Tech recruitment: 5 reasons why you should utilise RPO

Tech recruitment: 5 reasons why you should utilise RPO

There is a war for talent in the tech field. According to research, 86% of recruiters said they “find it challenging to find and hire technical talent”.

So, why is it so difficult to hire tech talent?

In short, there is a limited pool of candidates. Technical innovations over the last few years have, rather than depleting the need for human labour, increased it. As such, the outlook for work in the tech industry is extremely positive. However, while machines have or will take over “hard, dangerous and dull jobs”, technology has “created more jobs than it has destroyed”.

What does this mean?

There is an increasing number of roles available in the tech industry, many of which the current workforce does not have the skills to fill. This is because the tech industry is developing far more quickly than the workforce has had time to keep up with. So, candidates with the right skill sets for highly-skilled roles are few and far between. As a result, 53% of recruiters “have hired tech talent despite candidates not meeting the job requirements.”

So, fears that technology will make human labour obsolete are clearly unfounded. However, until the next generations of tech-savvy talent enter the workforce, there is likely to be a skills shortage within the tech field.

For your company to continue to innovate effectively and keep up with technological advancements, there are things you can do to attract and retain the tech talent you need. Utilising Recruitment Process Outsourcing to hire your tech talent can have many benefits for your company.

So, we’ve summarised a few of these here.

  1. When working with an RPO which specialises in tech hiring, you can gain from the experience of recruiters who have worked extensively within the tech field. This means that they have a nuanced understanding of the role being hired for and what it requires. So, they already have a pool of highly skilled talent waiting to be contacted. All this experience can significantly reduce your time-to-hire, saving money on advertising and lengthy recruitment processes.
  2. In a candidate shortage, all organisations need to be thinking of ways to increase their retention rates. The good news is, an RPO can help you do just that. An RPO can ensure that your company maintains a positive employer brand throughout the recruitment process, improving the candidate experience. An improved candidate experience improves the “perception of employees about the company”, thereby increasing retention rates.
  3. If you don’t want to outsource all your recruitment processes, but you need to hire more staff for a specific department (such as Tech), you can utilise Project RPO. This provides a solution which is both flexible and scalable to your needs, while giving you access to those experienced tech recruiters. As such, you can utilise an RPO just for your tech hiring needs. This flexibility can save your company money and ensure you fill those tech roles quickly.
  4. RPO providers often have a capacity for research and industry-led insight. This means that your provider can assess the problems with Tech hiring your company is encountering and provide insight-led solutions. For example, a researcher can assess everything from salary and culture to job descriptions and broader problems within the market. This should then give you a realistic idea of the talent available and how to appeal to the right people with suitable marketing techniques and offerings.
  5. Some RPO providers have marketing, creative and digital capacities. This can enable the team working on your behalf to market your roles with the innovation required to attract top talent. Too many companies underestimate the value of a high-quality job advert. RPO providers with creative capacity can utilise the expertise of copywriters and designers. This ensures that your campaign is targeted to the right audience, in terms of both the language and overall design. An RPO’s digital capacity can create an application process which is quick and tech-literate, therefore appealing to tech-savvy applicants.

To get ahead of the game

You need to appeal to applicants from the very start of the process. This begins with talent attraction, refining your employer brand and EVP. So, by the time the applicant gets to interview stage, you don’t have to convince them of your company’s values because they are already aware of them.

Utilising RPO for tech talent can give you access to those insight-led techniques to ensure that your company attracts those highly-skilled applicants who are so in demand.

RPO, after all, is about much more than just recruitment. RPO can give your company the capability to truly define itself as an employer. So, it’s time to ask what your organisation wants to say and how it wants to say it.

To find out more about how RPO can help to solve your tech hiring troubles, download our RPO eBook.

Talent mapping: Get ahead of the game

What is talent mapping?

In advance of live vacancies, a recruiter scours the market and identifies the top talent in a field. This process is called talent mapping. Potential candidates are sought out by the recruiter with short, medium and long-term employment goals in mind.

As such, talent mapping ensures that emergency hiring situations don’t leave companies powerless, waiting and hoping for the right candidates to apply. Chances are when a company utilises talent mapping, they have already identified a pool of candidates ready to go straight to interview.

When hiring for a live vacancy, a company will receive applications from candidates actively looking for a new role. However, this leaves a wealth of passive talent unexplored. Businesses can make quality hires by reaching out to those who are right for a position before a vacancy goes live.

This approach, therefore, provides companies with the opportunity to tailor a job role to the right candidate. As part of the process, recruiters can engage candidates to find out what it is they want from their next role. So, when employers are prepared, they can respond to a talent need swiftly and efficiently having already established relationships with suitable candidates.

In this sense, talent mapping can also be used purely for market research purposes. If a business wants to increase employee engagement and retention in the workplace, utilising talent mapping to understand what your competitors are providing can be a powerful tool. This can cover everything from the specifics of a job role and the expectations attached, to salary, benefits and seniority.

How can talent mapping support candidate attraction?

Talent mapping isn’t just about listing names, companies and locations. Rather, talent mapping aims to open up conversations with potential candidates and establish a relationship. By getting directly in contact with a candidate, a company is sending a strong message that they are particularly keen to work with that person. This then enables the business to establish if the candidate is interested in their potential offer and put a follow-up plan in place.

Previously, the market has relied on employers choosing candidates. However, while we are in the middle of a global talent shortage, the power is in the candidates’ hands. This doesn’t mean employers can’t still have a strategy in place to help them reach the best, most relevant talent in the market. However, it means employers need to utilise attraction campaigns and techniques to market their employer brand effectively.

Talent mapping is a hugely valuable asset to talent attraction campaigns. By having a detailed awareness of the market, and their competitors, an employer can ensure that they are continuing to provide the best offering. This can be utilised company-wide, to improve the overall corporate culture and work environment, as well as in attraction campaigns.

So, how does talent mapping work?

Talent mapping often requires companies to question what they want to achieve, and when they want to have achieved it by. As such, it is an essential part of any business which wants to put a successful scaling strategy in place.

Talent mapping creates a reference for the internal talent you have, and the talent you are likely to need. By mapping the company structure, you can then identify the talent gaps you will eventually need to fill. Identifying these gaps means that you can then look externally, if you need to, for the right people to fill those vacancies.

However, it also means that you can invest in training the team members in your company who could eventually fill those roles. Identifying potential in the workplace and investing in career development, in turn, promotes employee engagement and positive company culture.

Putting a strategy in place enables companies to put these plans in place with plenty of time to see them through. As such, talent mapping is not a quick, short term process. Rather, it requires a long-term investment to see the results that will make a difference. So, while planning ahead can be hugely effective, it requires the time investment to make it worthwhile.

How can my company implement a talent mapping strategy?

This is where an agency can prove itself most useful. Even if you don’t already outsource your recruitment processes, talent mapping can require time that your in-house team don’t have.

Alternatively, if you do outsource your recruitment processes, finding an agency which can combine both talent mapping with your day-to-day recruitment can mean that there is more value in the service you are receiving. With an approach that thinks ahead, you are much more likely to make quality hires with a greater chance of job satisfaction and retention.

Talent mapping is a highly flexible, versatile recruitment tool. As a process, it can be used to achieve such a variety of different goals that trying to put it in a box is futile. It is this flexibility that perhaps makes talent mapping a more difficult process to understand.

However, the goal of talent mapping is always to provide an insight into the market and can be undertaken with absolute confidentiality if necessary. It is the use and value of this insight that can then be used in a variety of ways to support your company. As such, talent mapping does much more than simply filling a role, giving your company both short and long-term employment strategies.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) FAQs

What is RPO?

In simple terms, RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) is where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external service provider.

Is RPO just for big companies?

When RPO first originated it was popular with large organisations and followed a specific structure. This usually consisted of external recruiters working onsite and Being a member of the organisation, rather than the provider. However, since inception RPO has changed and although this traditional method is still used, RPO has now become flexible and scalable making it a viable option for smaller organisations as well as larger high-fliers.

Experiencing a large period of growth? Regardless of your current size, with an RPO solution you have the option to scale up and down in line with your current recruitment needs.

Will an RPO save me money?

RPO has been proven to reduce overall recruitment costs through faster time to hire, increase in the quality of the candidate pool and a decrease in staff turnover. By using an RPO you save money on advertising and job board fees, initial screening stages and administrative support. Not only that, you will gain valuable insights into how your brand is perceived externally, salary benchmarking and how you can streamline processes internally.

Will I have any say in how the RPO is run?

A well thought out RPO solution always starts with forming a partnership between the client and provider. How much of your recruitment is outsourced is completely down to you. You may decide that you want to outsource all recruitment, or just have specific functions (eg. Sales or Tech) outsourced. But outsourcing these responsibilities does not mean you’ll lose control. In fact, you’re more likely to have more control over them as they will be clearly defined at the start, along with agreed metrics, analytics and results.

How will I know if the RPO is going well?

As well as having a dedicated point of contact who can advise on how things are going, RPO providers also track every stage of the process allowing them to collate real time analytics. These detailed insights can quickly give you an overview of how the campaign is going and the ability to make measured decisions if (and when) needs be.

Do I need to sign up for a certain amount of time?

The length of time you have an RPO for is determined by your company needs. It can be a successful long-term solution but alternatively it can work with shorter, one-time recruitment campaigns to ramp up hiring and fill vacancies quickly. An RPO is a highly specialised process which can flex to meet your needs, however long or short they may be.

Find out more about our flexible RPO solution, Talentmode. A new way of thinking about RPO.

5 tips on how to reduce costs during a skills shortage

Significant skills shortages in the UK are costing businesses in excess of £2 billion per year in higher salaries, recruitment fees and temporary staffing according to new research by the Open University.

The Open University Business Barometer has found that 90% of UK-based businesses have struggled to recruit candidates with the relevant skills in the last 12 months, causing them to inflate salaries to attract talent costing at least £527 million.

Neil Purcell, Global CEO of Talent Works International, has given us his 5 top tips on how to reduce costs during a skills shortage:

The ‘Skills Gap’ is not a new phenomenon

Although popular at the moment, the ‘Skills Gap’ is not a new buzz word. It has actually been around for quite some time and it looks like it is here to stay. Neil Purcell states, ‘There is no quick fix. In the short-term companies have, and will continue to pay increased salaries to secure the talent they need. Considerations and measures need to be put in place to address this. It’s a longer-term strategy that will pay dividends in the future.’

We need to invest in future business leaders

This sounds simple but it is something that can often be neglected, especially when businesses are under resourced. In a recent study we conducted, we discovered that training and development opportunities were important to older generations as well as younger generations. 

Neil advises that we can’t just rely upon ‘on the job training’ we also need to; ‘invest in both time and money to train and retain the workforce of the future.’

Take note of the Apprenticeship Levy

‘Taking advantage of the Apprenticeship Levy is key for both small and large companies’ says Neil Purcell.

Increasing the number of apprenticeships will increase the range of skills within the workforce, as well as enabling companies to create talent pools that address skills shortages within their business. The levy can also be used to up-skill your current workforce.

Loyalty

A high staff turnover can be a key factor on an organisation’s bottom line. Creating loyalty amongst employees is crucial in retaining talent.

Neil says it simply; ‘If you invest in people, up-skill, engage and nurture, they will stay.’

Work-life balance

Again, another buzzword which looks like it is here to stay. Neil explains, ‘there are other ways of attracting and retaining skilled workers beyond salary. This includes giving a wider consideration to benefits, flexible working, support, engagement, environment, investment in the organisation and it’s employees and continued personal development.’

The full findings of the Open University report will be presented to MPs and Peers at an event in the Houses of Parliament on 11 July.

Finding the right talent but struggling to get them onboard? Check out our blog on how to improve candidate experience.

Beyond the Purple Unicorn

The Purple Unicorn used to be how Talent Acquisition leaders described the unique challenges they faced in finding talent. It’s no longer simply the case that talent is rare. More and more companies know how to find those purple unicorns – and many of them are deploying incredibly sophisticated search, tracking and selection systems to get to them first!

So, if it feels harder to hire good people today, that’s because it is! Organizations globally need to adjust their hiring strategy to sustain their advantage. Many are already doing so. As Talent Acquisition becomes a more complex picture, the most forward-thinking employers are looking beyond traditional talent pools. The Rainbow Unicorn? Trust me, there’s Diversity teams out there already searching hard every day.

Building a proactive talent strategy

The secret is having a realistic understanding around your organization and the positions you need to fill. Competitive insight allows you to understand how you can differentiate your business to the right candidate. By looking at direct competitors and those companies in your zip code, you know how your proposition competes. If you are not paying the best salary, but the culture is amazing, message that first so you can be honest and informed as to what a candidate will gain when they join.

You can’t control the job market, but you can put some effort and resource behind a few key strategies including:

1. Role validation

Whether you have a newly created position or not, the right job title is key. An initial overview of the role, competencies and attributes required helps to determine the right level, the right title and the potential pool in the local market

2. Target the competition

‘Post and pray’ isn’t working anymore. The number of roles is overwhelming.  Candidates can apply with a quick click on their phone, so they don’t read the job description or location carefully. Busy Talent Acquisition teams don’t have the time to sift through the clutter or respond to the best candidates quickly enough.

Sourcing depends on identifying those companies you admire, as well as those you compete with. Once again, it is time well spent. Think beyond your industry, beyond your traditional talent communities, beyond conventional job descriptions and challenge your own idea of what good looks like. If you can avoid limiting yourself, the appeal for top talent to make a move is even greater if a candidate has the chance to transition into another industry and broaden their own knowledge.

3. Tell your story authentically

Developing an EVP (Employer Value Proposition) showcasing what it is really like to work for your company is a key step in finding the right people to join your organization. It also helps the right people who just wouldn’t fit into your company culture to de-select themselves out of the process at an earlier stage.

Understanding ‘What’s In It For Me?’ also means thinking about how best to bring it to life. Words, imagery, video, animation, online presence? These elements work together to elevate the job description to another level. Providing a clear destination to see the message is important and to do that effectively you need a campaign.

4. Campaign Solutions

Once a segmented attraction message has been created, it is important to create a destination where individuals can be directed to – where you can share the compelling reasons as to why individuals should want to work for your company.

Campaigns can be built on job boards, but  programmatic advertising can be more effective. Programmatic offers the opportunity to deliver a deeper story which will result in more brand engagement and appropriate applicants. It will open up opportunities outside of the limited markets accessed through job boards. All channels will work in combination to ensure the audience is reached, captured and engaged, wherever they are, on whatever device they are using.

Regardless of the budget, role or timelines it pays to be prepared and informed.  Whether you insource or outsource, knowing what you need and where you think you can find the right talent is key:

  • Research and review with free tools to understand the competitive landscape.
  • Understanding your reputation in the market and that of your competitors will allow for you to be prepared to connect with passive and active candidates.
  • Sourcing and building talent pipelines saves time and money in the future as your business grows.

You start building relationships before you need them and ultimately position your organization as an employer of choice for the right talent.

The market is competitive and the outlook can be overwhelming, but knowing the attributes of your business and the places to look will help you find the best talent first.

Jody Robie is the Senior Vice President North America for Talent Works International (TWI). Talent Works International is a global talent communications firm that helps organizations around the world build effective and efficient talent strategies through our research, sourcing and creative teams. Please contact jody.robie@talent-works.com  for more information.