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RPO case study: high-volume retail hiring at speed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recruitment process outsourcing program delivers 452 new hires for 67 wireless retail stores in nine weeks — over two holiday seasons and in the middle of a global pandemic.

high-volume hiring case study project RPO Randstad Sourceright

a tight timescale for high-volume recruitment

In late 2020, this wireless products and services provider expanded its retail operations and acquired 67 new stores across the Midwest, South and Southwest of the United States. Each new store required five or six sales representatives and one store manager.

With goals of opening quickly, the company wanted to smoothly open these stores, and by the end of the year. Once its six-week onboarding process was factored in, the scope of the program dramatically changed – the timeline decreased from twelve to nine weeks (with some hires needed in just two weeks) and recruitment levels increased to more than 400 staff.

As well as being time-critical, the project ran across two holiday seasons between October and December. The COVID-19 pandemic added an extra challenge, as staff would work in a storefront retail environment.

At this time, the wireless products and services provider was building its presence in new locations, which meant there were not yet any candidates in the pipeline and there opportunities to boost brand recognition.

creating a responsive RPO program to deliver the talent

The short time frame for this project required fresh thinking. The only way to deliver such high-volume in nine weeks was to create a new project-based recruitment process outsourcing program (RPO) from the ground up.

In partnership with the wireless provider, Randstad Sourceright developed a highly responsive RPO program, which was implemented in just one week. By leveraging the latest technology, real-time analytics and talent advisors’ recruiting skills, they built a unique sourcing strategy.

An expert in metrics and talent analytics was brought onto the RPO team to manage the talent pipeline, including daily targets for interviews and screening. Daily briefings supported the talent advisors, and if targets were not met, adjustments were made to keep the project on track.

The agile RPO team constantly evolved to meet changing demands. Initially, a team of six started the process. This was upscaled in December to 11 people, to handle higher volumes. A month later, as targets reduced, the team downsized.

Smart use of recruitment technology drove efficiencies. Sourcing tools were used to find the very best talent. Text and messaging apps streamlined candidate communication, and talent advisors conducted preliminary video interviews. Second interviews with the company hiring managers were quickly arranged through the RPO.

The teams worked in close collaboration and focused on reaching the daily targets. Hiring managers understood the time pressures, clearing space in their calendars for interviews and making rapid decisions.

successful hiring with a low attrition rate

With the RPO solution in place, the wireless products and services provider recruited and hired 452 skilled individuals in just nine weeks.

Even though the project ran through two major holiday periods, it filled 96% of the roles and required an additional 11% staff to complete the project eight weeks faster than the original deadline due to onboarding. Some positions were filled in just two weeks.

Over the nine weeks, the RPO talent advisors video screened an incredible 1233 candidates. In December, a traditionally difficult time to recruit, targets peaked and the program achieved 65 hires every week.

The retail sector suffers from high attrition rates with new staff. The industry average is a 60% drop-off; this project delivered a very low attrition rate of 28%.

This highly responsive and focused RPO program helped the company solve its high-volume recruiting challenges and secured the quality team members needed to open the new stores on time.

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