Selecting a Tech-Savvy RPO Partner

Research from Aberdeen Group tells us that companies using RPO partners are about “40% more likely to establish an effective talent pipeline for their open positions.” That’s in addition to being 17% more likely to build a top-quality workplace compared to companies not leveraging an RPO partner. And though strong endorsements for the power and efficacy of the RPO model, not all service providers are created equal. There are more than a few variables to consider in selecting the right partner, particularly when it comes to their use of and experience with technology.

For starters, the hiring process continues to evolve, incorporating additional systems and solutions that demand expertise and sophistication on the part of the user. Take artificial intelligence as an example. Five years ago, AI was largely unheard of in the recruitment process. Fast forward to today, and it seems to be about the most frequent topic of discussion, even if capabilities and deployment remain somewhat nascent. HR Technology Conference and columnist Steve Boese highlights that “In an AI world, humans become more important, not less.” The same holds true of RPO partners.

PREMIUM CONTENT: RPO Global Landscape Summary 2019

Of course, AI is just one example of the myriad of technologies available in the recruitment process. Beyond overall hiring know-how, RPO partners provide additional benefits to their customers by combining people and process with technology and data, says Lamess Abourahma, executive director of the RPO Association. Some RPOs excel at the first two while others, intenselysteeped in the technology space,have already negotiated vendor relationships, a boon to customers who would otherwise have to manage this process on their own. Instead, the RPO partner takes the lead, ensuring a seamless candidate experience across technologies, from application to assessment and everywhere in between.

There is also the issue of all the data that technology collects. In another study from Aberdeen Group, analyst Zachary Chertok points out that “As subject matter experts in sourcing and recruiting based on where internal metrics meet the outside metrics of the general market for talent, RPOs are in a unique position to guide the transformation of talent strategy.” Looking specifically at talent acquisition versus performance management, Chertok underscores the insights RPO customers gain from their respective partners, able to analyze the numbers, make recommendations and execute accordingly.

All of these attributes factor heavily into the selection process, as again, not all RPO service providers demonstrate their tech-savvy capabilities upfront. Instead, you need to ask hard questions about the technology they bring to the table and whether it’s proprietary or not. If you’re planning to use an existing digital platform, what’s their level of comfort and experience with your technology? What about integrations? How can you expect to receive and leverage meaningful reports? Study their answers and propose follow-ups as needed. Repeat until satisfied, knowing that hiring goals haven’t changed – even if everything else has, especially the technology.

Michael Wachholz

Michael Wachholz
Michael Wachholz is president of the Americas and the global head of contingent workforce solutions, Alexander Mann Solutions. He joins Alexander Mann Solutions with extensive industry knowledge and global expertise in talent acquisition and CWS.

Michael Wachholz

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