% in 2013 to 59% this year; and those that are dissatisfied rose from 15% last year to 18% in 2014. The top reasons cited for dissatisfaction are salary (66%) and not feeling valued (65%).

So, how can we boil all this down?

At the Outside-In® Companies, we see these numbers in action daily while serving our customers in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries. More companies are hiring for positions so demand is high, which makes recruiting quality candidates more difficult. With this shortage of people, companies have to be creative in their recruiting. So taking advantage of the positive outlook both c-suite executives AND workers have for the coming year, how can employers identify and win over great candidates?

Here are five tips for your company to consider:

Marketing Your Company: Workers may feel optimistic about the coming year, however they won’t take the decision to jump jobs lightly. Your company needs to market itself to potential candidates so they become aware of who you are and what makes you so great. Understand that this is a long-term investment, that changing the market’s perception of you will take time and you won’t see the pay off immediately. In many cases, the market doesn’t know about you, doesn’t know much about you, or they think negative things about you – so focus on increasing your brand’s awareness and generating a positive impression on people so they want to work for you.

Beef-up Your Employee Referral Program: Your employees already work for you for one reason or another, which makes them some of your best assets! Encourage your people to bring their friends on board – they are likely to have similar interests and similar values that will fit in with your culture. You can encourage employees by simply asking them to refer people they know for current openings, but also consider how you can “pay” people for their efforts. Many companies offer bonuses when employees’ referrals are hired, or when the person sticks around for 6 months. Good employee referral programs are often the top source of hiring!

Perk Up Your Benefits: Sure, people may be considering switching jobs this year, but with salary and “feeling valued” at the top of the list for dissatisfaction, they need to know that they will be getting better benefits in a new job. How does your compensation compare to your competition? How does your culture recognize its people? “Offering frequent recognition, merit bonuses, training programs and clearly defined career paths are important ways to show workers what they mean to the company,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. In this market, the candidates are calling the shots – so what do you have to offer them that is shinier than what they currently have?

Consider Temps and Independent Contractors: The Bureau of Labor Statistics released on February 7th that there were 2.78 million contract and temp workers in the temporary help services industry in the U.S. 2.78 million is the largest number of temps in the workforce ever. More workers are pursuing contract work or being independent consultants, so consider bringing quality candidates in as independent contractors. The world is going temp, so this is likely a good option for bringing in the best people for the job.

Location, Location, RELOCATION:
With a shortage of quality applicants and trouble finding the right people, your company might want to consider relocation. By expanding your search outside your geographic region, you can easily increase your candidate pool. You’ll want to look back at tip #3 to help convince people to make such a move to work for you, but it’s probably worth it so you don’t have to keep scratching your head looking at the same resumes again and again.

Infographic – Presenting the Numbers

Building Blocks of RPO Solutions – Post-Implementation Success

November 19th, 2013

Over the course of a couple months, our RPO blog series has taken us from detailing benefits and types of Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions, through best practices for full implementation. In between, we discussed the “building blocks” of a solution; including, identifying the business challenge, developing a specific project solution, and establishing a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Once implemented, the RPO engagement may be primed for success, but working to ensure sustainability and maintain progress through the partnership is imperative.

As discussed in CBI Way: Building Blocks of RPO Solutions, the SLA is vital for maintaining and improving efficiency and quality.  The SLA defines the performance measurements, services, expectations, and guarantees for which each partner is accountable when engaging in a recruitment process outsourcing project.  As a reminder, additional details for a project’s SLA include:  key metrics, communication plan, and roles outlined with responsibilities. Specifically, reporting can undoubtedly help determine how the process is progressing and where there is room for improvement. Another benefit of staying true to the SLA’s reporting of key metrics is having the ability to gain, as well as provide, strategic insight into the current recruiting process.

human-65931_640For example, a report by the vendor detailing how many candidates were sourced, screened, submitted, and interviewed, can be utilized to analyze time-to-fill and quality of sourced candidates. Showing an area of the process where the numbers are low with perhaps a less than favorable ratio of sourced candidates to interviewed candidates would be very valuable. A poor ratio would detail a needed improvement in quality of the candidates initially sourced, possibly revisiting the sourcing strategy. As part of that improvement, routine meetings with hiring managers must continue to be an integral part of preserving a successful engagement. Communication is fundamental to keep both parties informed and accountable as the project continues to move along.

An RPO relationship that is properly managed and maintained after implementation delivers a customized component to the recruiting process that can be invaluable. Continued communication, reporting, tracking, and anything detailed in a properly planned SLA can also help educate both parties, further increasing the chances of a smooth, productive, and beneficial RPO partnership. With a clearly outlined business challenge, detailed project plan, well-planned Service Level Agreement, and continuous improvement after implementation, there is a much higher probability of a successful RPO engagement.

CBI Way: Building Blocks of RPO Solutions

October 16th, 2013
Guest blog spot by Alex Patton, Sourcing Specialist


Building Blocks of RPO Solutions: Implementation

RPO-BuildingBlocksIn our previous CBI Way blog, featuring The Inside Scoop on Building RPO Solutions, we discussed the first two steps of building an RPO engagement; identifying the business challenge and building the recommended solution. After clearly defining these two steps, the specifics of the solution along with pricing details are presented to the client in the form of a proposal. Included in the proposal is a pricing strategy, which takes several factors into consideration, but most importantly the customer’s budget and the expected Return On Investment (ROI).

Once the proposal is reviewed, if there are no revisions needed, both the client and RPO vendor sign a contract which signifies their agreement to become partners. The contract signing can occur as quickly as twenty-four hours upon proposal review or as late as six months thereafter. The timeline depends on the magnitude of the contract and urgency of client’s need or other factors influencing the clients business.


With all contract details ironed out, the attention turns to full implementation of the solution. A Pre-Implementation meeting is normally the first initial meeting that is held between the RPO vendor project team and client stakeholders. The outcome of this meeting is to collect all the relevant facts and documents from the client, which will assist the RPO vendor in developing a detailed and thorough implementation plan.

Implementation Project Plan

Once the implementation project plan is finalized, it is presented and discussed with all the stakeholders, often consisting of the Hiring Managers, HR Director, Recruiters, Talent Sourcing Specialist and Talent Acquisition Director. The project plan outlines the deadlines and accountabilities for the tasks which must be completed in order to achieve successful implementation.

Included in a detailed implementation project plan are:

  • Recruiting process workflow
  • Communication plans
  • Talent sourcing strategy interviewing process
  • Key metrics
  • ATS administration
  • Onboarding
  • Background checking
  • Continuous improvement processes

Of course, the details will vary based on the type of solution being implemented. When all particulars are finalized for the project plan, they are then developed into a Service Level Agreement.

Service Level Agreement

A Service Level Agreement is a document describing the level of service expected by a customer from a supplier that also lays out the metrics by which that service is measured. The SLA is meant to provide detailed expectations and ownership for the components of the project plan listed above. Elements such as time-to-fill, feedback turnaround, and expected metrics and deliverables are common articles throughout an SLA. The Agreement is used by both the RPO vendor and client to measure performance and areas for continuous improvement for the duration of the project.

Implementation – Go Time

Once the SLA is signed, the recruiting solution is implemented with all parties assuming their responsibilities in managing the project and ensuring optimal success. The implementation process of an RPO solution can take anywhere from one week to ninety days, depending on the scope of the RPO engagement. Successful implementation requires dedicated and detailed planning, and although difficult to be perfected, it can be achieved.

>>Stay tuned for our follow-up blog which will address what happens after the solution is implemented.
To read the previous blog, The Inside Scoop on Building RPO Solutions click here.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.


CBI Way: The Inside Scoop on Building RPO Solutions

September 18th, 2013
Guest blog spot by Alex Patton, Sourcing Specialist


RPO-SolutionFor many companies, of all sizes, talent acquisition can be the most difficult business process. Common challenges include the attraction of quality applicants, low quantity candidate pools, and less than desirable cost-per-hire metrics. If you find yourself stranded or unsure how to tackle any of these circumstances, it may be a great opportunity to consider Recruitment Process Outsourcing, a form of Business Process Outsourcing that is defined and discussed in the previous CBI Way blog, “What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?”. After the decision to work with an appropriate vendor is made, the next steps in the RPO process can begin to formulate, collaboratively and effectively.

Identifying the Business Challenge: To begin assembling an appropriate and custom recruitment solution, the business challenge must be identified, whether more comprehensive or exceptionally detailed. Often, a collective meeting or set of meetings between client and partner to help determine the challenge take place, to better understand the task at hand. Once articulated, the business challenge will give way to what the client expects as a successful solution.

This could be the necessity for 15, 50, or hundreds employees for the expansion of another territorial branch, like a recent project for our team. A well-established hospital in Florida came to CBI Group to build a solution for the challenge they faced: hiring a staff of several hundred doctors, nurses, and therapists to provide care within a new health campus that was being constructed. Or, you may have an ongoing process for routine, expected recruiting but need to reduce time-to-fill and hiring costs, while improving quality of candidates. In truth, a company’s business challenge could vary significantly, which suggests why a custom and creative solution can be vitally important for success.

Building the solution: With the complicated and diverse nature of recruitment challenges, the RPO vendor has a tough, yet essential obligation to create a custom solution that has the best chance of successful integration for the client. As discussed in “What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing”, there are several solution options that can be provided, including: Project RPO, Partial RPO, a Full RPO solution, or a combination of all three. Flexibility, created from collaboration during the building of a solution, is the most advantageous concept of creating a custom approach after identifying the business challenge.

In the project mentioned above with a widely-respected hospital in Florida, CBI Group and the client worked together to build the right solution; partnering to identify key talent to on-board, which could support the extensive recruitment project. This included: identifying a physician recruiter, three healthcare recruiters, and two recruitment coordinators. In most cases, several solutions are generated from a “blank sheet of paper” in order for the client to contemplate options that may not be initially considered.

There is undeniable complexity throughout the talent acquisition process, but it is hard to interpret any part more important than the dependence a successful solution has on a clearly identified business challenge. With the challenge determined, and business solution creatively built by the RPO partner and client collaboratively, the RPO project is close to launch; stay tuned for the next steps of an RPO engagement!

>>Check back next month when we continue the discussion on building RPO solutions.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

Talent Acquisition is a Science.

July 13th, 2011

Talent Acquisition professionals are misunderstood. Generally, recruiters are rebellious. We color outside the lines and come and go when we please. Often times, this freedom is misinterpreted. Our work can be considered soft, simple, easy. But frankly, we never stop recruiting. We work at night and on weekends and there is science behind the mysterious, magical quality of our work.
We often hear things like, “I don’t know how you do it, but can you get me another one just like Mary (or John or whomever).” It is this mystery and ambiguity that makes our work seem more like art than true science. I have managed more than 1,000 recruiters in my career and I can share from experience that only a few are born to recruit. Those that are born with it have some common traits. They are naturally curious, they care about people and they have the energy of the “Energizer Bunny”. They go, go, go 24/7 and they move mountains for their customers. They make it look easy, when it is not. This work ethic, curiosity and personality can get you started but it takes great science to be a good recruiter.
The trouble with the science of recruiting is that there is not one standard formula. When it comes to hiring, our clients respect education and certifications. There are CPA’s, MBA’s, RN’s, EE’s… you name it, these certifications and degrees are a symbol of excellence in a particular field. But how do you know when a recruiter has reached a certain level? That they know, understand and excel in their field? For recruiters, it is not as cut and dry. We learn by doing and sometimes we are lucky to have a good mentor show us the way. We can take some course work or get an Internet certification, but we do not have certifications that translate. Have you heard of CPC or CTS? Probably not. I have had both, but now they mean nothing.
All we do is run Internet searches or review our databases. Right? This misunderstanding of our profession means we aren’t typically viewed with strategic importance. We are rock stars for a year. We are homeless the next. Our expertise is necessary during certain times of a business cycle like growth, acquisition, new product or business unit launches. But we have to be creative with our skills to show our value in down times of the business cycle.
Our customers see outcomes (the people we hire, the requisitions that aren’t filled) not process. They don’t care about things like sourcing or behavioral based interviews because they need what they need when they need it. But take a minute to think about the people on your team. Would you hire them if it were up to you? How would you find the right people to build the best team? With enough thought I think you’d agree that people are really the science behind the strategy — and good recruiters are the science behind it all.


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