The economic impact of the Coronavirus across the UK and US are known to most working within the recruitment and offshore RPO. There has been a dramatic increase in universal claimants; over 1 million people started the process of claiming UC in the last two weeks of March in the UK, and almost over 3.3 million people have been unemployed in the US so far. UK recruitment activity has fallen sharply due to the pandemic as per REC’s latest report on jobs.
Businesses follow a herd mentality during a recession and reduce spending in several areas, recruitment being the foremost, which means, less number of open positions to fill, more competitive environment within recruitment to get access to open vacancies to work. So, what aspects of recruitment lifecycle will be in demand, and how will offshore RPOs complement this requirement?
- Vacancy Monitoring
There are recruitment freezes in most sectors across many companies. A situation like this only means one thing, increased competition for generating new clients and jobs for Recruiters to work. No doubt, previous and existing relationships, introduction by influencer’, etc. play a role in developing new clients and generating new vacancies. However, speed is of the essence in times like these and “fastest finger first” should be the mantra for all working within sales and business development.
While Business Development Managers and 360 Degree Recruiters will be busy sustaining existing clients and putting in efforts to develop new clients, offshore RPOs can support in monitoring and identifying new vacancies. A non-voice process, mainly using the internet search skills, is executed to source and monitor vacancies.
- Job postings: Research is a time-consuming process and any ready information which can help the BDMs and Recruiters save time while they’re busy generating new business is always helpful.
- RPOs browse various job boards, social and business media networking sites, etc. across the World Wide Web to identify vacancies/positions posted by companies. Researchers on your offshore RPO team populate the following information:
- Name of the company/Company currently recruiting
- Contact details of the company
- Salary details (if mentioned on the advert)
- Job description
- Number of people applied for the job (If the position is posted on LinkedIn)
Readily available information to 360-degree recruiters and business development managers can not only save considerable time but also be armed with relevant information when approaching the decision-makers in respective organisations. Recruiters can even contact Hiring Managers with CVs of matching candidates to be canvassed.
- Lead Generation
One of the most sought after services when times are tough. Back in the 2008 recession, most relied on the old school method of generating business via cold calls; digital marketing was still evolving. I remember sending a LinkedIn to invite to one of the owners of a leading Rec2Rec company (then my client), her comment was “We don’t waste time on such useless sites”. I am confident that digital marketing and tools like LinkedIn now help her generate most of her sales and new clients.
There is no concrete research on this, but from some of the blogs and articles from within the recruitment industry, Recruiters spend at least 25% to 35% of their time sourcing cold leads. Lead generation activity saves time and money both for the Recruiters while also enabling them to focus on the core; i.e. building client relationships, generating more referrals and filling more jobs. While businesses will utilise their digital marketing strategies to develop new clients, offshore RPOs, In line with the recruitment agency’s strategy, can implement the lead generation activity by:
- Conducting vacancy monitoring
- Verifying the vacancies by approaching decision-makers; i.e. Hiring Manager, Talent Acquisition Manager, Line Manager, etc.
- Cold calling and pitching services
- Getting the buy-in from decision-makers
- Identifying hot jobs or the ones in the pipeline
- Scheduling appointment for BDM, 360 Degree Recruiter for a telephone, Zoom call or a meeting
- Talent Pipeline Development
Times are tough. While many employers will follow the herd mentality of freezing recruitment due to the economic scenario, this is the time for Recruiters to develop a pool of candidates who are ready when the position or vacancies open up.
- There are multiple benefits of implementing talent pipeline strategy; some outlined below.
- Companies can have a pool of quality candidates much ahead of the competition
- Unique opportunity to attract passive candidates to approach when there is a new opportunity matching their profile or they contacting the Recruiter then they are exploring new opportunities
- Having time on hand also means quality candidate experience. This is also the time to implement and evaluate what candidate experience mythologies work best in your favor
- Brand visibility and less dependent on your brand, especially if you’re a small-to-mid-sized agency when the market opens up.
While recruitment business owners will focus on filling the vacancies on hand and generating new business, talent pipeline process can be managed by offshore RPOs. Once the recruitment business owner specifies the following, offshore RPO team works upon sourcing and generating matching candidates.
- Salary bracket
Offshore RPO teams utilise tools ranging from using your internal database, job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Offshore Recruiter will source candidates via email, text messaging and phone calls. Recruitment agencies can trial this task on a small set of candidate database or positions before signing a long term agreement, at least until they are confident about the delivery.
- Organisation Mapping / Name Generation
A crucial task for every business development personnel and a 360-degree recruiter. Critical details such as decision maker’s name, email, direct dial and mobile are imperative for everyone involved in generating new business or headhunting a candidate. Not only is it a time-consuming task, but done wrongly, it can result in significant time and revenue loss. Personnel involved in conducting sales and headhunting functions are the ones who find comfort when someone hands them over a ready-to-use list of names with all relevant details.
Offshore RPOs deploy a team of experienced Researchers to conduct this task, split into two steps.
- Primary research: Research process if primarily focused upon web-based research. The Researcher will search for details of respective personnel on the internet across social, business networking sites, trade press journals, personal blogs of the candidates, etc. All the relevant information such as name, title, email, phone number (mostly switchboard) and mobile (a tiny percentage) along with the source of information is compiled and sent across to the Recruiter/Headhunter.
This is solely a web-based research activity, and one of the drawbacks or dependency is the information sourced can be dated. This is not under Researchers control as one wouldn’t know from web research if the candidate still works in the same role or with the organisation as it has not been verified.
- Secondary research: This research is a combination of both web and telephone-based research. Along with the steps followed in primary research, the Researcher contacts the target companies to verify if that person still works in a respective capacity in the organisation and if the details they’ve sourced are accurate.
There are many candidates whose details would not be privy to many; i.e. incomplete profiles on LinkedIn or no CVs on job boards. Here is the opportunity for Researchers to find new names/details and share it with the Recruiter/headhunter. This process increases the accuracy of information along with new names which might also not be privy to competitors.
Researchers can either share the details; i.e. names generated on an excel sheet at the end of the day or logon to recruitment agency’s ATS and update the information on a real-time basis.
Many boutique agencies trial the service by giving a couple of job roles for the offshore RPOs to work upon, gauge the quality of work and decide on a long term partnership.
Offshore RPOs add massive value for recruitment businesses of all the size. Time difference, access to skilled talent and cost arbitrage are the pull factors for recruitment business owners to partner with offshore RPOs. A proven model for over a decade, recruitment business owners must try and explore this avenue, especially on the tasks listed on this blog. Many offshore RPOs have various engagement models to suit the agency’s requirement. Given the current market scenario, short term agreements or a project-based agreement is the best starting point.