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Trends in recruitment process outsourcing: Prioritizing pipeline

In our travels, we are fortunate enough to speak with many in executive leadership positions who are looking to improve the process by which they source talent into their organization.  What we can report is that most of these leaders report a recruiting environment that has been significantly impacted by the ‘new age’ of engaging talent.  This new landscape is complex and carries with it greater risk to employment brand, and more importantly, expands the very definition of employment brand to be far more than just the creative and copy on career sites or job postings.   This reality is a part of the driving force behind one of the recent trends in recruitment process outsourcing – greater focus and prioritization of candidate pipelining.

Over a year ago, I first wrote about the employment narrative as being essential to the development of a social media recruiting strategy, and while the focus and prioritization of candidate pipeline isn’t solely a social media recruiting strategy, the two are intrinsically connected.  Why?  Because to effectively engage the candidate marketplace, a well developed and accurate story of employment with the organization must be not only accessible to the target candidate, but easily broadcast and shared.   Candidates want to know exactly what the employment life cycle is for an organization.  Consider this list of questions:


    • What is it liked to be recruited by your company?
    • What is the interview process like?
    • What resources are there to turn to gain information about the team that is recruiting for the position?

    • What is the process to get a new employ swiftly settled into their new gig (aka on-boarding)?

    • What is the time frame to 100% productivity?

    • What support is provided to a new employee to reach full productivity?

    • How well defined is the career trajectory within the organization.
    • What opportunities will present themselves to employees that will allow them to advance their abilities and their career options?
    • What is the culture of the organization?
    • How does the company treat its alumni?
    • How are employee alum speaking of the company?
Candidates are asking these things and the advent of nearly ubiquitous digital social communication provides them access to the answers.  The company needs to be the provider of what qualifies as valid answers. It is not that this narrative has necessarily changed radically over the course of the past five years, but rather that the access to the employment narrative and the manner in which it has been communicated has changed radically.   Therefore the importance of having the narrative well defined and easily communicated has risen.

This is exactly why there is so much focus placed on candidate pipelining today and why it is one of the four major recent trends in recruitment process outsourcing.  The time frame of sourcing so that the candidate pipeline is filled has grown by at least 18 months ahead of actual demand.  Organizations must establish a presence in the appropriate talent communities in a passive way that doesn’t merely focus on sourcing and placement, but rather serves the community at large.  This service focused approach must be one of providing insight, data, and perspective to the community.   It must answer the common career oriented questions of the community, it must provide valuable advice for helping individuals select their professional and personal development efforts, and must be oriented towards providing access to the employer side of a talent community.

How does this translate into an RPO trend?  Simply put most firms, even the ones that realize this new landscape, are limited in knowing where they should begin.  Or in other words, they don’t know what they don’t know.  This is why they seek help and turn to recruitment process outsourcing organizations for help.   Finding the correct answers and more importantly, implementing the resulting process will have a positive impact upon any company’s ability to increase the quantity and quality of the candidate pipeline.

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