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How Remote Work Has Brought in a New Approach to Recruitment
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new thing.” – Theodore Levitt, German-American Economist
As the wise Mandril from the Lion King, Rafiki, told Simba, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it or learn from it.” These are words of wisdom that perfectly illustrate the point of view that many companies had to adopt since 2019 to deal with the changes they were presented with. Could you imagine telling a hiring manager before 2019 that they would have to suddenly transition to remote work with only a few days of notice?
This was the boon or bane, depending on where you stand, that the pandemic brought our way. Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, many companies have come to realize the potential and possibilities that remote working models could provide. It also showed that they aren’t locked into that traditional 9-to-5 work model. What’s more is that the hybrid and remote working models aren’t the end of the line in terms of innovative, adaptive work models.
There is a third option to consider – an open talent model or flexible work model. In this article, we will highlight some of the trends surrounding the open talent model, why and when to apply it, and give you an outline of a few things worth considering as a hiring manager. In essence, we will see how these factors of the remote and open talent model jive with recruitment as a concept.
What Is an Open Talent Model?
The open talent model is a rather broad term that is prescribed to a wide range of work modes from freelancing to on-site work to globally distributed contractors. However, there is one defining feature to it all, which is project-based or temporary positions. If executed right, this way of working can help organizations access key skill sets while still maintaining a certain degree of flexibility, hence the name.
The pandemic acted as a catalyst in normalizing the remote work model and the open talent work model.
Why You Might Want to Use an Open Talent Model
It is worth noting that just like the remote work model before the onset of the pandemic, companies have been slow or hesitant to adopt it. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a market for this working model before Covid-19, but it was slow-rising at best.
Again, much like the remote work model, there seems to be a normalization of the work model that seems to be taking hold much more aggressively. It’s almost as if the pandemic was a catalyst of sorts. Now, as to the different reasons, it’s worth considering, the three main ones are immediate and on the surface of it. The first one is the flexibility that we mentioned before. It allows organizations to scale recruitment and staffing as needed (up or down), at a moment’s notice.
The second reason is that it allows your company to outsource small tasks, which would be justified if it was full-time hires. Similarly, it is better than traditional temporary staffing where the overhead requirements would stifle the project or face budgetary restrictions. Lastly, an open talent model gives you access to a diverse skill set that goes beyond traditional recruitment pipelines, temporary or permanent.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter F. Drucker
When to Use the Open Talent Model
There are generally four separate instances where you might want to consider deploying the open talent model. The first one is when you have the talent inside your organization, but redeploying them to another role or task will be more capital and time-intensive than necessary.
You might also want to consider this model if hiring outsiders turns out to be less expensive than hiring someone full-time for the internal team or even paying overtime to existing employees. You should consider using it when highly specialized skills are needed but aren’t readily available within the organization. It is also worth doing if you want good returns on your solutions.
Now the first three scenarios are considered as a need for talent that is being addressed by the process of extraordinary recruitment such as this. The last reason, however, goes a little beyond that and shines a light on a certain point. That is to say, in many contexts, outside hires can provide innovative solutions or approaches to issues as opposed to the existing talent within the company. It’s not to say that employees you have are not capable, in fact, quite the opposite. They may be highly capable, but the issue lies in the fact that they might be too close to the problem. Outsiders can offer you innovative solutions due to different perspectives and the fact that they aren’t necessarily bogged down too much by the constraints of the business parameters.
As a manager you need to consider how much firm-specific knowledge is needed for the role before turning to the open talent work model.
What a Manager Should Consider
Before hiring based on this model, as the hiring manager, you need to ask yourself a few things. The first, most obvious thing is the level of firm-specific knowledge that is needed to fulfill that role or project. While freelancers can offer valuable insights they need to have a certain level of insight into company operations to integrate the solution flawlessly.
Then of course there is the question of whether the project or task is recurring in nature. If it is, then it would be more economical to make a permanent hire. Keeping that in mind, you also need to consider the fact that if the repeated task or project requires very little business-specific knowledge, you could perhaps make your hires via an open talent model.
What This Means for Recruitment and the Big Picture
Before we get into the bigger picture, let’s discuss expectations. As a hiring manager who might be used to leveraging an army of temps from staffing agencies, perhaps you would expect to shell out a big premium. On the other hand, if you were one who has outsourced work to low-cost areas may expect cost-saving to be the result.
We would urge hiring managers to keep in mind that the more you move towards open talent work models, the higher the competition from similar firms in the industry. After all, what defines any and every recruitment process is the hunt for the best talent in the market – this means competition is a near certainty. This could mean cost saved or premiums paid, it’s hard to say. For the most part, you can only judge that on a case-by-case or need basis.
So, what does this mean for recruitment? Quite simply – democracy. In this globalized online economy with such a level of competition, we think that open talent will help democratize access to opportunities. This could have the ripple effect of providing recruitment opportunities in local or regional places where they are scarce.
One thing for certain is that the more practice you gain with the remote work model, the better prepared your company will be to take on the open talent model. At the end of the day, whatever work model you choose to stick to, they all can deliver relevant and useful results, but they require laser-focused management.
The RPO Marketplace: Insights for Branding and Growth in 2022
“The most reliable way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
An Overview of the RPO Marketplace
When the RPO marketplace was still in its infancy many companies pursued it as a means of reducing cost. What started out as an unstable, disorganized market rapidly grew into a go-to solution for corporate leaders. This was especially the case amidst the global economic crises of the early 2000s.
Following the dot-com boom, the budget for recruitment tightened and RPO agencies really began taking shape. Companies sought strategic and scalable partnerships with RPO agencies in hope of overcoming costly in-house recruitment solutions. By the time of the 2008 economic recession, RPO providers played a highly centralized role in the market and the adoption of their services gained plenty of popularity.
The Present State of the RPO Marketplace
With more and more companies moving towards the digital space post the pandemic and the availability of better technology, the RPO industry is primed for exponential growth. According to a market research report by Technavio, it was reported that the RPO marketplace would see an incremental growth of USD 3.2 billion from 2017 to 2022. In other words, the global market was expected to grow at an accelerated CAGR of 14% between 2018 and 2022. Interestingly enough, 41% of the overall growth is expected to be a contribution from the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region.
Keep in mind that when the market was still young, the relationship between clients and RPO partners was on thin ice at best. However, nowadays, due to better processes, advanced technology and more methodical approaches, clients are looking for more long-term partnerships within the RPO marketplace.
This bodes well for the growth of the industry and the businesses within. Having said that, let’s go over some trends in the RPO marketplace that you should probably watch out for in 2022 and the years to come.
Data and technology play a big role in the success that the RPO industry has seen in recent years.
1. Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The use of data analytics and artificial intelligence is one of the rapidly rising trends in the global RPO market. These agencies analyze large quantities of data to fast-track the application procedure and help companies make more fluid recruitment decisions.
Things like analytical tools, people analytics, as well as recruitment analytics, play a crucial role in helping recruiters translate raw data into usable information. This information is used to recruit the best candidates. This is one such capability that is boosting the growth of the RPO marketplace.
2. Cost Reduction and Its Contribution to Growth of the RPO Marketplace
It’s just logical reasoning as to why companies seek out RPO firms and their services. They seek more cost-effective solutions that still retain a certain level of quality. Imbalances in the market can have a huge impact on the company’s financials. RPO agencies can help mitigate this by streamlining the hiring process and reducing these imbalances. This ability to effectively address these imbalances makes an RPO solution a desirable one.
“The future depends on what we do in the present.“ – Mahatma Gandhi, Freedom Fighter
3. The Growth of the APAC Region
As mentioned earlier, the APAC or Asia-Pacific region was touted to be one of the biggest contributors to the overall growth of the RPO industry in the years to come. We mentioned how it contributes a massive 41% to that.
It should also be noted that another report by Technavio stated that the RPO industry in this region is expected to reach a valuation of USD 1.08 billion between 2021 and 2025. This is an exceptional growth at a CAGR of around 14%. Fair to say, the RPO marketplace in the APAC region has a more than positive outlook in 2022.
4. The Fragmented Nature of the RPO Marketplace
The RPO market is a very fragmented one. This also makes it a highly competitive industry, be it global, national or regional. The presence of so many players in the market shows us that there is a high level of demand in the market that needs to be met, as evidenced by the growth projections. However, as good a sign as this is, you should keep a close eye on it and evaluate how to best overcome the growing rates of competition down the line.
5. Merit-based Recruitment Will Take a Front Seat in the Hiring Process
Now we come to the last item on the list of things contributing to the growth and demand of the RPO industry. When we consider RPO agency solutions, there is a clear diversion from traditional hiring processes. Instead of relying on heavily resume-based recruitment, the process focuses on the applicant’s skills, practical assessments and performance.
This eliminates a lot of bias and gives you a more fair assessment. This in turn gives you better outcomes in terms of candidate selection. Since this process is so unique to the RPO marketplace, it would explain why it is a contributing factor to the growth of the industry.
RPO agencies need to strike a balance of satisfying both clients and candidates in order to boost their brand.
How Is RPO Branding Strengthened?
Now, let’s have a look at some strengths that service providers can bank on going forward to boost their RPO brand. As the name suggests, the biggest weapon that the RPO service provider has is, well, their ability to recruit. Given the orientation of the industry demands, and the processes within RPO agencies, recruiters can focus on polishing their skills more and develop more organized approaches. This builds that RPO brand for the company. Quality, not quantity as they say.
Another thing that you have to consider is that this is partly due to the investment in the right recruitment tools and technology. It’s a self-feeding cycle. RPO agencies can invest in specific recruitment technology, training and tools as it will be an investment in their core competency as a service provider.
Keep in mind that even with all the most cutting-edge tech in the field, RPO agencies still need to produce results. This is what shows clients they are worth partnering with. This brings in a strong factor of accountability that clients can rely on. Another reason with which branding is built in the realm of outsourced recruitment is candidate experience. RPO agencies prioritize the candidate’s experience, ensuring that they have a good recruitment process experience. This ultimately reflects well on the client’s employer brand, which in turn boosts the RPO agency’s brand.