Following an incredibly tough year, signs of positivity are increasing around the world for businesses and workers alike. In the UK, employment numbers and vacancies are steadily rising as optimism returns. According to the June data from the Office for National Statistics, the number of pay-rolled employees increased for the sixth consecutive month.
This uptick is certainly welcome news, but it does create a real talent challenge: the rapid upscaling of resources. Talent acquisition teams are facing a surge in hiring like never before, at a time when competition for the best skills is rife. While temporary workers are part of the solution to meet sudden spikes in demand, in many instances they won’t provide a complete solution.
That’s where on-demand recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) can be used to bolster permanent headcount at speed.
So, what is on-demand RPO and how can it help employers today?
What is on-demand RPO?
On-demand RPO provides hiring managers and internal recruitment teams with all the benefits of ‘traditional RPO’, but on a short-term basis. While recruitment process outsourcing is often considered as a long-term investment in permanent recruiting solutions, it is also a completely viable model to fill an immediate need for support without the same level of commitment.
It can be used to fill specific hard-to-source roles (technology-led positions, for example) or to add much-needed capacity to an internal team, without the permanent commitment to an RPO model. It’s particularly useful for resourcing teams that are struggling to fill or process certain roles as it provides access to an embedded outsourced team with the experience and knowledge to analyse employer branding and current recruitment solutions and develop a targeted campaign to attract and onboard high quality talent quickly.
This temporary, on-demand version of a recruitment process outsourcing solution is highly cost-effective for sudden spikes in hiring, with internal recruiters benefiting from an embedded expert team with specialist experience in everything from improving the candidate experience to engaging niche or passive candidates. It can also be modularised to offer organisations targeted support where they need it most. For example, support may not be required for the entire end-to-end recruitment process, but there may be bottlenecks at application sifting or candidate interview and assessment stages where an on-demand RPO solution can be leveraged.
On-demand RPO can also be built into existing outsourced talent strategies, the added benefit being that the outsourced partner is already embedded in your business and fully up to speed with your employer brand, visions and values. Tapping into a pre-existing relationship with a talent partner to deliver on-demand permanent hiring solutions can often be the most effective way to meet sudden or unexpected business demand in a cost-effective way.
The difference between contingent RPO and on-demand RPO
On-demand RPO is used to meet a temporary need to hire permanent talent quickly. That makes it different to contingent RPO, which applies techniques typically reserved for hiring permanent staff - such as employer branding, EVP, and technology implementation - to the hiring of contingent or temporary workers. This is typically carried out over the longer-term, as part of a wider managed service programme.
Case study: on-demand RPO in action
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how on-demand RPO is beneficial is to show how it has been a success for others in the past. At Guidant Global, we worked with a client in the life and pensions industry who suddenly needed hundreds of new staff across ten UK locations following a successful contract win.
The firm was already facing a resourcing challenge, with concerns around how the recruitment process was impacting clients, current cost and time to hire rates and an absence of a strong employer brand. Guidant was appointed as the client’s outsourced recruitment partner to deliver against a number of longer-term objectives, but this initial project for 400 vacancies within a year was the priority.
We were able to beat the initial target, filling 500 roles within nine months, which included a number of short-notice, high-volume recruitment campaigns. Without our expert on-demand RPO solutions, the client would have faced a real uphill battle to source enough new hires to meet the demand – something their pre-existing recruitment challenges would have made more difficult to achieve. Perhaps more importantly though, our solutions delivered significant cost-savings for the business.
A separate client was faced with an overwhelming volume of applications for an annual hiring project, and a historically resource-intensive manual process to sift and shortlist candidates. They engaged Guidant Global to redesign and deliver a new candidate application process, leveraging innovative technology including chatbots and automation software.
Over a six-week period, Guidant Global’s solution successfully managed several thousand candidate applications and was responsible for all process steps up to the point of final interview and selection, which was retained by the client’s internal team. After the conclusion of the hiring project, Guidant’s assigned team was withdrawn and shifted to other client projects. The client benefited from improved efficiency, enhanced consistency of candidate screening, greater access to data and increased value for money. This is a perfect example of a modular on-demand RPO solution.