Global Talent Acquisition Strategy: Leveraging an RPO for both a Long and Short Term Strategy

International recruiting requirements have just been dumped on your lap.  There is a burning platform to do something, however internally, you are not globally aligned.  There are three solutions:

1. Solve the problem transactionally and farm it out to an in country agency.

2. Invest some up front time conducting a current state analysis and determining the best outsourced strategy country by country.

3. Invest some up front time conducting a current state analysis and determine if a short / long term outsourced strategy is needed to “put butts in seats” while infrastructure is built to bring select or all countries back in house.

Each of these options generate the desired results which is “butts in seats”, however one is:

1. Transactional, identify providers to fill the positions both in a temporary or full-time capacity.

2. One is to fully outsource and own the responsibility to provide stellar program management
and overarching strategy.

3. Provide stellar program management while outsourcing as a phase 1 and build the
operational infrastructure internally to better acquire, grow and retain talent around the
world, leveraging RPO where it makes operational sense.

Different objectives, different solutions!  As an advisor and consultant in this space, this article will provides tidbits of insights into each option to reduce risks and succeed in whichever direction you may choose.

Starting Point

Whatever choice you make here are a few pre-work items that I recommend.

1. Identify country based stakeholders and the roles they fulfill

2. Create a common dictionary of terms – (believe me, things get defined differently country by

3. Identify country based policies

4. Understand the country based laws and its impact on the hiring process

5. Works council requirements

6. Where is temporary to perm more the “norm” vs. direct full time hiring.

7. What suppliers do you use today and in what capacity? Do you use an MSP to help with
the countries where temp to perm might be the best solution?

8. What technology and data exists to understand source, cost, what makes up that cost,
number of employee’s, number of hires and current state practices.

9. Compliance, data security and physical security requirements

10. Over communicate and be thoughtful about meeting planning based upon geographic

11. Take time to listen

12.  What is the Global company framework, business objectives and culture?

13.  The most important: VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER

For the sake of not over engineering, this is good information for you as a HR or Recruitment leader to know so whatever decision you make is successful and deploy the best short and long term solution.

Next Steps

Based upon the outcome of your findings, this will help bring visibility to organizational roadblocks, opportunities, areas of cost savings, as well as help you articulate the details that any outsourced provider may need to be successful.

Framework for a Decision and a Direction to Move In

1. Overall Global Business Strategy and People Initiatives

2. Discovery – (Described above)

1. Technology

2. Process and Policy

3. Current State Assessment

4. Organization

5. Help Desk

6. Vendors

7. Technology

3. Build:  Transition Strategy and Structure

This stage may be a just do it or it may be a stepping stone to something bigger.  Discussions  will include:

1. Technology

2. Process and Policy

3. Organization

4. Master Vendor Program / Managed Services Program

5. Vendor and Sourcing Operations

6. Change Management Plan

7. Risks

8. Communication Plan

The details in each category will be contingent upon the finding and the solution that has been designed.

Transform:  Future State

Not all solutions are stagnant.  In fact it may be a stepping stone strategy that is  aligned to the business and overarching HR agenda.  The outcome can be as strategic as one common infrastructure to acquire, manage and grow talent around the Globe or it can focus on Program Management, Employment Branding, Career Site Optimization and Metrics.  Frankly the outcome of this phase will align to what messages, practices and outcomes the business wishes to achieve in the next 18 – 36 months.


I wish it was easy to say that Global is easy. In fact I personally keep a log that is now 6 years old of lessons learned by category, because there is always something new.  The reality is, there are so many solutions to solving the “I just got dropped in my lap global recruiting and need to fill xx positions” that no article can articulate what is best for your organization.  However what I can say is Recruitment Process Outsourcing  can be part of a short and/or long term strategy.  It is a way to create a consistent candidate experience and provide a level of visibility into the true current state practices, so the internal organization can determine the best long term strategy while meeting the organizational needs immediately. Additionally, many of the RPO’s have process experts that can help with the transition and transformation stages of the process, minimizing the need for MORE additional resources within your organization.

Some good resources to begin to understand Global dynamics by country is:

CIA Factbook:

Staffing Industry Analysts:


Workforce Magazine

Linkedin Groups – Global Recruiting

Tracey Friend,  MSP / RPO Consultant with Brightfield Strategies – She helps companies design, select and deploy the best solutions.


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