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Gain Control of Soaring (or Sinking) Hiring Demands

Rules-of-Engagement-137741-editedWithout warning, boom, it happens! You’re slammed with more job requisites than you know what to do with. HR is already stretched thin (did someone say ACA?), and your talent acquisition team doesn’t have the bandwidth or experience to handle this many open fills -- now what? 

In part one of this two part blog, we discussed how to forecast hiring trends in your organization to mitigate scenarios like the one mentioned above. Even the best workforce planning cannot account for sudden changes to the business; such as a company acquisition or closure. In part two, we are going to explore your options for scaling your workforce to align with your most current hiring needs as well as key considerations for selecting the best solution. 


Option A – Hire an Outside Recruiter

One option is to hire an outside recruiter to fill positions. Typically, HR or the Hiring Manager calls a professional staffing provider to request a specialized contract recruiter.  This contract recruiter can be hired on a project basis (just to fill this one-time need), to keep headcount and budget as is, or depending on the staffing provider, be brought on as a full-time in-house recruiter down the road.

While the initial investment and risk of hiring a contract recruiter is low, depending on the number of job orders and the degree of difficulty, so might the reward. An outside recruiter may be just what your company needs to fill a handful of positions. However, if you are watching your hiring managers and/or internal Recruiters rely heavily on outside staffing agencies to fill your specialized roles (Finance, IT, R&D, Engineering, etc.), and your recruiters are managing upwards of 30 or more open jobs - project based or RPO recruiting is a more cost-effective, results-oriented solution. 


Option B – Project Based Recruiting

When significantly scaling your workforce up or down, finding a recruiting solution that drives down the total number of open jobs while instilling control to a chaotic environment should be the top priority. As discussed in part one of this blog, if your talent acquisition team isn’t properly aligned or performing at optimal levels, you need to consider a more robust solution to keep up with the demand. 

Project based recruiting is a type of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) service that can satisfy this need. One of the prime advantages is that it can scale up or down with your organization. Take for example one Yoh client in the life sciences industry. With over 29,000 employees worldwide, Yoh was brought on as the exclusive RPO recruiting partner to assist with sourcing and recruiting well over 300 fills per year.  Budget, company culture and improving the existing recruiting process were the three factors that drove this particular client to select a project based Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solution (versus a full-scale RPO program).

The RPO recruiting team started by evaluating each aspect of the HR team’s recruiting and hiring process. They provided best practices and recommendations to quickly optimize recruiting output.

Examples of the RPO services used include:

Program Management of External Hiring Process

Applicant Assessment

Candidate Sourcing 

Management of Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Employment Branding Development

Reporting and Metrics

Administrative Tasks; Reference Checks, Newsletter, etc.

While the demand subsided over time, both internal and external recruiters continued to work hand-and-hand on new initiatives to improve the various aspects of the company’s recruiting process; such as upgrading and optimizing the client’s ATS, continually identifying new areas to yield additional cost-savings, and reporting on and improving hiring metrics.

How to Select the Best Option

Become a sophisticated buyer. In the case of the life sciences client, they recognized their biggest hurdle was filling a high number of specialized positions. Therefore, they primarily evaluated professional staffing agencies with experience in their industry.

Another important factor is preparing the organization for change. Recognize there is an issue within the department, and be prepared to handover some recruiting aspects to an “outsider.” Often times, the best RPO programs fail because the client doesn't trust the RPO provider. By setting realistic expectations and being fully transparent with the provider and your team, you will ultimately set the stage for a successful RPO program.

There are several articles that point to the fact that your Recruitment Process Outsourcing agency should be looked at as a partner, not a provider. While it’s difficult to let go, it’s important to recognize that today’s recruiting landscape is changing at a rapid rate. Technology, global expansion and shifting demographics of our workforce population are at the root of the evolution, and show no signs of slowing down. By raising your hand and admitting not that you have a problem, but you are operating at a disadvantage, should send a signal that you are in control of recruiting, and now, it’s time to up the ante.

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This blog was written by Katie Duffy. Katie is a staffing and recruiting professional with more than 15 years of experience in corporate staffing and consulting services. She currently serves as an RPO Director for Yoh and leads a full RPO engagement for a global agribusiness company. Katie’s expertise spans operations management; large account development and management; developing and implementing talent strategies; start-up experience; recruiting and resource management; and management of professional recruiting staff.

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