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The Collapse of the HR Department

SkeletonThe recession has impacted all segments of many companies, however, HR has been hit the hardest.  Those that have come out of this difficult climate have come to find that the new “norm” means doing more with less.

Doing more with less resources involves asking both management and staff to take on more tasks. Before the recession, most HR Departments included an HR Specialist. Their activities were related to one of the specific areas such as Benefits, Recruitment and Compensation. Since the recession, many companies have changed the role of the HR Specialist to an HR Generalist. These individuals have the knowledge and experience to handle a broader range of HR activities and functions.  

Companies with depleted HR resources that are looking for the latest in recruiting technology, tools and best practices can benefit from engaging in an RPO endeavor. This also means taking on the change management challenges and business leadership skepticism that can accompany such a major change in the/ones hiring approach. For those willing to adapt, clear benefits can be gained in terms of quality, cost, efficiency and flexibility – as long as the right service provider with the right cultural fit and competencies are selected.  The key considerations for HR executives evaluating an RPO include the following: 

  • Consider easing into an RPO engagement in phases or as part of a pilot: no need to do it all at once.
  • Focus heavily on your internal change management issues and seek the advice from others who have experience using an RPO.
  • Ensure a good cultural fit with the RPO service provider in order to have a true partnership. Make sure you meet the delivery team during negotiations and not solely the sales people.
  • Understand you will still need internal recruiting expertise to manage the endeavor.
  • Expect flexible contract terms and do not be afraid to discuss outcome-based options. Providers will be eager for your business, and it’s a buyer’s market.
  • Work with your provider to strike a good balance between their process and your desire for personalization and customization.
  • Look for a provider with workforce analytics capabilities.
  • Seek to optimize your social media strategy when you evaluate an RPO provider to ensure you are broadening your talent network.
  • Most buyers do not outsource 100% of recruiting. It is more common to include only a segment of the total hiring process often starting with high volume positions. Once you are comfortable with the process you can expand the scope.
  • Many providers specialize either in types of positions or industries; make sure to do your due diligence in understanding their capabilities.
  • Understand you are taking on a formal “outsourcing” arrangement and create service levels that support your business needs.
  • Focus on the true potential benefits that Recruitment Process Outsourcing can bring to the organization as the key determinants of whether it should be pursued. Avoid getting caught up in philosophical “corporate culture and ethos” discussions. Let the facts drive the decision making process.

Finally, take your time! Selecting the right RPO partner will ensure the best fit - allowing your company to maximize the benefits of an Recruitment Process Outsourcing engagement. 


This blog was written by Jennie Taylor. Jennie currently serves as an Operations Team Manager leading a virtual team of Yoh employees. Prior to managing the Yoh Field Team, Jennie served as an HR Specialist supporting a Yoh client in Greenville, SC.  She currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and 2 year old son.

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