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« BUPA say stress, but what about recruitment stress? | Main | Facebook - the new career advice site!! »

October 09, 2007

Are offshore RPO Companies in decline?

Many of you will have experienced offshore RPO (oRPO) – Recruitment Process Outsource - companies, such as OS2i, PureRPO and Greenwich Bell . They provide outsourced recruitment services around sourcing both passive and active candidates.

But are they doing anything new or are they just recycling the same as they were doing 3 years ago?

I have experienced these types of companies at different times over three years, and feel that unless they change or adopt different methods, they will start to see a decrease rather than an increase in their business, going forward.

They all provide a similar range of services, such as job board CV database searching, head hunt research, passive candidate sourcing through social networking sites liked LinkedIn and CV screening by email etc. But the problem I have is that they rely heavily on job board CV databases, LinkedIn and Google etc for their information.

They will all tell you that they have the most highly trained, intelligent (many have multiple degrees), and creative resourcers, that use all the latest cutting edge searching techniques to find candidates, but if the data they are searching against is not itself changing dramatically then there is going to be a decline of effective results – no matter how good they are.

All the problems with data protection, a buoyant job market and the bad press that some of the social networking sites like Facebook are having, means that many quality candidates are shying away from placing their CV’s onto the web via job boards. Simply put, candidates don’t have to place themselves in the public domain to find a job.

In my opinion they need to address two main issues:

  • Communication and the time it takes. There is still a language barrier for these types of companies which is very frustrating. It isn’t that the resourcers / researchers don’t speak English well because most of them do, but they don't seem to be able to ‘read between the lines’ and disseminate information on CV’s accordingly. In other words you have to exactly detail all the key information that you require to be searched against, from job titles (and all other possibilities) to key skills and finally locations. If you simply gave them a spec or a profile for a job, without explaining it, they would find it difficult to get accurate results. There lies the problem – time. Not only do you have to take the time ‘specifying’ the job in every way you can, even sometimes composing the search strings, but you have to keep your eye closely on the results they return.
  • The need to be different. They need to look at different ways of working  - not simply relying on using ‘search strings’ on sources such as job board databases, linkedin, google, networking sites, web forums, discussion groups etc. Just searching for job titles and key words and company names, while effective, is not adding anything different to the mix, and for me it doesn’t represent any extra value. They need to be able to really understand job roles and what alternatives sourcing pools (and puddles!) could provide good candidates, rather than having to be told what to do and where to search.

Even though I do have issues with the effectiveness of these types of companies, I would have to say that if you do have straight forward roles that can be easily defined, where there are no ambiguities, then oRPO companies will do a good job for you on searching for candidates. It can then it can be a cost effective recruitment solution. But even then you will still have to devote a fair amount of time to working with them, to make sure the particular resourcers delivers the calibre you need.

With the advent of some UK direct advertising and sourcing companies such as Easywebrecruitment and Websearch Recruitment, now proving their worth in the UK, the oRPO companies are just going to have to get their act together…….and quickly.


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intresting comments in thir article

They are trying to do new.

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