How HR can build successful relationships with RPO services

How HR can build successful relationships with RPO servicesFor firms newly engaged with an RPO services company, handing over a large part of your recruitment process to a third party can be daunting.

With change looming over your talent acquisition organization, you might be afraid of losing control, even if this fear is groundless. Being afraid of change is part of human nature, but with a few common sense best practices, you can ensure a fruitful relationship with your RPO provider.

To help you survive some common pitfalls, here are five tips for building a strong relationship between your HR group and your RPO services provider.

Communicate

The genesis of a strong RPO relationship is communication from the outset, even before you sign the contract.

First, establish a list of requirements and concerns for your RPO services provider. By getting everything out into the open, you can gauge whether you are working with a compatible company.

This also sets a precedent for open communication in the future between HR personnel and your RPO partner. Work out how those future communications will take place. Email is obviously the most common method, but ideally, you want to meet in person at least once per quarter. This reconnection is important in any partnership, even if the relationship is going well. Your provider should also be available via phone, email, or even text messaging at a moment’s notice should anything urgent arise.

Commit

Once you establish a recruitment process with your RPO services provider, commit to change rather than reverting to the same process you have always used. This will allow you to leverage the RPO’s expertise and make continuous improvements as time goes on. Understand that high-volume recruiting has many moving parts and that getting your new process to work smoothly takes time and cooperation.

Crucially, this involves getting buy-in to the new process from all stakeholders in the organization. Otherwise, you might find certain departments or executives attempting to bypass the process and introduce confusion into the hiring process. Everyone should commit–not just your HR team.

Manage change

A detailed governance model can help introduce your RPO to internal business partners, manage change, and prevent your RPO from working in a silo. This document aligns appropriate levels of communications between stakeholders, what they discuss, how often they meet, and who handles what once the RPO is in the picture.

A basic governance model will also outline the operating and reporting structure, assign roles, establish accountability, and keep both the RPO and HR on the same team. After launch, it serves as a resource to guide everyone as to their duties and keep the RPO relationship on track.

Set goals and expectations

Nothing is more disruptive to a partnership than clashing expectations. It is critical that you and your RPO services provider set goals and hash out success benchmarks, metrics, deliverables, and soft targets, such as branding. Ideally, this is done before a contract is signed, to ensure the RPO provider will be able to adhere to your vision.

After launch, utilize candidate feedback and reports from key staff to keep expectations realistic and adjust as needed to align with real-world results and unforeseen circumstances. This is where communication and commitment truly come into play.

Believe in your partner

With all the communication and agreements in place, it’s time for the hiring machine to run and for your business to transform.

If you view your RPO as more than just a vendor–as a true partner vested in your success–your enterprise will be more successful. Shifting your viewpoint will allow you to see your RPO partner as an expert and key player, rather than just a bearer of services.

Building a successful partnership between your HR department and your RPO services provider takes time, communication, and commitment. But the reward is a high-volume recruitment process which meets the needs of both your company and your candidates.

ACA Talent recognizes that this is a human-centric endeavor, and stands ready to help you achieve your staffing goals while managing the personal element. Please contact us to discuss your recruitment goals and explore our best-in-class RPO solutions.