Does your RPO partner understand your culture?

You have decided to go in for a Recruitment Process Outsourcing partner for the right reasons. You want a partner company who will align themselves to be a seamless extension of your HR department, and you are ready to spend time and effort to help them do so. One question, however, lingers in your mind. How can you be sure that you have invested in the right RPO partner?

Measure the depth of their understanding of your business

Such an evaluation starts even before the actual selection of the RPO partner. Designing a simple but comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) can bring out points of compatibility that are relevant for a culture fit. Mapping the RFP responses to the prospective RPO partner’s business profile can provide insightful perspectives into their compatibility with your organisation’s work ethic and culture.

A detailed interview with the RPO partner executives will provide further clarity. How familiar are they with your business? What are their proposals to address your unique and critical needs? Do they come out as idea leaders with insights of your business?

Incisive questioning about the companies they have worked with and the results achieved over a period of time can give good pointers. The right RPO partner has clarity on the relevant players in the business. They understand the technologies deployed in the industry, the required training and the networks to reach. They also have deep knowledge of the compliance requirements of the business.

It is this understanding that will translate into how the RPO partner seeks the right skills, capabilities and behaviours in candidates for your organisation.

How good are their best practices?

Knowing the right practices across the globe to hire the right employees is a much needed capability. Both on the strategic and operational fronts, the RPO partner needs to demonstrate knowledge, disruptive thinking and agility. A clear understanding of how impactful recruitment is done in different situations, for different skills and levels of leadership will indicate their professional excellence in being your partner.

Such excellence helps them objectively understand the company’s work environment, and customise recruitment strategies to hire the right people with both skills and cultural fitment. This ensures that every one of the new hires hits the ground running at a pace that propels the organisation forward.

Brand enhancement – a critical RPO responsibility

A common mistake to avoid in selecting a RPO partner is to restrict the outcomes to mere cost saving and faster recruitment timelines. The right RPO partner who understands your culture should have the expertise in promoting the company’s brand at every step of the recruitment process and value chain – job postings, advertisements, application templates, social media conversations, candidate touch points, interview procedures, negotiations, offer, closure and even on-boarding.

The RPO partner’s expertise goes a step beyond implementation of good branding practices. They will need to gather data on recruitment sources, candidate experience and market practices - and analyse for insights-driven actions to drive continuous improvement and competitive advantage.

A roadmap to selecting the right RPO partner

Having clarity on the objectives in selecting a RPO partner is the first requirement. This will help draw up the right scope of work, accountabilities, milestones and measurement standards. Most important, it will draw the right equation between cost and value, and serve as a meaningful measurement standard.

Selection criteria must be based on the company’s specific vision, goals and cultural alignment. Collaboration is critical and this calls for well-defined stakeholders on both sides. A mutually acceptable governance model needs to be established for an effective partnership.

The quality of your RPO provider has a direct bearing on the quality of your organisation’s talent acquisition and brand perception. This ultimately leads to higher employee engagement and a qualitative route to higher revenues and profits.

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