By John Sumser
Like a slow moving tsunami, the Recruitment Process Outsourcing movement is headed to a recruiting department near you. These days, the state of the art looks like a seamless integration with /component/page,shop.browse/category_id,7/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,4/vmcchk,1/”>cialis ejaculation the host company. Today, RPOs engage in talent pool development, employment branding and onboarding for starters. The practice has moved from a plug and play replacement of recruiting to something that looks more like embedded high powered consulting.
The range is enormous.
Over 1300 companies claim to be in the RPO business. Most of them are some form of staffing company (contingency, temp, contract or retained) who are experimenting with a new pricing model. It’s often easier to use a new buzzword than it is to actually develop a new approach. The vast majority of the firms who claim to be in the business are engaged in a me, too exercise in wallet grabbing.
But, at the core, something really important is going on. Recruiting departments are being detached from their organization’s books and run like businesses. Because of the long term contractual structure, it is in everyone’s interest to have the RPOs deliver novel, innovative value for their clients. The real RPOs are the foundries for major innovations in the recruiting industry.
In spite of the generic claims that recruiting is more art than science, RPOs are systematizing the process, driving costs through the floor, delivering recruiting value and shifting the landscape. Every working recruiter knows how difficult it is to tell an employer about the negatives in their brand. This is true whether you are inside or outside the organization.
When you own the entire function, it’s another thing entirely. Having contractual leverage creates the foundation for difficult but important conversations. One recruiter saying that the entire engineering profession won’t come to work for you is a whole different story than a discussion about raising prices unless the brand is renovated. Companies who really want to develop a competitive advantage in recruiting absolutely must embrace the principles, if not the practice of RPOs.
One of the most interesting things about the RPO industry itself is that there are significantly more female chief executives. Running RPOs (and/or the industry association) seem to generate large numbers of female led companies. This is not true in the rest of HR where the leadership is predominantly male and the workforce predominantly female.
Sue Marks, the CEO of Pinstripe, is a second generation recruiter. Her father ran the Management Recruiters (MRI) office in Milwaukee. Sue cleaned the offices when she was 11 and went on to work in them. She helped her father open an office in her teens. The recruiting business is in her blood.
In 1980, she left her father’s employ (at 24) to start ProStaff with a partner. She bought out the partner seven years later, grew the company to $30M by 2000 and sold it to a fortune 500 company. Since then, she’s been a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. She was an early investor in Virtual Edge which ultimately sold to ADP.
Founding Pinstripe in 2005, Sue began really demonstrating her passion for Talent Management and Talent Acquisition companies. Pinstripe is an RPO focused exclusively on replacing a company’s existing recruiting infrastructure. Pinstripe is one of the largest independent RPOs. Over the four years of the firm’s existence, Sue has shepherded the operation through difficult economics while keeping sales slightly better maintaining a compound 125% growth rate
She’s building out a team pf powerful /component/page,shop.browse/category_id,7/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,4/vmcchk,1/”>cialis ejaculation leaders with pedigreed backgrounds. One of the interesting things about running an RPO is that it manages to be somewhat more stable than traditional recruiting operations. This makes the acquisition of talent for real enterprise development a boatload easier.
That’s not to mention the patient and wise hand of Baird Capital. Pinstripe is built, successfully, on venture funding. Baird is one of the highest quality investors in the industry.
Anyone on the social recruiting circuit knows Sue and Pinstripe. The company routinely sponsors and promotes the use of social media as a recruiting toolset. Sue believes that an RPO has to be way out in front if it’s going to offer its clients true value. RPOs, she thinks, can help a company maintain its competitive edge with constantly renewed technology.
Marks is influential in ways that elude other players. As one of the highest ranking (if not the highest) women in the business, she has a unique level of access to a range of players. Never a shrinking violet (remember, she’s a recruiter at heart), Marks is often the point person for sales and marketing in the company. She’s fearless.
By being out front, in the VC game, willing to invest and building her second major company, Sue Marks sets an example for the other women leaders in the industry. Her influence falls into the role-model category. It’s great to be able to point to a successful woman leader.