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#3 selecting the team for your RPO implementation | RPO series.

transforming through RPO

When organizations decide to implement a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program, they are taking the first step toward an expedient and cost-effective approach to solving the growing issue of talent scarcity. As the RPO provider acts as an extension of the company’s own recruiting team, the program can address issues that were pre-existing in the recruiting process, as well as challenges with the technology currently in use. Since RPO can be so transformative, it requires a level of constant communication and change management, supported by a team of internal resources who are eager to work closely with the RPO provider before, during and after implementation to ensure program success.

Although the RPO provider will drive the implementation, selecting the right representatives who understand the business and provide insights on how it adapts to change will be instrumental in keeping the project on track. Once the team is identified, it is crucial to outline individual responsibilities from the beginning to ensure each person knows the tasks they are responsible for. Just as important is that everyone understands the time commitment involved, so they can ensure they have the bandwidth to deliver as required.

who's on your implementation team?

Who should be on the team responsible for working with the RPO provider to drive implementation? It is important to include all relevant stakeholders – not just those involved with talent acquisition. In addition to HR leaders and procurement, the RPO implementation should involve members of the C-suite, line leaders, hiring managers, marketing, finance, information systems and legal whenever possible.

executive sponsor. As with any major initiative, the RPO implementation will require that a member of the C-suite provide oversight and guidance of the entire program while building alignment with overall company strategy. While the executive will not be involved with the day-to-day aspects of the implementation, this sponsor will play a lead role, committing their time as required for success. Often times, the executive sponsor will be a chief human resources officer, chief people officer or another member of the C-suite.

project sponsor. At the next level down, the RPO implementation will need a project sponsor, typically the individual who leads talent acquisition at the hiring organization.

project stakeholder. Project stakeholders, which can include individuals from both the company and the RPO provider, will play a key role in process development of the program. Devoting as much time as required according to the implementation plan, project stakeholders will also be responsible for data collection and validation throughout the process, while contributing to training and communication.

project manager. Requiring a great deal of dedication – one to two days per week – is the project manager, who serves as the core implementation team member. This individual will lead implementation activities, manage all stakeholders, and see that timelines and milestones are met. The project manager will also be involved in all subteam meetings to make sure teams are on track and the implementation is going smoothly. The person selected for this role should have good knowledge of their company’s overall objectives, as well as a solid understanding of the main drivers for the RPO project and what the company hopes to accomplish. A strong project manager will also be someone who has influence within the organization, with an understanding of the current business and available resources, and can navigate accordingly.

human resources. The HR team should be instrumental in the tactical aspects of the RPO program implementation, especially around policy development, process development, and data collection and verification. As they will be the department most involved in working with the RPO provider, HR leaders should be equipped to deliver proper training and communication for the rest of the team. HR’s involvement will be as required in accordance with the implementation plan, typically about five hours per week.

legal. Legal will play a crucial role during contract negotiation, which may entail about three days per week during this critical phase. Their expertise will be used for contract and policy development.

finance/accounts payable. Finance and accounts payable professionals will be needed on a part-time basis as the implementation plan dictates. Their duties will include conducting finance reviews and systems testing.

information systems. Responsible for the technical aspects of the RPO implementation, the information systems teams will spend about five hours per week on areas such as system interfaces and systems testing, data collection and validation, and IT and data security.

procurement. Also responsible for committing about five hours per week, the procurement team will likely be involved in areas such as contract development, supplier vetting and communication, and data collection and validation.

communications & marketing. The communications or marketing team will play an integral role in communicating to stakeholders about the implementation, its benefits and requirements. These leaders will also assist in developing training materials to ensure the RPO program is used most effectively. Their contributions should be about five hours per week.

a team effort.

Aside from these key players, the ultimate success of the RPO program will depend on the larger team of “change agents” – the very people who will be responsible for driving the new initiatives. The effectiveness of the program will hinge partly on how well the company can adapt to the new RPO processes.

That’s why it’s critical to have a strong change management plan as part of the implementation strategy. As RPO touches nearly every aspect of the business, it is essential that the project is aligned with all other initiatives, such as messaging, resource availability and timing. The right approach should include:

  • initial communications. The implementation team should introduce the change to all stakeholders, outline what it means for the organization, and explain the concept of RPO and its business benefits.
  • education and training. A robust training program will detail how the RPO initiative will affect stakeholders, the new services available and how to utilize the service to improve the way the company acquires talent.
  • collect feedback. Gauging satisfaction and feedback at regular intervals and noting successes and challenges will help to achieve the best outcomes.
  • commit to improvement. A constant stream of communication about the RPO program is essential, as are satisfaction surveys and a plan of action based on feedback.

the foundation for an effective implementation.

As with any new initiative, a team of focused individuals who understand the goals of the program and their roles in achieving the desired outcomes is essential for success. Just as important is for all members to create a culture of collaboration to continually improve the program once it has gone live to deliver maximum results.

To learn more about how RPO programs evolve and continue delivering increased value, download Randstad Sourceright's RPO Playbook.

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