I’ve attended HR People & Strategy’s annual spring conference on a number of occasions in the past (when the group’s acronym stood for the Human Resource Planning Society), but never the group’s Fall Forum. Until this week, that is.
HRPS is in a rebuilding mode, with a membership now reportedly around 1,200. About 150 people attended the group’s fall meeting, which featured a good line-up of sessions and speakers, including HREOnline™ ’s Talent Management columnist Peter Cappelli.
Incidentally, this year’s event was held at the Westin Arlington Gateway just up the road from the Society for Human Resource Management’s headquarters in Alexandria,Va.
I wasn’t able to catch the first full day’s opening keynote by Healthy Companies Inc. CEO Bob Rosen this morning, but did sit in on a later panel titled “Moderated Panel Discussion on Outsourcing.” Not the sexiest of session titles, but the discussion had some lively moments and included some good pointers for anyone considering or reconsidering recruitment process outsourcing. (A show of hands suggested that most of those in audience had yet to embrace RPO.)
As might be expected, all of panelists have used outsourcing to some extent. But not all were necessarily fans.
One panelist, Mike Brown, senior director of talent acquisition at Siemens, led off the discussion saying he believes that “good professional recruiters … can do a better job in-house.”
When Brown first joined Siemens, much of the recruiting was “decentralized and outsourced.” But not anymore. Today, Brown’s team makes a case to bring on a new recruiter for every 35 requisitions. That recruiter, he said, is expected to fill between 120 and 130 positions every year.
Brown pointed out that the focus at Siemens—which averages about 40 to 50 hires a day—is on time to fill, not cost per hire. “It’s a little brazen,” he said, “but we ask them for the money and tell them to hold us accountable [in shrinking time to fill]. If the results aren’t there, then we’ll pay the price.”
On the list of challenges for those going the RPO route, several of the panelists emphasized the importance of getting a provider who understands your organization’s culture. Figuring out during the RFP process how well it grasps the culture is difficult to do, explained panelist Aziz Chowdhury, a former talent-management executive who founded careerSHOUT!, a provider of career-management solutions. “But it’s a big driver of success.”