In-house recruitment teams have many competing pressures. Budgets are stretched, yet reducing metrics such as time and cost per hire, whilst improving quality and relevance, are constant targets. Many specialist roles are becoming difficult to fill, requiring more in-depth sourcing or creative matching. Candidate expectations of the experience they get when applying and interviewing for a role are heightened, with review sites offering the opportunity to share their impressions.
The optimum structure of an in-house team is much debated. Sourcing, researching, consulting, and selection and assessment skills have always been necessary. To this, we can now add requirements for data mining and analysis, social engagement, workforce planning, skills analysis and employer branding. As recruitment fits seamlessly into the ongoing suite of talent management processes, so the recruitment team becomes more involved with on-boarding and orientation, and career and succession management. As always, for bringing these new skills into the team, the question is whether to insource or outsource. Grow the internal capability or look at external collaboration.
There is a middle ground however, through flexible use of RPO teams. The early wave of providers were often engaged to do the heavy lifting, reduce costs and remove parts of the internal recruitment function; and sometimes to replace it completely. Now though they are often bought in as a flexible extension to the internal team, sometimes providing expertise in an area where experience is light, or taking on a project thereby freeing in-house recruiters to focus on specific targets. Some specific examples might be running a graduate recruitment function, offering a search capability for senior roles, or a specific project requiring a quick, volume solution such as a new site or function.
The RPO can now also look at a wider remit than purely resourcing and support the overall talent management journey. One key area is on-boarding. Current HR practice is for this to start during the recruitment process, and certainly well ahead of a new employee starting. An RPO can take over the pre-employment checking and vetting procedures, and create an online portal to enable a new hire to start their initial learning, whilst make connections within the new business, offering a consistent experience across a large organisation. Similarly, they could offer a holistic approach to internal mobility and alumni communities and support on diversity.
So what part of their remit should an in-house team outsource, and what areas could they benefit from a partnership arrangement?
At February’s Inhouse Recruitment Expo you’ll be able to hear Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of award-winning RPO The Curve Group, talk about how businesses such as hers can offer a flexible extension to internal recruitment teams, helping to free up part of the recruitment budget to help towards attraction, retention and branding. The Curve Group have been recognised as a ‘Best RPO Provider’ and in 2015 were also identified as one of the Everline Future 50 Most Disruptive UK Businesses. During the Expo Lyndsey will also present a masterclass on how to unlock contractor value and reduce risk in your contingent workforce, both pressing concerns for today’s recruiters.
With inhouse teams needing to offer innovative and cost-effective services to their businesses, it may be that looking at greater partnership and collaboration with RPOs could be a good way to start.