Recently I heard a representative from a competitor billing themselves as an Industry “Expert” speaking about RPO. The entire discussion was around a specific boxed process propped up by technology that is supposedly the greatest thing since sliced bread. He completely downplayed the need for talented recruiters. It took every bit of strength I had not to stand up and tell him he was crazy! When did a client’s corporate culture and their business objectives become irrelevant? I will save the importance of customization and optimization for another time. The frustration I felt was mostly a result of the lack of importance placed on recruitment and true talent sourcing. Will RPO become a solution where smoke and mirrors are more important than results?
You wouldn’t know it by watching the news but we are in a very competitive market for talent. I think it is important to remember the first letter of the RPO acronym stands for, RECRUITMENT. The “P” is behind recruitment for a reason. Process certainly is very important but if built properly should be a repetitive act that can usually be taught and fine-tuned. Recruitment is a skill. Think about a pitcher in baseball. Thousands of kids have dreams of playing in the Major Leagues and some learn to have perfect form and are taught all the proper techniques and processes but if they don’t have the skill to throw over 90MPH their career will most likely end in high school.
There are two major expenditures in recruitment. One is technology and the other is labor. As I mentioned earlier, I believe technology if optimized, can handle most of the processes (back office) of recruitment but; technology will never be able to direct source a candidate out of a competitor or best position your company, your brand or sell your job to a top candidate.