The Ever Changing Recruitment Scene

I am writing this blog for those people who like to read and drink coffee, have a futuristic orientation and then contemplate strategy.
As an observer of recruitment over the last 15 years, I am always fascinated by success and the fast changing nature of recruitment models. This is only matched by the continual stream of new applications that can add value to your recruitment function. Also, my recent conversations with Derek Hine, List Manager of Collingwood Football Club and Carol Corzo, Bupa Australia’s Talent Experience Manager only served to intrigue me further.
The market has evolved and become more sophisticated. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) providers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs), such as Allegis, AMS Hays, Futurestep Manpower and Randstad, have come a very long way and now provide solutions that add true and real value. They have all significantly invested in technology and sourcing centres that can improve the quality, speed and cost of recruitment outcomes.
[bctt tweet=”Recruitment functions have evolved over the years, and it’s not all rosy for everyone says @trevorpvas”]
We are also witnessing a rise in Contingent Functions as more organisations are looking to outsource non-essential positions to independent workers while maintaining a core workforce that is leaner and more agile. However, I also notice most of them are still trying to find the right balance of freelancers and permanent staff so as to ensure the continual efficient functioning of the organisation.
Internal Recruitment Functions, however, seems to have fallen behind. Many organisations have been slow to recognise their strategic importance, but instead, see them as cost incurring liabilities that bogs down their business. Although I do notice some improvements recently (e.g. at Bupa Australia), the shift in mentality is still not happening fast enough, in my opinion.
So what next?
One thing is for sure – business drivers change faster than recruitment functions and for most of the time, it is usually a game of playing catch up.
However, I do think RPOs and MSPs anticipate these changes faster than anyone else. This is because, firstly, RPOs and MSPs have more to lose – this is their core business and they need to be on top of the latest trends in order to stay ahead of competition.
Secondly, they understand that their clients typically go through three stages of evolution – Implementation and Creation of Efficiency, Consolidation and the Creation of Value and then Transformation to a new function. RPOs and MSPs usually anticipate these changes well and adjust their offerings quickly to mitigate these challenges. Therefore I do believe that they will continue to have a strong influence and presence in the industry.
As for Internal Functions, I find them a conundrum because as part of the organisation, they should understand the needs of the company perfectly and be proactively aligning the recruitment strategy dynamically. But unfortunately, only a handful of organisations are doing so currently.
I personally feel that in order for Internal Recruitment Functions keep up with an RPO or MSP, it needs to step up and introduce the following key ingredients:

  • An inspirational recruitment leader who can influence the business;
  • A “line of sight” reporting framework from business drivers, strategies, tactics/enablers and lead and lag metrics;
  • Specialisation in recruitment areas that are important to the business;
  • Intrapreneural passionate recruiters who can partner with the business;
  • Technology that reduces manual effort and provides market intelligence; and
  • Great support from an RPO or preferred suppliers for non-core recruitment;

The presence of an influential and inspirational leader who has a seat at the decision making table is, in my opinion, most important. He/she is the person whom others would draw encouragement from and who could affect key business decisions. I seriously doubt an Internal Recruitment Function can be truly successful in the absence of such a person as it would be too difficult to gain any investments or generate the required traction to affect change.
[bctt tweet=”6 tips on how internal recruitment functions can keep up with RPOs from @trevorpvas”]
Contingent Functions are not as advanced when compared to RPOs, MSPs and Internal Functions but I do notice that organisations are increasingly looking for a one-view of the workforce. As such we are seeing more RPOs and MSPs working to consolidate different Vendor Management Solutions (VMS) onto a single platform to cater to this emerging need (e.g. CXC Global Solutions & Hays Contingent Workforce Solutions). This development is still at its infancy stage but the room for improvement and innovation is limitless and it will be interesting to see what the final product will look like.
Looking ahead, my prediction is that recruitment functions will increasingly see a new blended workforce approach where the lines around permanent, contingent, statement of work recruitment will disappear and be totally consolidated. This will be driven by workforce planning, analytics and talent management-based integrated technologies.
It will be a game changer. It will be revolutionary. And I can’t wait to see that happen.
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