Leveraging an RPO to Innovate Learning and Development Initiatives

office-1209640_640The real value of partnering with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm comes from its consultative delivery enabling the betterment of both the talent acquisition function – and the organization. These companies offer more than just sourcing and recruitment services; their holistic approach to improvement touches every aspect of the organization. RPOs know that companies with robust learning and development programs attract the attention of top candidates and help organizations prepare for future talent needs.

Learn how you can benefit from an RPO partner taking a fresh look at your learning and development initiatives – and how it will improve your employment brand and, therefore, help you attract high-quality talent.

A fresh perspective

RPOs have depth and breadth of experience working with a wide variety of companies, in a range of sizes and from different industries. Through these relationships they have gained the expertise of building better talent programs through learning and development initiatives. RPOs have seen it all! They are able to introduce new tools and technologies, such as learning management systems, as well as bringing new trends and strategies to the table for consideration.

Beyond partnering with you to design the actual learning and development program that’s offered to employees, they will show you how you can leverage your efforts to attract more candidates. A strong training offering can be a boost for your employment brand and should be a central focus for your recruitment marketing strategy. Candidates want to know they have the potential for growth at your company and being able to clearly see that through a vigorous training program allows them to visualize their future.

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An additional benefit of working with an RPO partner is its ability to forecast the functional needs of your organization and pipeline for those future openings through strategic workforce planning initiatives. Creating learning and development plans that help bridge the gap not only prepare current employees for what’s coming but also attract candidates who may be interested in working for your company in the future.

To stay ahead of the competition in attracting top talent, your RPO partner should conduct market research to assess which skills may be needed in the short-term and long-term. It can determine which areas you will want to strengthen to be prepared for your company and industry’s future. A training program that aligns with these future needs will attract the right candidates long before you need to fill a position. This will have your company well-positioned to court the most qualified candidates.

Executive team to set the example

RPOs are experts at change management, so let them be an advocate to your executive team to innovate your learning and development program. Being close collaborative partners with stakeholders in effecting change throughout the organization, they will be able to share a holistic plan for improving the talent acquisition function that includes learning and development initiatives. A top-down approach to show the importance of continual training helps set the tone employees adopt toward these programs.

Evaluating your learning and development initiatives regularly – and with an eye toward talent acquisition and retention – will give you an edge over your competition. These programs are where smart strategic workforce planning begins. Remember, an RPO should be more than just a recruitment partner; it should be a strategic and holistic talent consultant and advisor.

MORE: Benefits of RPO beyond cost savings

Craig Sweeny
Craig Sweeny is VP of client solutions, Wilson HCG.

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