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Employee engagement: The key to success in an RPO relationship

A few weeks ago, there was an article in USA Today, "Workers eager to job hunt as morale plunges." The article highlighted some recent studies. First, from MetLife. The 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends found that one in three employees hope to find a new job within the next year. This could be a direct result of the findings from the second study, this one from the American Psychological Association. This study found that four in 10 employees report that a heavy workload, unrealistic job expectations and long hours have caused them stress.

I've seen a lot speculated about the "real cost" of turnover for an organization. Although "Small Business Tips to Help Analyze Employee Turnover Costs" from Monster refers specifically to small businesses, I believe the themes echoed by John Rossheim reflect the turnover costs for businesses of any size. There are a lot of hidden costs associated with the turnover of employees, in addition to the serious strain this puts on an RPO partnership in general.

Why is that? Because client organizations have made it clear that they depend on their RPO partners to hire the best recruiting talent available. Then, client organizations strive to immerse their RPO partners on the company, and develop them as subject matter experts on the company they are hiring on behalf of. In essence, these RPO recruiters become an extension of the organization, and must be able to speak clearly to its employee value proposition, mission, and vision. Plus, the RPO recruiter has to develop and nurture relationships with an organization's hiring managers. For example, in order to fill the most difficult placements, recruiters must spend countless hours figuring out the intricacies of managers' preferences.

Therefore, when turnover happens within that partnership, serious stress can be placed on other members of the RPO team to "pick up the pieces" and fill the shoes of the person who is exiting. For this reason alone, RPO companies must strive to keep employee satisfaction high.

This can be done in a number of ways, including: enhancing employee engagement, increasing opportunities for visibility and advancement, developing continuous training, and maintaining excellent communication. Companies who outsource their hiring needs have to have the utmost confidence in their RPO provider and the provider's ability to not only recruit on their behalf, but retain the top talent working within their partnerships.

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