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RPO case study: year-on-year success recruiting highly skilled financial talent.

high-service levels and innovative solutions deliver specialist financial talent across the U.S., as part of a long-term recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partnership 

RPO case study financial services class hiring Randstad Sourceright

| 5 min read |

sourcing financial consultants and customer service roles with very specific requirements

Based on growth initiatives set by executive leadership, a financial services firm that delivers high-tech financial solutions faced increased demand for highly skilled financial talent, including financial consultants and customer services roles in locations across the United States.

Highly advisory financial consultant roles call for detailed background checks and require specialized licenses and experience, making recruitment more challenging. As a result, the organization often must attract talent from its competitors to fill these roles for 30 locations across the United States.

Customer service role recruitment takes place in class hires, which must deliver high volume over a short time frame, while still maintaining the quality of candidates. Although a class hire is a 90-day process, in reality there are only six weeks to make the hires as time is needed for background checks and notice periods.

Adding complexity, in 2020, the organization was acquired by a large multinational company and the COVID-19 pandemic forced the move to a virtual recruitment strategy.

a highly responsive team delivers increased targets

With a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) model in place to deliver different hiring programs for a variety of financial roles since 2016, the organization uses a class hiring strategy to bring licensed associate financial services representatives, associate financial services representatives (unlicensed roles) and customer service representatives on board. A range of strategies are used to find specialist financial consultants.

In 2019, a new emphasis was placed on sourcing financial consultants with the whole organization focusing on the hiring goals — right up to board level. The RPO team provided Randstad Market Insights to support the client’s research on growth and expansion. Facing talent scarcity for these highly specialized roles, the RPO also implemented innovative recruitment strategies to attract passive candidates from competitors.

In 2020, the program expanded further, with more class hires and greater demand for hiring financial consultants. On top of this, the client was acquired by a large multinational organization, and the COVID-19 pandemic forced a move to virtual recruitment. As a result, the RPO team smoothly integrated into the new structure and worked closely with the new talent acquisition leaders to make sure recruitment targets are maintained.

From the start, the organization worked tirelessly to build a successful partnership and drive recruitment forward. To deliver these new targets, the RPO team developed a structured, month-on-month strategy, including marketing, resources and technology, showing how these changes would be achieved across all aspects of the hiring plan. Every avenue was pursued to source licensed financial consultants.

Recruiters worked closely with the client’s business leaders to develop a successful internal referral program. They also created sponsored digital talent marketing campaigns, which consistently deliver high quality talent. Recruiters support the client’s communications strategy, advising on recruitment and interview best practice, and created a playbook to help the management team share details on these specialist financial roles.

taking high-volume class hiring to a new level

To deliver the numbers for each class hire, detailed plans and timeframes are developed, taking into account expected fall-offs. The target audience for the class hires is new graduates and talent up to three years out of school looking to build their careers in financial services. With limited talent supply for these customer-facing roles, the RPO has also widened the client’s talent pool by recruiting from additional geographies, starting with two locations and growing to five.

Pre-COVID, the RPO team joined the client at career fairs and managed the marketing. In a post-COVID world, the team has discovered new, innovative sourcing methods. They quickly switched to virtual tools and technologies to target recent graduates and alumni.

a new type of recruitment coordinator

As part of this evolving RPO model, the role of the recruitment coordinator was adapted. These pivotal team members scheduled the first and second interview and also manage complex background checks, liaising with the client’s legal and compliance teams and then communicating back to candidates.

For the class hiring, the recruitment coordinators and client attend virtual recruiting events — from open houses to career fairs. The recruiters then follow-up with all the candidates and measure the ROI of events to the talent pipeline.

Although the recruiters deal with high volumes, they are very hands-on, offering personalized service to both the client and candidates. They prepare candidates for behavioral-based interviews, helping them understand how to answer questions using the STAR format — the client’s preferred interview method. This also helps hiring managers, as candidates come to the interview fully prepared and able to perform successfully.

The recruitment team quickly scales up at peak hiring times and manages complex interview scheduling. They ensure the client’s hiring managers and HR team are available for 200 interviews per class hire.

the role of innovative HR technology

From the start, recruitment technology played a critical part — sourcing, scheduling and video interviewing tools allow the employer to tap into talent across the country and streamline processes.

A video interviewing tool was successfully adopted in 2019. More recently, the use of this tool expanded to include candidate self-scheduling. On a full interview day, nearly a dozen candidates are scheduled into different staff members’ calendars.

The technology strips the process back to just one email. When the pandemic hit and online recruitment processes were implemented, the client added “a day in the life” video to the front-end of the interview tool, helping engage talent through the interview process.

Post pandemic, early-career community technology became an invaluable tool in the hunt for recent graduates and alumni. Tapping into other sourcing tools, such as Monster, helps the employer reach an even larger pool of candidates.

delivering high quality candidates in high volume

This level of service and support, delivered in one of the most challenging times in recent history, resulted in hiring manager satisfaction scores increasing from 7.4 in 2017 to 9.7 in 2020. Time-to-hire rates have decreased by 15 days since initial implementation (even as the targets have increased). Across the RPO, aged job requisitions have dropped from 40% in 2017 to just 14% in 2020.

In 2019, the goal for hiring financial consultants was 375. This goal increased to 400 in the third quarter, and the RPO secured 410 hires. In 2020, an even higher target of 450 hires was exceeded three months ahead of schedule.

Despite the pandemic and the client’s acquisition, 2020 was a record-breaking year. For class hires, recruitment coordinators scheduled 3,876 first interviews, 899 second interviews, and over 1,000 background checks. Eight classes of more than 50 hires each were delivered with a 100% fulfillment rate, and all occurring in the months following the COVID lockdowns.

The high service level of the recruitment consultants meant low numbers of no shows. In 2020, less than 1% of candidates failed to attend on the first day, well below the industry average of 15%.

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