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RPO – it’s the future!

Recruitment. It’s a funny old game!

Imagine if you will for a minute, that you’re building a house and you need an architect to come along, take measurements, draw up plans, contact departments for planning regulations and rights, print everything out. Instead of using one and guaranteeing yourself a great result, you instead use several, and only pay the one who happens to produce a good drawing that is for your needs. The others get nothing. Would you be very motivated to provide an exemplary service?

This world exists. It’s contingency recruiting. In a contingency based recruitment model you give a job spec to several agencies and they fight to be the one who provides you with people. There is no commitment, there is no loyalty; if they can quickly find you someone on a job board then they will send them, otherwise you’ll get next to nothing from at least three quarters of them. The other 2 may well try to do a good job but they get annoyed at the lack of commitment from you as a client and move on to something else. After all they have targets to hit and money to make.

Due to the community involvement here at ABrecruit (we operate the www.idinlondon.co.uk brand where we organise events for developers), we spoke to our clients and candidates and asked what they thought of the industry; yes we all know it’s broken, but what needs to change? The overwhelming response was that they wanted a more transparent process working with recruiters they know they can trust to actually provide feedback (bad as well as good!) on both their CV submission and the interview process itself. Clients’ want recruiters who actually understand their business and the sort of people that fit. They also wanted to know they can rely on someone. Putting both of these together meant that the RPO model was formed.

What’s an RPO I hear you ask? In the traditional sense it’s a model whereby a big outsourcing company come to your office, take over half the desk space and hire you 50 people for a big project in 3 months and then go away. But this doesn’t work with Dev teams, especially when the people are permies. So, how do we differ? Well, we have a max capacity of 4 clients at any one time  to make sure we give you a great service (FYI we have 3 at the time of writing – 05/10/2015) and we just focus on your tech roles.

The interview to placement ratio that I’ve been working on in the last few years on contingency roles is about 3.5:1. Using this model we’re now down to about 2.75:1. Less than 3 interview to a placement. Imagine how much time our clients are spending working instead of recruiting!

Why does it work? It works because instead of dealing with 7 agencies, taking their calls, replying to emails (not to mention sifting through the poorly matched CVs), chasing for applicants and so on, you just deal with 1 person. Imagine the bliss. 1 person. I come into your office once a week to start with (less after a while), sit with your dev team, listen to tech discussions, talk to your team about what drives them, why they like working at the company, the interesting projects they’ve done / are working on. By taking the time to understand all of this anyone being approached about a role will be ‘sold’ on the opportunity instead of just a ‘hey here’s a job spec have a read’. Our applicants are already excited before the interview!

It also saves you money! Amazing right? Because you’re committing to us, we commit to you. We take a (relatively low) monthly retainer for our time; then we charge you a reduced fee on placements with up to a 6 month full refund. We recently calculated that we saved one of our RPO clients over £32,000 in one year that they would have spent on contingency.

The best thing about an RPO model though really is that you feel like you’re part of the business; I was recently invited to a ‘party’ at one client and treated like any other member of staff. When people found out that I was a recruiter working with them they didn’t even pelt me with rotten fruit. The world is changing! I like to think that the RPO model works for companies that wouldn’t have enough work to employ a full time recruiter, but want a tight and fulfilling relationship with an expert in their field.

If you’d like to talk about how the RPO model can help your business then do get in touch on adam.bolton@abrecruit.com, I’d love to hear from you.

Contigency recruiting is dead. Long live the RPO!

*Image courtesy of Stavos52093*