Recruitment is undoubtedly a resource-heavy process for any organisation, in terms of time, cost and effort. Organisations turn to Resource Process Outsourcing (RPO) providers in an effort to reduce some of these costs and to improve functional efficiency. With global talent becoming scarce, procuring resources of organisations are being stretched thin to find the best talent. At such times, working with an RPO provider is the best move possible for an organisation.
An RPO provider can handle the entire recruitment process of an organisation, or provide talent for a specific project, depending on the requirements as well as the business arrangement with the client. Essentially, an RPO provider works with the management team of an organisation to meet its staffing needs. The ambit of services frequently extends to managing the onboarding process as well.
An RPO provider no longer just fills seats quickly; it becomes a key partner in the organisation’s efforts to achieve its business goals. In addition to having extensive databases of talent, today’s RPO programmes have evolved to include sophisticated techniques and analytical tools that can be used to ensure that the organisation’s recruiting process continually improves.
Understanding RPO trends prepares both the provider and the client for changes in the foreseeable future. Changes could be internal or external; in either case, RPO experts are usually ready for them. Of course, the changes brought about by the pandemic took every industry by surprise, and they shaped RPO trends to a large extent. Some changes have been huge and possibly permanent. It is still an unpredictable market but the dust appears to be gradually settling down.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges this year is how to find and retain top talent. The competition among candidates to find the perfect role would extend to RPO providers competing to find the perfect talent for their client. Innovation, overhauling attitudes and rethinking old practices to create improved recruitment ideas and strategies appear to be the hallmarks of the year. Perhaps in every industry.
Here’s a list of twelve expected RPO trends in 2022.
1.Diversity, equality and inclusivity (DEI): This is not just an RPO trend, it is now recognised as a necessity across industries. To build and nurture an inclusive and healthy workplace, and to integrate workforce and diversity, organisations and RPO providers must strive to become conscious about DEI-related subjects. They must focus on fairness and equal employment opportunities (EEO). Underrepresented groups (URGs) must be aligned with mainstream groups by various means. RPOs can play a critical role in creating such diverse workforces. After all, the different life experiences of a diverse workforce can only lead to more innovative and creative business practices.
2. Employer brand building: Developing a sustainable employer brand strategy is critical to attracting the best talent today. An RPO provider plays a key role in shaping the organisation’s brand as an employer too. It can study the organisation’s brand, vision and competitors, and tailor the recruitment strategy accordingly. It’s not uncommon for passive and top talent to respond to the right brand positioning. In fact, a LinkedIn study revealed that 40 per cent of professionals considered the organisation’s culture and colleagues as the most important factor before considering an association.
It stands to reason that investing in employer branding will be on the top of the to-do list of most employers and RPO providers. Future employees respond well to employees retention initiatives and recognition programmes.
3. Data-centric recruitment: Data-driven recruitment is here to stay. In a hybrid landscape, organisations rely on real-time quality data to make decisions about talent requirements and regulatory compliance. KPIs can be used to understand performance measures in different areas. In fact, diversity is an oft-tracked feature. Further, using predictive talent analytics, historical data can be used to reveal future needs and trends. RPO providers can transform such talent data into usable business intelligence.
4. Internal talent and upskilling: RPO providers must help clients identify skill gaps and collaborate on developing upskilling strategies. Providing employees the opportunity to upskill is a proven way to retain top talent. Smart organisations and RPO providers will focus on internal talent, train them and make them future-ready. Investing in data and analytics technology will further enable RPO providers to predict talent requirements and skill gaps, a much-needed skill in the current candidate-driven market.
5. Use of next gen tech tools: With SaaS organisations all around, RPO providers must continue to use known and next-gen tech tools to operate at higher efficiencies. Investing in new tech solutions and platforms is sure to enhance recruiting outcomes. AI tools have already shown how repetitive and time-consuming tasks can be handled efficiently without human intervention. Instead, recruiters can focus on enhancing the experience of candidates.
6. Use of advanced screening tools: The fundamental mismatch between a candidate and an organisation’s culture can be identified using advanced skill and behaviour assessment tools. Emotional intelligence is already recognised as a differentiator among candidates, especially in those at higher positions. Discipline, drive and empathy are expected to emerge as leading qualities required among the top talent. RPO providers and organisations must equip themselves well to better assess and identify soft skills among candidates.
7. Candidate care: This RPO trend is on the rise. Candidate care refers to the support and guidance that exceptional RPO experts extend to their candidates while helping them navigate their way to the next career opportunity. When recruiters stay connected with their candidates over a long duration, they understand each other better and that undoubtedly leads to better employment decisions. Both sides are happy and satisfied.
8. Proactive engagement with candidates: An organisation or recruiter’s biggest woe is probably losing talent to competitors. To avoid that, RPO experts can help organisations build long-term relationships with prospective candidates. This is no time for passive recruitment, there must be engagement between the talent and the RPO provider. Earlier, entry-level candidates were never engaged proactively, but that is slowly changing now because of the scarcity in talent.
The engagement must stretch beyond work. Candidates need to be convinced that the organisation is aligned with their values and supports causes that matter to them. RPO providers must be well-versed in environment, social and governance (ESG) trends and the client’s leanings to be able to convince top talent.
9. Ensuring employee well-being: Along with taking care of candidates and engaging with them over a prolonged period, it has become essential for organisations to take complete care of employee well-being — financial, physical and mental. The pandemic years showed the difficulty of switching off from work mode when working remotely, and that often led to burnout. Efforts to take care of employee well-being is an attractive feature for future candidates too. Social media platforms can be effectively harnessed to spread the word about such strategies. In fact, the power of social media cannot be overhyped. Social media platforms are perhaps one of the most effective avenues to influence and hear the millennials and generation Z.
10. Remote hiring and onboarding: Not a new trend by any means, the pandemic years saw remote hiring and onboarding become more of a mainstream trend. Given that the hybrid work culture is thriving today, this trend is here to stay. Talents are no longer shackled by location. Instead, organisations are offering qualified candidates opportunities to work from home or any other remote location of their choice. This strategy has also increased employee retention.
11. Remote-only candidates: More and more people are choosing to continue working from home for improved life-work balance, location limitations, reduced commute time and many other reasons. Recruiters and organisations are embracing it too. Remote teams are becoming more of a common occurrence than before. The acceptance of this trend is expanding the talent pool fast.
12. Global experience: To have a global influence, RPO providers must build their expertise in global recruiting too. This will also help build more diverse teams. Careernet successfully developed a custom RPO model to facilitate domain-specific talent sourcing for a US-based internet giant.
Any organisation that is on a growth path will benefit from an RPO provider. Tech tools in the recruiting industry are developing rapidly and most RPO experts stay updated to remain relevant.
The Great Resignation was a defining phenomenon of 2021 and the RPO industry stepped up to connect employers and employees. This year, 2022, will perhaps be the year of the Great Negotiation as candidates ask and receive perks and salaries of their choice. Coveted perks, however, are no longer paid vacations, free lunches and free fitness facilities; candidates today are asking for work-life balance, flexibility in location and time, and well-being, both physical and mental. They are keen to see and hear stories about commitment to DEI, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and other causes that they support.
Careernet’s RPO service integrates the entire supply chain. It helps clients map internal services and staff it appropriately, formulate the client’s hiring strategy and optimise the talent supply chain. Its RPO service is scalable and integrated across different business verticals. Careernet’s experience as an RPO provider for 15+ years proves its expertise and understanding of the changing recruitment market across the world. Its RPO services include enterprise RPO, project-based RPO and resource-based RPO.
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