Early this year when most Americans first started paying attention to COVID-19, no one could have predicted the extent to which it would disrupt our lives, jobs, and businesses. Now, just a few months later, our standard ways of living and working have ground to a halt, and we’re not sure just how long it will be before we feel a semblance of normalcy again.
COVID-19 has created a paradox in the workforce, with some companies laying off or furloughing thousands of employees while other organizations are desperate to hire as fast as they can. No matter which side of that equation you’re on, chances are you weren’t expecting your hiring needs to look the way they do.
If, like many companies, you were caught off guard by the sudden increase or decrease of talent demand in your industry, then you’ve had to pivot quickly to find a new path forward. The key now is to develop a hiring strategy that will serve you well not only during COVID-19, but also in any future circumstances that require rapid adjustments to your plan.
Recruitment process outsourcing or RPO is the ideal solution for recruiting in a crisis (and beyond) because it gives you the flexibility and resilience to adapt, no matter what the current business climate throws at you.
Here are 8 ways you can crisis-proof your recruiting strategy with RPO:
- Create a flexible, scalable recruiting process.
Hiring needs can change rapidly, especially when the economy is volatile. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has escalated needs in industries like healthcare and supply chain, while others have had to institute hiring freezes. RPO helps you ride out these changes by giving you the option to turn off recruiting if you have to put a hold on hiring or turn it back on if you need to fill positions quickly. Because you are working with a RPO solutions partner, you can easily reallocate your focus from one department to another if, for example, you suddenly need to hire thousands of additional workers (or even just a few) to meet demand like Amazon and Kroger have.
- Count the costs.
Outsourcing recruitment – some or all - can save you money both by costing less per hire up front and by finding the right fit for the job the first time, so you won’t lose money on turnover and replacement costs. Unlike a full-time recruiter, RPO engagements with variable pricing models adjust pricing based on your hiring volume. That means you will never pay for services you don’t use. When hiring is low, costs are low.
- Emphasize both speed of hire and quality of hire.
When hiring needs escalate, you need to fill those positions fast without sacrificing quality of talent. According to the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association, working with an RPO company could reduce your time-to-hire by 25% or more. And those new hires won’t just be filling seats. They’ll be well-qualified employees chosen for both credentials and cultural fit, which translates into a higher retention rate over time.
- Transition types of hires.
If your hiring strategy is thrown a curve ball, you may need to quickly alter the focus of your recruiting. For example, you may need to hire more contingent labor and fewer full-time employees. RPO can absorb those changes quickly and without disruption to your engagement.
- Continue to prioritize diversity recruiting strategies.
Diverse companies experience better financial results, higher engagement, and stronger innovation. Even more importantly, prioritizing diversity in the workplace from the top down sets the tone for your culture. When recruiting needs ramp up quickly, partnering with an RPO firm gives you access to a much broader network of sources so you can continue to seek out qualified diversity candidates. For example, RPO providers can help you with diversity sourcing, talent pipelining, campus recruiting, employer branding, market insights, and other strategies designed to engage and recruit diversity candidates.
- Tap into technology resources.
If you’re worried about how much it will cost to invest in technology to support your recruiting strategy, RPO can help. Your RPO firm will typically include all the necessary technology for recruitment marketing, sourcing, screening, interviewing, and other recruiting functions as part of your engagement. You get access to best-in-class technology, and you won’t need to maintain separate, costly contracts.
- Choose a source agnostic recruiting methodology.
RPO's are source agnostic, which means they utilize all available sourcing channels to find the best talent for you. That includes traditional channels like industry job boards, job fairs, and associations, as well as alternative sourcing avenues such as veterans’ associations, complementary industry resources, social media, passive candidate recruiting, and networking. The bottom line is that an RPO company will find the best talent for your needs, no matter where those candidates may be.
- Create a remote workforce recruiting strategy.
Remote work has become essential faster than many companies planned. And it’s not going anywhere, even after the crisis conditions of COVID-19 have passed. Many companies (like Twitter and Shopify) are currently transitioning portions of their employees to a permanent remote workforce. If you are considering this change for your company, you’ll need a remote hiring and virtual training strategy for sourcing, screening, hiring, and onboarding employees virtually. An RPO firm can help you with this undertaking and provide many of the resources you need to transition your standard processes to a remote context.
The final step in crisis-proofing your recruitment and hiring strategy is to work with a partner you trust. At Hire Velocity, our recruiters will come alongside you, work within your parameters, and give as much or as little hiring support as you need. They will also help you accomplish all of the above goals with flexible, scalable recruiting solutions designed for your unique situation.
Whether you’re managing an increased demand for workers due to COVID-19, pausing your hiring initiatives for the present, or planning ahead for the future, RPO gives you the business advantage you need to weather the storm.