The Secrets of the Partnership between Human Resources and Outsourcing Companies

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Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman

Before embarking on a shared outsourcing process of one or more HR activities, it is essential to consider the strategic nature of this choice in order not to run potentially harmful risks. We are aware of the different types of outsourcing that exist, i.e. the complete 360-degree service (with end-to-end recruitment solutions), the hybrid service (where the customer also benefits from his own recruitment team alongside the RPO company) and the project-based service, within which the outsourcing provider is totally dedicated to a specific project. The consideration of the possible risks of mismanagement applies equally to each of these three categories.

What companies want is to grow rapidly by increasing the earning potential; however, be careful to make hasty decisions because not all functions can be entrusted to third parties. The first step is therefore to evaluate the nature of your HR strategies to understand if they are suitable for being outsourced. Take into account the degree of complexity, the economic investment and the possible side effects of the decision.

In several studies, it has been observed that many companies are lacking of awareness, more specifically they do not know how RPO actually works and such a lack of information leads to uncertainties and fears. Many are afraid of losing staff or no longer having control over recruiting operations. Due to this lack of information, those offering outsourcing services have been hindered for a long time and, after having had a good pinch of patience, they hope that by now there is no more confusion about what an RPO is and what it does.

At this point, how would it be best to act? As already mentioned, once you have fully understood the value of an RPO commitment, it is time to look internally and evaluate your organization, your processes and their effectiveness. In this evaluation data are dominant because, in the end, what matters is only the result. Hence, the Human Resources department needs to work transparently with the RPO company, defining the guidelines of the partnership in advance. The expectations of the two parties must be aligned and, for this reason, flexibility and mutual trust are essential. One of the most recurring reasons for failing the crystallization of recruitment processes that have been established in advance and that executives have no intention of changing.

Another serious mistake is to treat the RPO as a commodity, considering only the economic aspect of the matter, leaving the prices to make decisions. Great dissatisfactions can derive precisely from the lack of flexibility in dealing with unforeseen events of both a strategic and contractual nature; it is not customary to update the initial contract during construction but, when necessary, it is not a disgrace.

The formula for the successful functioning of HR outsourcing is based on commitment, communication and mutual trust: be agile and malleable, share both the good results and the risks and, above all, once you have selected the RPO provider, let it do its job and listen to him. If you are not willing to delegate, the outsourcing of recruiting activities is not for you.