A significant factor impacting today’s changing RPO environment is the evolution of technology. New niche talent management technology providers are constantly emerging. As these providers grow, they often attract attention from larger enterprise providers looking to offer a complete, integrated talent management platform. Just consider the recent acquisitions of SuccessFactors by SAP and Taleo by Oracle. With each new merger and acquisition, RPO providers must adapt their capabilities.
With a number of new solutions becoming more mainstream, like mobile applications, e-reference checking, digital interviewing and highly effective job fit assessments, it may seem like each new technology will bring greater efficiencies to the RPO function. For instance, digital interviewing can streamline talent acquisition by enabling recruiters to learn about candidates before meeting them in person and eliminate weaker candidates earlier in the process. When it comes to driving RPO effectiveness and business impact, however, technology innovation should be approached with caution.
New technologies can be promising, but not all solutions can offer a quick fix. For technology to truly make a difference, the provider must ensure that it applies solutions that work best for their own internal processes and bring maximum benefit to clients. That means the solution must not only address a key need, but it also must be supported by RPO and client resources who have the knowledge to understand its use and implement it successfully.
While technology has been able to streamline and automate many processes, it should be seen as a complement to recruitment strategies, not an end-all solution. RPO buyers are likely to be skeptical if the provider is unable to deliver a hands-on approach to guide them through the technology strategy. No matter how advanced an RPO provider’s processes or access to emerging technologies may be, the real value is derived from its ability to adapt and integrate these solutions for the individual needs of each client.
When considering an RPO provider, it is important for buyers to look for one that not only stays on top of the latest technology, but is also willing to work directly with clients to develop the right strategy for the business need. After all, technology solutions offer tremendous promise in many areas, but ultimately, talent acquisition is about people. It is up to the provider and the client to work together to translate the promise of innovation into the reality of talent acquisition success.