Three questions that employers need to ask themselves to win War For Talent

1.      Are companies engaging with these quasi active job seekers?

Talent today is no more split between Active job seeker and passive job seeker. A large population of talent is in the grey area in between.

In my experience “NO”. Although LinkedIn has allowed companies to do this to some extent, companies have by and large not identified this trend and not done much to engage with quasi job seekers.  Job descriptions today still assume that the reader will apply if he finds himself suitable. How old!

2.      Are companies creating platforms for co-creating enough content online for talent?

Companies have completely missed out on the importance of it

  • Today target talent is researching companies online. Creating content consistently that will be looked up by this target talent is a very important step in talent attraction
  • Companies cannot do this all alone. They need employees, target talent, analyst and every stakeholder to create content for the company. Companies are not focusing on this ecosystem.they shoul create systems to co-create.

3.      Are companies creating an ecosystem where employees are able to create positive buzz on Social Media?

A few companies have done well on this parameter, creating social media policy and encouraging employees to spread positive buzz. Companies have adopted technology to allow their employees to share news about jobs and happenings with their friends. Adoption of these technologies and methods is still not widespread and there is more that companies could do.

Talent Acquisition for the new Super AGILE World

How is talent acquired for making movie? Director and producers meet and discuss the plan and quickly start meeting people who are right for the movie and sign them up. Talent comes together and stays together until the common goal of making the movie is achieved. Once the movie is made, they go their ways!

This is how future entrepreneurs and companies will acquire talent for their projects: Quick, Agile, Short Term, Target focussed, professionals who equip themselves and stay relevant!

How do artists attract work?

  • Visible talent display – reducing the need for several rounds of interviews
  • Connections – trust is contagious!

Talent of the future will need to acquire these skills: superior display of talents and staying connected with idea generators and talent aggregators . LinkedIn is helping talent do that but it needs to be adapted more widespread!

For companies to achieve what film fraternity has achieved they will have to: 

  • Get out of the paradigm that employees in payroll are more trust worthy and closer to company’s mission than contingent staff
  • They will need to accept to see more talent turnover and will have to drop their bench
  • They need to find cheaper ways to find talent … lots of it!
  • Find ways to empower talent more quickly and make transitions more smooth
  • Have technology play the role of integration
  • Flexible company policies

What will drive this evolution? Of course, Market volatility!

Successful RPO Partnership by Organizational Goal Alignment

RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) engagements often fail because they fail to synchronize with business goals. While the whole organization aligns its strategy to changing business goals, RPO partners are often dwelling in transactions and seldom attempt to understand impact of changing business goals on their engagement leading to them being seem as a disengaged partner who needs constant direction and hand holding. For a RPO partner to engage on strategic level, it’s imperative to have in-depth understanding of its process and set their process levers aligned to business needs. This is only possible when RPO delivery metrics are aligned to business metrics which in turn are aligned to business goals and a manager constantly engages with all stakeholders to ensure everyone complies to changes needs. This effort will have in coupling recruitment performance to business performance. This blog deals with how we reached a seamless integration of goals to achieve a highly strategic engagement with our client.

Understand Parameters You Control: Often RPO partners work on number of resume that needs to be pushed on top of recruitment funnel to ensure open positions close. But companies often have much more leverage than the number of resumes sourced. On a broad level, these could be your recruiter quality, Recruiter numbers, Screening capabilities, Scheduling capacities, Sourcing methodologies, Partners and so on! On a more work level there are several leverage points such as number of work days in a week.

Calibrate Parameters to Business Outcomes: One must monitor each of these parameters and measure their impact on recruitment performance such as recruitment cost, TAT, quality of hire, early attrition etc. Effect of the recruitment performance should be calibrated against business performance parameters. These business parameters may be business attrition, Training performance, performance ratings. The business parameters are extremely company dependent and should be discovered for every company.


The company may already have understanding on how business parameters affect business strategy and thus the business goals.

Constant Management of Alignment: Some RPO partners do the above points however they fail to systematize the constant attempt of aligning RPO activities to changing business goals. Consistent communication and regular meetings with business leaders allow understanding of changing business needs and goals and these should be backed by actionable that are measured and demonstrated to leaders as a feedback. This constant tweaking rationale should be communicated to the team in order to ensure the changes are seen as a requirement to ensure client observes the RPO engagement as a competitive advantage.

Top Three Benefits of Strategic Alignments:

  1. The company as a whole becomes more agile and stays competitive which is need of the market in todays rapidly changing business environment
  2. The RPO partners often are directed by several client SPOCs. This sometimes results in changing actions that are not aligned. Goal level alignment results in actions in right direction.
  3. Often continues improvement hits road blocks when it comes to changing process at client end. However when changes have definite positive results on client objectives, change is better accepted.

Although I wrote this blog, the idea isn’t mine. I dedicate this blog to the very successful person who shared this concept with me and will remain an inspiration to me. 

Challenges of today’s RPOs

Having served as Marketing Manager in RPO companies, I have always been closely listening to my clients. Some appreciated our work and others didn’t. But top three challenges they all would fret about are these:

1. Pumping in resumes: Recruiters at RPO companies are under pressure to fill positions. This pressure is directly felt by the recruiters and some times they pump resumes to hiring managers without scrutinizing them strictly. This results in hiring managers wasting their precious time rejecting resumes that shouldn’t have come to them in the first place. This frustration builds over time and creates a general feeling among hiring managers that the RPO team isn’t capable. Creating such an impression can only lead to the RPO team loosing their contract over time because of noise in the business.

2. SLAs that dont align to Business Success: I find this happen so often that RPOs have grown to ignore any concerns raised in this direction. RPOs today continue to sign on simple straightforward SLAs and grading their performance top class by benchmarking themselves with competitor RPO companies. Clients generally stay puzzled why they are still reeling under the pressure of War for Talent. Slowing hiring manager start feeling that their RPO partners are not truly their partners in success and the partnerships begins on its journey downwards until the SLAs show the result.

3. Being Strategic Partner: Companies typically rely on their recruitment teams to provide them intelligence on talent. When recruitment is outsources, this intelligence stops to flow and this over time bothers the hiring managers. Recruiters who were earlier working as talent advisor, are no more available for advice and RPO partner is more focused on their process, SLA and filling jobs rather than helping hiring managers in manpower planning etc

How Do We Fix These? 

Although the problem seems complicated, the solution is quite simple, Go above and beyond.

Going above and beyond in submission quality would mean ensuring recruiters get face time with business to truly understand the unsaid in job description. Training recruiters on importance of ensuring tight scrutiny of profile before submission, holding recruiters accountable by strict audits and management truly demonstrating their concern on the parameter…when management truly cares about something, it percolates down.

Going above and beyond in SLAs would mean holding meetings with client’s training departments to ensure they are happy with the incoming talent, ensuring hiring manager satisfaction is measured and hiring manager is involved in challenges faced in talent acquisition, ensuring there are quarterly meetings with finance to check cost and productivity targets are being met. Repercussion of RPO’s work is measured by various departments and expectations should be managed across.

Going above and beyond in being a talent advisor is to join the hiring managers in their annual planning meets, providing them market intelligence, benchmarks, showing them positive impact of the SLAs on business output and being available for a quick chat whenever required. To achieve this end, RPOs need to go beyond SLAs, beyond contracts, beyond what’s said… to the place where client feels the RPO and its effort and its contribution in business success.