Category Archives: Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Agile•1 RPO Social Recruiting

Agile•1 RPO Social Recruiting

Fantastic video on social recruitment.


Leveraging Your ATS to Impact Results: Ten Steps That Improve Your Social Media Reach and Increase Recruiter Productivity

WARNING: Do not read this article unless you want to increase:

  1. Your online shares and referrals
  2. Job distribution and visibility to passive candidates
  3. Candidate response rates
  4. Recruiter productivity when requisition loads are heavy and inbox recruiting is the
    primary activity (The activities described below have reduced time-to-offer by over four days.)
  5. Traffic to your career site
  6. The total number of unique applicants into your ATS each month (The following activities have also resulted in the addition of over 20,000 new applicants in one year.)

Do we have your interest? We should. All of these results can be achieved by taking advantage of an asset you may be underutilizing—your applicant tracking system (ATS). When it comes to investments, the ATS often gets one of the highest allocations in an organization. What’s more, the total cost of ownership extends far beyond the platform itself and its support team. It also includes the expense associated with each uploaded resume and candidate profile. Companies can maximize their return on investment if they begin to use the ATS more like a customer relationship management tool and really leverage the data they currently have. Instead of focusing their efforts on candidates in their external networks, recruiters should be developing effective marketing strategies for the ones already in the system.

The reality is that candidates who have submitted an application through your ATS have already decided, either through their own research or perhaps speaking to an existing employee, that they are interested in your company as a potential employer. A person’s willingness to go through an application process represents meaningful decision and commitment of time; therefore, your ability to leverage this relationship is measurably important. In a case study, candidates who already invested in the brand resulted in a 17 percent higher response rate than cold lists. Similarly, candidates who had previously applied were more likely to refer on social networks at a ratio of 13:1 compared with candidates who were not familiar with a brand.

The following ten steps can help you achieve similar results by maximizing your existing database.

Step 1: Understand your ATS and the types of candidate data that can be downloaded from the system. The data elements that are important are: first name, last name, cell phone, email address, jobs applied, location and status. (Status is critical because it can identify who has previously applied and the outcome of their application. Additionally, it can identify if they are now an employee.)

Step 2: Know what you want to accomplish with this data. Here are some things to consider:

                A. Is this a campaign to touch internal employees or new hires?
                B. Is this to promote a job or a set of jobs geographically?
                C. Is this targeted towards a specific job or set of jobs?
                D. Is this to support a job fair or networking event?
                E. Is this to support a campus hiring event or presentation?

Step 3: Decide how you would like to reach these candidates. Your options include texting, calling, emailing, or social media channels. Each of these outlets has a multitude of tools available in order to help manage, expedite and measure your strategies. However, as with any strategy, planning should take place on the front end to understand the best and worst case scenarios. You must determine, for example, who will follow up with the call to action activity, and what ultimately happens if the volume exceeds expectations.

Step 4: Plan the messaging and call to action. To connect with your candidates,it’s critical that you create strong messaging that is meaningful and clearly communicates your end goal, whether it’s showcasing how to apply to the company, explaining how to contact a recruiter and book an interview, or garnering interest in attending a career related event. Messaging should NOT be a one-size-fits-all approach. Consider having the message derive from a hiring manager versus a recruiter. This is especially helpful if the target population is in high demand, or the voice of a subject matter expert will have a bigger impact.

Step 5: Use imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words. If it’s a visual strategy, what are the images associated with those particular campaigns? Projecting consistency with the overall employment brand is important, but still leaves a lot of opportunity to convey the special messaging that you seek to communicate to your audience.

Step 6: Consider the voice. If the strategy includes a calling campaign that is pre-recorded or includes a video, what is the voice strategy? Consider the tone, whether the voice should be masculine or feminine, and the pace. All of these components make a difference.

Step 7: Review the approach with subject matter experts and your client group. This step is commonly missed, yet can be the most valuable. In many cases the candidates you are seeking will reach out directly to the business team. Determine with your team the appropriate response when a candidate circumvents your intended process.

Step 8: Ensure your project is measurable and reportable to the business team. Numbers paint a powerful picture. Some important metrics you should track include: percent of opened emails, click through rates, number of new applicants, attendees, returned calls or texts, candidate screens, interviews conducted and hires made. I further recommend capturing a baseline and measuring these data points over time to demonstrate the ongoing results of your marketing efforts.

Step 9: Monitor trends. What are the trends you wish to monitor—social referrals, opt out rates, hires per recruiter over time? Whatever it is, determine if your strategy influences single a point in time or an entire process. If it has process implications, then measure the results over a period of three to four months to understand if the hypothesized outcome was the actual outcome.

Step 10: Test and refine your strategy. Leverage your metrics, monitor trends and listen to candidate feedback. Based upon the outcomes, determine what components of the campaign can be adjusted. In a recent campaign for SEC accountants, we tested the effectiveness of two similar video emails; one was from the recruiter, the other was from the hiring manager, and discovered that the video email with the hiring manager resulted in a better quality of applicants.

Every year your organization makes huge investments to generate applicant traffic and each of these individuals has invested in your active jobs. Recruiters can maximize this investment and their own productivity by remembering that this wealth of opportunity lies within ATS—and with a targeted recruitment campaign, they are far more likely to achieve their hiring objectives.






Connecting the Philadelphia Airport Community to Employers

Another great solution by Agile-1 RPO! The Philadelphia Airport now has a career center to connect airport employers with the local community. Our recruitment marketing, technology and programs team brought this to life with a great partnership from the Airport. Way to go! Love how our teams are leveraging technology to enhance the recruitment process.

Rebuilding Recruiting: Cost, Compliance, Process and Botox

2010 poses interesting cross roads in Talent Acquisition for many companies.  With the onset of changes from the IRS, DOL and new case law being defined about fair employment practices, COMPLIANCE AND COST MANAGEMENT have become driving forces over building good infrastructure.  These challenges have been compounded by the increase in focus around contingent labor as part of a total strategy, rebuilding talent  programs to support the ever changing needs, limited budgets, decision making capabilities and finally supporting ongoing mergers and acquisitions. In speaking with many Talent Management Leaders, it is not about doing “what is right” it is about “botox” and deploying solutions that can decrease cost and manage compliance. A leader in this space must focus on blocking and tackling and deploying solutions that leverage the resources they currently have in a way an organization is ready to have them perform.  The reality is, the READINESS and EXPECTATIONS, may not align with the RIGHT set of solutions.

This insight is as a result  of my activities over the last few months that have focused on audits, vendor selection, process documentation and technology implementations.  The themes for this have been “help me save money, make my life easier and keep me compliant”.  However while the themes are alive, the work expectations of a Talent Acquisition / Management leader have increased exponentially as they must execute strategically, tactically as well as block and tackle.  The internal struggle becomes do I check the box or do I do it right?   OR as I say do you do Botox or a full facelift?

While I am not sure this article will solve this problem,  this article will provide some benchmarks of how peers are successfully deploying solutions and working within these constraints.

Benchmarks:  What are some of your peers doing?


Company Description: Two large organizations, recent spinoff’s, no technology, variable hiring practices.

Limitations: Limited resources, budget for external consultants, executive appetite for doing the required pre-work and post implementation change management.

Botox Actions: Develop generic processes, hiring manager self service is a big decision, no integrations, career site facelift (simple), simple approval processes, job board memberships, basic on-boarding and compliance documentation.

Gaps: Internal mobility (process and policy),  Search firm management process and practices, ERP integrations, integrated background and screening vendors and thorough requirements development associated with college, internal, volume, professional and executive hiring practices.  Change management and user acceptance programs post implementation.


Focus: Contingent and Direct Hiring Practices.

Company Description: 5 Companies, 2 Global, variable hiring practices.

Limitations: Technology, policy adherence, corporate cultures, competing priorities and resources.

Botox Actions: Contingent Workforce Audits,  Direct Hire Audits, Process Documentation, Recruitment Operations Guide Creation.  Legal defensive support vs. pro-active policy adherence.

Gaps:  (Contingent): The ability to execute with speed.   (Direct):  Resources, change management, centralized policy administration, operational management resources dedicated to HR compliance.

Recruitment Delivery

Focus: Direct Hiring Practices.

Limitations: Process optimization, sourcing tools, assessment tools, on-boarding systems and practices, transactional service delivery (order taking focus).

Botox Actions: Increase in temporary hiring, adding of contract recruiters, investigation of RPO with longer decision cycles, basic branding and recruitment advertising support for web, social media execution w/o aligned strategy,  refined job postings and communications.

Gaps: Process development / optimization, vendor management practices, recruitment marketing strategy and metrics, workforce planning, consultative / high value recruitment delivery practices, alignment to the business, training and recruiter development.

Procuring External Solutions  (RPO, MSP, Research, Project Recruitment, Consulting)

Focus: Direct and contingent hiring practices.

Limitations: Spend and long term commitment to a solution.

Botox Actions: Business case development, increased supplier presentations, competitive pricing, longer decision making cycles, increase in  internal stakeholder management and contracts that assume less liability as a buyer of services.

Gaps: Budgets with decision making ability to spend.

Unexpected Distractions

As filling requisitions remains a focus, compliance and litigation can distract the progress of an HR / Talent Management and Contingent Workforce Management organization.  Below are a few snippets from, that are real issues causing a distraction in policies, practices and HR’s focus.

Legal Snippets

In Velez v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a jury awarded over $250 Million to a class of female sales employees who claimed that they were paid less than their male counterparts. Statistical analysis was used in an effort to show that females systematically received lower performance ratings than men in comparable jobs.

Social networking sites (e.g., FacebookMySpaceLinkedInTwitter, etc.) are fast becoming a popular tool for employers seeking information about job applicants. It has been reported that the number of employers currently using social media during the recruitment and hiring process has more than doubled in the past two years. According to the same source, 45 percent of employers currently use social networking sites to screen potential job candidates and 35 percent of those employers have rejected an applicant because of information they discovered, such as inappropriate pictures, information regarding alcohol or drug use, and postings in which the applicant “bad-mouthed” a former employer, bragged about prior acts of misconduct or made discriminatory remarks.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that may create additional liability for employers whose policies have a disparate impact upon minorities. On May 24, 2010, in Lewis v. City of Chicago, 560 U.S. _____ (2010), the Court held that a disparate impact discrimination claim may arise not only from the adoption of an employer policy which has a disparate impact upon individuals in a protected class, but also in all future implementations of the practice covered by the policy. With recent studies exposing the potential disparate impact of common employer policies, such as using social media for background checks and recruiting, this case may have a far-reaching effect.

Employers should remember that disparate impact claims may arise not only from the introduction of a policy such as a social media background check policy which results in a disparate impact or discrimination, but also each hiring decision which results from implementation of that policy. In light of this ruling, employers may want to consider these practical pointers:

  1. Examine your hiring, screening and promotion policies, including your social media background check and recruiting policies, to ensure they do not result in inequalities on the basis of protected classes, e.g., race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
  2. If your policies do result in such inequalities, ensure that you have documentation which establishes the business necessity of the policies; or
  3. Reexamine your policies and implement new ones which do not result in disparate impact or discrimination, and ensure that social media is not the sole source for recruitment and background checks.


Many organizations are rebuilding and having to work within the parameters that are acceptable within their organization today.  This should not stop good work it just makes the journey towards excellence bumpier and a longer road to travel. To all of those smart people I have and continue to work with – I appreciate that they continue to do great things – just baby steps instead of one giant step for mankind.  I would be happy to discuss these details in further, should you be interested, contact my at

If I outsource my recruiting to a RPO does my job go away?

As I sat down to write this blog post, I struggled with the direction to take this discussion.  Part  of me says “What do you think?”  – The other side says – let me provide you with a set of questions that can help you think about this answer.

First – I would like to know what is your thoughts?  So please respond to this post.

There are  4  situations how an RPO can be utilized. An RPO can take on all of the recruiting, part of the recruitment process, a project or a segment within the recruiting process.

In recent conversations with Talent Acquisition Leaders, they are seeking an RPO to leverage and scale their recruiting function today.  What is driving this mindset is, a reduction in recruitment due to the economy, restructuring of all Talent Management, program and operational needs that compete with filling positions and the need to do something, better, faster, cheaper.   While this is only a subset of conversations, this thought process is not the only one in play today.

How do you understand how an RPO may be utilized inside your organization?

The first step is to really understand what gaps exists today and why? Is there a global expansion?  Is there a division that has had an unexpected peak in hiring?  What is the voice of the customer revealing?

The real questions are: Does the leadership see the Talent function as transactional or as a business process?  Let me explain further.  Does your organization expect you to have strategic discussions with the manager about the business and how this role will make an impact?  Do they expect you to get the job description and fill the position?  Now based upon the environment you are in today, do the business expectations align with what you are currently delivering?

Secondly: Does your organization understand the impact compensation, benefits, training,  employment brand, retention, diversity has on the acquisition of talent?  OR does the organization see this as separate?

Third: If expectations are not aligned with delivery, than ask: How does my organization make decisions when these gaps exist?  Would they support a solution that allows the internal organization to fix it? Would they seek to just replace it?

Fourth: If the HR infrastructure is seen as separate from impacting talent acquisition, could leadership seek a group who they would perceive as doing it better?

If yes to seeing an outside organization having the ability to do it better, than RPO may be seen as a replacement, and the work you may need to do is provide data and analysis to demonstrate the WHY and HOW these factors impact recruiting and what role you can play once an RPO is in place.

If your organization respects Talent Management, than use this opportunity to understand and define your processes.  Understand where are the program gaps? Finally once an RPO is in place, what activities do you need to execute to better align with the business or improve the effectiveness of the entire program?

There are many other scenarios that drive the decision making around how an RPO is utilized. Recruitment process assessments, voice of customer surveys are two good activities to understand how better to leverage this type of outsourced set of solutions.

Again, what are your thoughts?

Corporate Culture Impact on RPO and Recruitment Services Vendor Management

Over the last month I have been conducting recruitment process assessments and benchmarking my findings with others. There seems to be a theme coming from the voice of the hiring manager (customer) exercises: “We expect good process, now please understand our business.  When you don’t understand our business, the candidates you present just don’t fit.”

The theme from the HR / Recruiting organization is: We are rebuilding our processes, transitioning new organizations due to M&A, doing more with less and are in need of a short term plan to stop the chaos and simultaneously build a longer term strategy.

The business wants alignment now; the HR organization is building and responding.  There is a natural gap between wants and what can be delivered, possibly resulting in frustration, work around behavior and greater escalation management. We have entered the perfect storm.  As part of the perfect storm the increase in need for Managed Services Programs and Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions are seen as a mechanism to solve part of the need.  Yet if your organization is in the midst of this storm below are some good recommended vendor management practices when putting short and long term solutions in place.


1.  Prior to engaging a vendor identify: Culture, policies and conduct a voice of the customer.  Key outcomes are answers that address:  What will the provider need to know in order to be successful? What will I need to closely manage, so both parties are successful?

Leveraging these findings, create a vendor management strategy to include:

1.  Mission and Vision of Recruiting

2. How do vendors fit into this overall strategy? Short term and Long term?

3.  What changes exist within the organization around stakeholders, expectations, business
needs that an outsourced provider and a vendor management group will need to know?

4.  How can this break and with whom?  What is the impact if it breaks and what will you need
to do to mitigate major issues?

5.  What are the business triggers that can change the needs or services requested of the RPO
and MSP?  What role does the vendor management or HR leadership team need to monitor
to effectively collaborate with all stakeholders on the right solutions and expectations?

Vendor Management Framework

Based upon your answers the framework components will include:

1. Vendor  Utilization Policy,  Contracts T&C’s,  Approval Policy and SOP,  Search Firm Contracts, On boarding / Management / Off-boarding Vendors, Contract Negotiations, Candidate experience model,  Adding a vendor, vendor payment authorizations, vendor dispute resolution, tools, training, communications and preferred vendor registry.

2. Management reporting and presentation to stakeholder community with an associated RASIC chart.

MSP and RPO Providers:

As part of the solutioning effort, seek to understand culture, expectations and review policies.

Understand the business and educate your service delivery team. Transactional processing may not be enough.

If you have recruiters responsible for higher complexity roles, make sure they understand how those positions fit into the business or objectives being addressed. They need to manage the hiring managers not be subservient.

Dig deep on stakeholder management and a “one size” fits all report may not be enough.

Additional Observations

I thought it was worth mentioning other observations that would impact how vendors are managed when delivering people driven solutions.

When the culture is such that there is a huge disconnect between the business and the HR group, the permanent hiring team needs to work harder to fill positions. Time to fill or the cycles to fill requisitions tend to be longer.  There is a greater utilization of temporaries and search firms.  These sets of disparate activities create additional frustrations around candidate quality, retention and succession planning.

The perceived focus for many HR organizations and service providers is to follow the process versus understanding how the business runs and delivering services with the process as the skeleton and the services customized to meet the needs.

If full-time compensation is not competitive in core business areas, there may be an increase in  temporary labor and / or  time to fill or quality of hire is impacted.

If the corporate brand is in flux, and information found on is questionable people may see a job with the company as a stepping stone versus a destination.  The impact is turnover, commitment and whether a strong candidate is willing to work full time versus temporary.


Vendor management of outsourcing providers is more than just giving them work to deliver and managing Service Level Agreements.  It involves understanding the environment, how a vendor can be successful and a vendor management framework that supports the business needs.  Like everything else, good process is expected; it is the stakeholder and program management of this function that makes this a success.

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.