Internal Mobility: Filling Skills Gaps with Your Existing Workforce 

With labour shortages and intensifying talent scarcity, hiring challenges are only increasing, impacting all industries. To tackle these hiring difficulties, many leaders look to external solutions like expanding their talent pool or enhancing their employer brand. However, one of the most effective and sustainable solutions is already inside your organisation. Developing existing employees through internal mobility is key to filling skills gaps now and in the future. 

Keep reading to learn more about internal mobility, why internal mobility programs are crucial for future success and how you can leverage reskilling and upskilling programs to facilitate internal mobility at your organisation.  

What is Internal Mobility? 

The goal of internal mobility is to match your existing talent to open positions through internal transfers, job rotations, secondments and promotions. An internal mobility program is a structured process that facilitates the movement of employees, both vertically to higher or lower positions as well as laterally between roles at the same level. These programs are often anchored in reskilling and upskilling initiatives focused on developing employees’ skills and capabilities to meet evolving organisational needs. 

Reskilling programs aim to provide training to help employees gain new skills that allow them to transition into different roles or business areas. For example, a finance employee can reskill to learn data analytics and move into a business intelligence role. 

Upskilling programs focus on building additional skills and competencies related to an employee’s current role or expanding their knowledge in their field. For example, a marketing manager can upskill their digital marketing capabilities in social media and digital advertising platforms to take on a more strategic role in the department.  

The Benefits of Internal Mobility 

A strategic focus on internal mobility provides both talent management and bottom-line benefits for an organisation, including: 

  • Improved employee retention and engagement: Providing clear paths for career development and advancement within the company increases employee satisfaction and loyalty. Employees feel valued and motivated when they see opportunity for upward or lateral mobility. 
  • Stronger talent pipeline: An internal mobility program creates a robust pipeline of qualified candidates for open roles from within. According to research from LinkedIn, organisations that leverage skills-first hiring expand their talent pool by nearly 10x on average compared to those simply looking for similar job titles or industry experience.  
  • Cost savings: It is typically more cost effective to fill a position internally rather than externally recruit, onboard and train new hires. Internal mobility is a strategic talent management approach. 
  • Improved performance: Internal candidates have organisational and cultural knowledge, so they are often able to transition and ramp up faster in new roles. Data from Spotted Zebra shows that internal movers reach competence 20% faster than external hires and are twice as likely to be rated as top performers in their role. 
  • Improved diversity: Internal mobility provides opportunities for improved representation and diversity in leadership by developing and advancing talent from within. 
  • Agility and flexibility: Having an internal bench of qualified candidates enables organisational agility to swiftly mobilise talent to meet emerging needs. 

The Lack of Investment in Internal Mobility Programs 

Despite the benefits, internal mobility is not being prioritised by most HR leaders. Given the challenges recruiting skilled talent, we expected to see internal mobility as HR leaders’ default strategy to tackle skills shortages. However, through our research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, we found that nearly a third (30%) of HR leaders admitted they simply do not view reskilling and upskilling as a priority and only 37% of organisations have formal reskilling and upskilling programs in place. Even in areas of high priority like technology advancement, there appears to be a lack of focus on mobility and development. When we asked HR leaders about how they’re preparing their workforce for the implementation of new technologies, only a fifth (20%) said they’re investing in upskilling initiatives to enhance current employee technological skillsets.  

The lack of skills development is echoed by employees. A quarter of employees report their employer has not been offered opportunities to upskill or reskill. A third (34%) of workers have doubts about how their skills will keep pace with new technology and automation. With transformations on the horizon for many roles due to technological advancements, ensuring employees’ skills evolve along with their jobs is essential for organisations.  

The Key to Internal Mobility: Reskilling and Upskilling 

Ongoing reskilling and upskilling of employees is crucial to enabling effective internal mobility. As business needs evolve and new technologies emerge, employees’ skills and competencies must also progress to keep pace. Providing internal development opportunities allows employees to gain the updated capabilities required for critical roles, increasing their eligibility and readiness to transition into new positions. By making learning core to the culture, reskilling and upskilling initiatives ensure organisations can source top talent from within. 

Implementing Successful Upskilling 

For your upskilling programs, you need an accurate understanding of your employees’ current skills and future needs. Our research showed most HR leaders rely on subjective manager feedback rather than taking a data-driven approach. 

To get ahead of emerging skills gaps, perform a skills audit and compare that to how your existing roles will evolve in the coming years. Identify both the competencies your employees need to be effective in their roles as they develop into the future and any deficiencies they have now.  

Once you understand the lay of the land, you can develop continuous upskilling initiatives to grow your employees’ high-value skills over time in alignment with technological advancements. Proactively upskilling employees will keep your workforce on the cutting edge of skill set transformations. 

Implementing Successful Reskilling 

Reskilling programs also require an understanding of the existing capabilities of your workforce and the required competencies for emerging roles. This allows you to accurately match employees to opportunities they can transition into successfully. 

Rather than relying on subjective manager interviews, utilise skills-based assessments. This provides data-driven insights into employees’ technical aptitudes and behavioural strengths. You can then align these skill profiles with the requirements of your new roles. 

For example, PeopleScout partnered with a global financial services company to take a skills-based approach for a major digital transformation initiative. By identifying the best candidates for reskilling, we helped employees move from declining customer service roles into new tech-focused positions, saving the company $2 million in exit costs and reduced training dropouts dramatically. The company gained the critical future-focused skills it required while providing career growth opportunities to its valuable existing employees. 

Internal Mobility & RPO: Your Partner in Sustainable Workforce Planning 

Over half (56%) of HR leaders report resistance to change within their organisation when faced with the prospect of what they mistakenly believe can only be a huge, C-suite-led project that spans the entire talent lifecycle. However, as a leading RPO partner PeopleScout is perfectly positioned to provide the strategies and technology to embed and scale a skills-based approach. 

By leveraging an RPO provider’s expertise and resources, organisations can maximise the return on investment in internal mobility initiatives. According to Everest Group, over half of RPO engagements include some element of internal mobility. The RPO acts as a strategic talent advisor focused on improving talent mobility with strategies like: 

  • Skills gap analysis: An RPO provider can perform a skills audit to assess current capabilities versus required future skills and identify reskilling needs to inform development programs. They can also provide market intelligence to help you understand the skills available within your talent markets as well as salary requirements so you can make informed decisions.   
  • Internal candidate sourcing: Your RPO partner can source and screen internal candidates for open roles to identify top talent for mobility opportunities. 
  • Career mapping: RPO experts can map career paths, succession plans and competency requirements for critical roles to guide internal development. 
  • Development program design: An RPO provider can help design and implement reskilling, upskilling, job rotation and mentoring programs to build enterprise talent. Plus, they can administer and manage the end-to-end internal mobility program from sourcing to placement as well as provide project management. 
  • Change management: RPOs can provide guidance on change management strategies to gain buy-in and promote a culture of internal mobility. Plus, they’ll provide data, analytics and reporting on program effectiveness and opportunities to fine-tune strategies. 
  • Technology consultation and implementation: RPOs can recommend and implement skills management platforms and talent mobility platforms to enable seamless movement and track program metrics. 

Filling your organisation’s talent gaps begins with the workforce already inside it. But this untapped talent potential can only be leveraged through strategic, skills-based internal mobility programs. Your existing workforce could provide the talent solution you’ve been searching for. By partnering with an RPO on reskilling and upskilling initiatives, you gain strategic expertise to build a future-ready, skilled workforce.  

The Skills Crisis is Coming: Are You Ready? [Infographic]

Skills in the workplace are evolving faster than ever thanks to advances in AI, the greening of the economy and shifting demographics. But, our latest research, The Skills Crisis Countdown, shows that HR leaders seem oblivious to the urgency of the coming change.

Nine out of 10 of HR pros surveyed said up to half of their workforce will need new skills within the next five years. Yet, only 7% are actively investing in reskilling programs right now, and 45% admit they have no plans underway to prepare their people for the shifting skills landscape.

Our data quantifies the massive disconnect between awareness of looming skills gaps and action being taken to reskill workers. Check out the infographic below to see the stats and get ahead of the curve on developing a future-ready workforce.

Ready, Set, RPO: What to Expect in a New RPO Program

Some companies see their RPO provider as only a vendor, but taking a partnership mindset creates a more satisfying, successful working relationship. Working well together as a united front always makes for an easier, smoother rollout with a new RPO program.

The implementation and transition phases before and after a rollout are crucial, as this is when you set the tone and expectations for all involved. It’s also when certain issues need to be addressed and configured.

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has evolved significantly over the past few years. Here are some key areas talent acquisition leaders should focus on when implementing a new RPO program:

1. Identify Key Players Early in the Process

During the transition, one of the most important steps is to establish one key champion within your business. This person is your internal point of contact for RPO with the power to get things. There’s often a lengthy checklist of tasks that need to be completed before a rollout. The appointed decision-maker must be able to use their influence with HR, legal, IT and other stakeholders, including hiring managers and vice presidents, to get things accomplished.

Conversely, your RPO partner should also provide a primary point of contact who will work closely with you to navigate the implementation process. Effective communicate with your RPO contact will keep things moving forward.

Also, be sure to let your RPO team know who your internal stakeholders are (especially any unofficial ones) and how they may influence the implementation and rollout process. Loop your RPO team into conference calls and meetings so they can get a feel for the issues at hand and start building trust with stakeholders.

2. Clarify Expectations and Goals for Your RPO Program

At the beginning of your toll out, have an open discussion with your RPO provider about what success looks like for your organisation today and going into the future. It may be helpful to hold a workshop to specifically determine what stakeholders want out of the RPO program and how those goals can be measured.

Define clear, measurable goals aligned to business objectives like time-to-fill, candidate quality, requisition volume, diversity and more. Both you and your RPO team must work toward, and measure against, the same goals.

If historical data on key performance indicators (KPIs) is available, now is the time to provide it to your RPO contacts so they can use the data to set a baseline for future measurements. But if this isn’t available your RPO partner should be able to help you benchmark against other organisations.

👉 Debunk common RPO myths.

3. Foster Open Communication and Trust

This cannot be overstated: communication is essential to establishing a strong working partnership with your RPO provider. The more you communicate, the better your RPO team can serve you. The RPO team should ask your stakeholders about their experience, what they want to achieve with the new engagement and what potential obstacles the team might encounter.

It’s important to be open about what is happening in the company. If something is working against the RPO process, let the team know so they can work around it. For example, if you’re not documenting things in your ATS or if HR is performing tasks expected of the hiring managers, don’t hide it. It may not be the best practice, but if it works, and everyone is aware, that’s what matters.

Remember, RPO providers can only advise you on best practices; ultimately, they are there to serve your needs. Communicate openly, and your RPO team can make the decisions that will ensure you have a positive experience. The more collaborative the partnership is, the smoother the transition will be.

rpo program

4. Invest in Change Management

A typical implementation for an enterprise, full-cycle RPO engagement is 30-60 days, with a 90-day transition period afterward. Modular RPO engagements will have much shorter timelines. No matter what RPO solution you choose, map your timelines out before beginning implementation, and stick to the timetable and deliverables. However, realise that you get just one chance to roll the process out well. Thus, you should keep your rollout date flexible enough to get the process right.

It’s also useful to set within your organisation the expectation that the first 90 days of a new RPO program are a learning curve for all involved. Proactively manage change by clearly communicating process changes, providing training if needed, and getting buy-in from hiring managers and other stakeholders.

5. Identify Challenges in Your RPO Program Upfront

Don’t assume that your RPO provider knows what the potential hurdles to adoption will be at your organisation. Talk about your concerns and what you see as risks. For example, if a division has historically been run by a person with a negative view of recruitment who will likely go directly to a staffing agency or circumvent the process, share this with your RPO partner.

Together, make contingency plans to address how such situations will be handled, and categorise risks by the level of fallout that may occur. Be sure to discuss what kinds of issues are considered common mistakes and what kinds of things absolutely cannot be allowed.

6. Build an Agile, Tech-Enabled RPO Program

Be prepared to work in an agile way, continuously optimising processes and innovating together. You should work collaboratively with your RPO partner to take full advantage of the latest recruiting technologies like AI-enabled sourcing, virtual interviews, chatbots, and more. Remain flexible and adapt to changing business needs and market conditions quickly.

Technology and automation enable your RPO provider to scale talent acquisition strategically to help you remain flexible and adapt to changing business needs and market conditions quickly. Technology can create a better candidate experience, facilitate better collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers, and equip you with better analytics so you can measure ROI.

RPO has evolved into a more strategic, technology-enabled partnership. By focusing on these key areas, talent acquisition leaders can ensure their RPO engagement will deliver great talent and business impact in today’s world. Taking the time to communicate and build relationships with your RPO partner can make a huge difference in ensuring a smooth and successful rollout.

Building a Business Case for RPO

Amidst the most turbulent labour market in recent memory, talent acquisition leaders and procurement professionals alike are turning to partners for creative, agile and adaptable solutions for their current and future talent challenges. Because recruiting touches the whole organisation, stakeholders across the business will have opinions on the benefits and drawbacks of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) as well as unique ideas about the best approach. The process to secure buy-in and budget doesn’t have to be difficult. By having a few conversations with the right people in your organisation and gathering some information around current recruitment processes and costs, you can present a solid business case for RPO to your leadership team and create a path forward to an effective and resilient talent acquisition program.

What is RPO?

First things first—what is recruitment process outsourcing? Recruitment process outsourcing, abbreviated as RPO, is a type of business process outsourcing in which an employer transfers some or all portions of the recruitment process to an external service provider. These facets may include job postings, sourcing, screening, assessments, offer management, background verifications, some onboarding elements and more.

RPO can support hiring for high volume or niche professional roles and often involves technology and talent advisory consulting—including employer branding. An RPO provider embodies the best of your culture, employer brand and values in all the activities they perform on your organisation’s behalf, while integrating with your systems, processes and people. Plus, your RPO team brings new ideas, innovation and expertise to bolster your talent strategy and plans. They may sit on-site, work remotely, work offshore or a combination, and they typically take on your company name and email domain as an extension of your organisation.  

👉 Get our RPO buyer’s guide.

RPO can be leveraged to augment existing in-house recruitment teams and can complement your current recruitment program by taking over recruiting for specific job groups, locations or business units. Moreover, across your enterprise, you can leverage different RPO models to maximise the benefits.

When evaluating whether RPO is right for your organisation, it’s important to determine which RPO blueprint is the right one. As you speak to stakeholders, one key challenge you may run into is that stakeholders have different views on what you mean by RPO. In your business case presentation, you’ll want to compare different models—and clearly define them—in order to help the decision-making process.

Benefits of RPO

RPO engagements are not only about outsourcing your recruiting but also about finding the best partner to help manage the people, process, technology and strategy of your talent acquisition function. There is no single best option, only the option that best aligns with your organisational needs.

You should focus on finding the solution that provides the most value for your investment. RPO will create benefits that will be felt across your organisation in terms of both cost and operational efficiencies.

Cost Benefits of RPO

Whether through direct or indirect cost savings, RPO can provide advantages that impact your bottom line. As you prepare your business case for RPO, here are some cost benefits to keep in mind:

  • Reduced Time-to-Fill: The longer a position goes unfilled, the more likely your business is to experience productivity loss—and loss of revenue. RPO teams find candidates and fill roles faster through talent pipelining.
  • Lower Cost-per-Hire:  RPO offers cost efficiencies by shortening hiring timelines and improving the quality of your talent, while also lowering recruitment marketing spend. By streamlining and optimising recruitment processes, improving time-to-hire and retention rates, RPO increases your return on investment and delivers savings to your bottom line.
  • Reduced Agency Spend: A huge benefit of RPO is the reduced reliance on disparate third-party staffing agencies. By consolidating recruitment under a single partnership, you reduce agency usage and make your recruitment costs more predictable.

👉 Learn the top differences between an RPO and a staffing agency.

Operational Benefits of RPO

In addition to the cost benefits of RPO, there are operational benefits that can be felt across your business, including:

  • Elevated Role for HR: Leading RPO providers can provide labour market insights, talent intelligence and benchmarking data. With access to these insights, you have the data you need to support your workforce strategy as well as tactical business decisions. You can capitalise on the latest market analysis, thought leadership and competitive intelligence to inform your talent strategy. Your RPO partner can provide analytics to help you understand what’s working so you can maximise your ROI. Your RPO partner should also be able to give insights into how your organisation is perceived as well as tactical steps to fundamentally change perceptions through your employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand and even recruitment marketing and media purchasing services.
  • Improved Candidate Quality: As skills gaps and talent scarcity becomes more challenging, having an RPO team digging into passive sourcing to access niche skills sets will expand your talent pool and improve quality-of-hire. RPO providers leverage their comprehensive talent networks and effective screening and assessment tools to produce stronger candidates and more diverse talent pools.
  • Better Candidate Experience: You want your recruitment process to leave every applicant, regardless of whether they get the job, with a positive experience. Your RPO partner can advise on ways to improve the candidate experience including career site audits, job application recommendations and how to leverage technology to speed up the process and reduce friction.
  • Improved Hiring Manager Experience: Your RPO team reduces the administrative burden on your hiring managers by taking over résumé and CV screening, assessment administration, interview scheduling, candidate communication and feedback tasks. RPO teams prepare hiring managers for interviews, provide them with feedback and identify any candidates at risk of dropping from the process so managers can make informed decisions.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Through experience collected over many client engagements, RPO teams are knowledgeable about enhancing your employer brand for wider audiences and expanding your talent attraction efforts to new job boards, social media groups, online forums and events to target more diverse candidates.
RPO business case

3 Steps to Building Your Business Case for RPO

RPO solutions are designed to provide transformative recruitment strategies that are flexible enough to help you achieve competitive advantage at a predictable cost. Let’s explore the steps you can take to gather the information you need for your business case.

1. Engage Internal Stakeholders

Before embarking on your business case, it’s essential to engage the right stakeholders from the beginning. Human resources (HR), procurement, hiring managers and the C-suite will all have different pain points, desires and recruitment costs impacting their budgets. Their support will be crucial for not only securing resources but for the overall success of the RPO program.

👉 Create buy-in with our conversations guide for RPO.

By understanding what each stakeholder cares about, you can show how RPO can provide the solution for their challenges. Plus, once you’ve secured budget and selected an RPO provider, these stakeholders will be more open to change to make your RPO program successful.

The goal in this step is to be able to define current pain points and desired future outcomes so you can address these issues through an RPO solution.

Here are 10 questions you can use as conversation starters to uncover your organisation’s biggest challenges:

  1. Do we have the talent we need to achieve business goals now and into the future?
  2. Are we attracting quality talent with the right mix of skills, experience and cultural fit?
  3. How are we doing with our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals? Are we attracting and hiring underrepresented candidates?
  4. Is our talent acquisition program able to respond quickly to changes in the market (i.e., easily and quickly scale up or down)?
  5. Are we providing an excellent candidate experience consistently?
  6. Are hiring managers getting the support they need to fill their vacancies?
  7. What recruitment technology are we currently using, and is it sufficient for our needs going forward?
  8. Do we have the data and insights we need to do effective workforce planning?
  9. How much are we spending annually on talent acquisition? Are we getting the best value for money?
  10. What are the differences in recruitment strategies between different countries or regions?

2. Assess Your Current Recruitment Landscape

As part of your engagement with stakeholders, it’s important to understand the current lay of the land when it comes to your talent acquisition program. You’ve got to know where you’re starting from in order to improve it.

This may seem like a straightforward question if your company has one in-house recruitment team. However, things get more complicated when there are separate in-house teams sitting in different regions who are using different processes or different local third-party agencies. Worse yet, individual departments and hiring managers may be handling their own recruitment. Ask around and get it all down on paper.

Metrics to help measure your recruitment process:

  • Applicant-to-hire ratio
  • Interview-to-offer ratio
  • Time-to-hire and time-to-fill
  • Time-in-stage or hiring velocity
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Cost-per-vacancy

Sourcing & Attraction

Who sources candidates for your organisation? What channels are you using to get in front of candidates? Are you attracting lots of active candidates, or are recruiters having to engage mostly passive candidates? What are the average costs associated with attracting active candidates versus sourcing passive candidates?

What are you doing to attract candidates to your job ads? Who manages this budget? Are you using any suppliers like creative agencies or advertising platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Indeed, industry publications, etc.)? How are these channels performing?

Screenings, Interviews & Assessments

Beyond sourcing candidates, who reviews résumés and CVs? Who manages the interview process? How many interview or assessment steps are currently required for each role type?

Are there any delays or bottlenecks that are contributing to longer hiring cycles, poor candidate experiences or increased candidate drop-off rates?

What role is technology playing at each stage? Is there opportunity to build more automation into your processes?

Offers & Negotiation

Once you get to an offer stage, who signs off on offers? What is your offer acceptance rate? If it’s lower than you’d like, is there something about the candidate experience that’s turning them off?

Are you leveraging candidate surveys? What is your candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS)? What are your ratings on review sites like Glassdoor?

It’s also worth looking at attrition and tenure metrics to identify any issues causing new hires to leave soon after joining.

Uncovering this information will help you understand your gaps and opportunities. An RPO provider will be able to develop customised solutions to address your unique challenges.

3. Calculating the Cost of Talent Acquisition

Now that you understand what goes into your recruitment efforts, you can assess how much the overall talent acquisition program will cost to run. It’s preferrable to understand how your staffing spend has changed over the last three to five years.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as asking HR for their budget details. You’ll want to incorporate both direct and indirect costs when assessing your talent acquisition program costs. Let’s break this down.

Understanding Direct Costs with Cost-per-Hire

A great place to start to understand your direct costs is with your cost-per-hire (CPH). This is the average cost you incur to hire a new employee. This includes total internal expenditures and external expenditures divided by your total number of new hires. You can calculate cost-per-hire using a monthly or annual measurement period.

cost per hire = total external costs + total internal costs / total number of hires

Internal costs include things like:

  • In-house recruiter salaries
  • Training costs for recruiters or hiring managers
  • Salary costs of time invested by hiring manager and other employees
  • Employee referral awards

External costs are any expenses incurred from external vendors, like:

  • External agency fees
  • Recruitment marketing and advertising costs
  • Assessment costs
  • Fees from drug tests and background checks
  • Technology costs
  • Hiring event and career fair spend
  • Candidate travel and lodging
  • Relocation expenses
  • Visa expenses
  • Signing bonuses

It may be useful to look into the differences in CPH for each job function, experience level, candidate source, geography and labour market. This may mean doing several calculations to capture these categories.

Keep in mind, cost-per-hire doesn’t capture quality of hire or take into account the costs of making a bad hire. If your cost-per-hire is low, but your new hires are leaving quickly or don’t pass their probationary period, is that really an advantage? On the flip side, a high cost-per-hire that brings in new employees that are engaged, productive and invested in your organisation is worth the expenditure. Ultimately, your talent acquisition program shouldn’t focus solely on cost but should concentrate on creating more value for the business.

Sussing Out Indirect Recruitment Costs

There are also indirect costs around recruitment that can be more difficult to measure and present in hard numbers. These could include:

  • Loss of productivity due to vacancy
  • Cost of overtime to cover vacancies
  • Impact on employee morale
  • Customer churn
  • Knowledge loss from turnover (and subsequent training costs)
  • Reputational damage from bad candidate experiences
budget for RPO

Presenting Your Business Case for RPO

Now that you’ve gotten to the bottom of your current recruitment efforts and the associated costs, you can present the business case for the RPO models that will address your challenges. Don’t be afraid to reach out to RPO providers for help with this step. By providing them with the information you gathered in the previous steps, they can provide a breakdown of the services they offer and how they could address your unique needs.

How you go about putting your business case on paper will depend on your organisational requirements and personal preference. We recommend getting everything onto one page. This gives C-suite leadership an easy-to-digest snapshot of your recommendations. While there is often a need to present high-level decisions in hard financial terms (e.g., ROI, NPV, IRR), presenting the business case simply will also help garner expert support to create any detailed financial assessment needed. You can always link to additional documentation to back-up your presentation (e.g., a flow chart of the current hiring steps, a SWOT analysis, etc.).

Your business case one-pager should consist of the following:

  1. Options: These are the solutions you’ve identified as best at addressing the pain points you uncovered in your conversations with stakeholders. Keep in mind that staying as-is is always a viable option. It’s also essential both to include your current situation as a contrast to the new RPO models and ensure each option is adequately described (for example, in supporting documents) so decision makers understand what is being compared. 
  2. Benefits and Drawbacks: These are the positives and negatives you could gain with each option. These should be aligned to the pain points identified by your stakeholders. The risk section (see number 4 below) is the place to capture any uncertainties about the expected benefits. Cash and non-cashable savings can be highlighted here, though most should be covered in the Costs section below.
  3. Costs: This should be both the direct (monetary) costs as well as indirect costs (like investments of time) and should be profiled to cover the whole life of each option (i.e., implementation, operation, close). A leading RPO provider should offer consultation that will help you complete this section.
  4. Risks and Opportunities: By showing the risks for each option, you give leadership the confidence that you’ve explored all the issues when coming to these conclusions. It also helps everyone make more informed decisions. Risks and opportunities are not guaranteed to happen, and in all cases should be evaluated both by likelihood and by impact. They are entirely future focused, so if you have a current issue, it should be listed as a drawback (see above).
  5. Assumptions: Explaining any assumptions you’ve made while preparing this document, helps you acknowledge any possibilities that might impact recruitment plans but that are out of your control or that could change in the future. For example, you could document current plans around mergers and acquisitions or geographical expansion. If there’s anything you want to exclude from the scope of your RPO engagement, you’ll want to document this here too.  

On the next page we’ve included an example of a business case for RPO created for a client who was hoping to move away from a combination of in-house recruiters and staffing agencies to an RPO solution.

Example Business Case for RPO

example business case for RPO

The Business Case for RPO

Going through the steps we’ve detailed in this guide will arm you with everything you need to prove that an RPO partner will create measurable value for your organisation. Presenting a winning business case for RPO—that depicts the process and cost efficiencies in an easily digestible document—will help you to secure budget and buy-in and put you well on your way to achieving talent advantage.

[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

With the rapid advancement of AI, accelerated digitalisation and the greening of the economy, businesses are grappling with the changing nature of work—how we work and the types of jobs we do. In fact, a new research report from PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra, The Skills Crisis Countdown, reveals that nine in 10 HR leaders believe that up to half of their workforce will need new skills to perform their jobs in the next five years. Yet, only less than one in 10 say they are actively investing in reskilling programs.

Are HR leaders running out of time?

Join PeopleScout’s Global Head of Talent Consulting Simon Wright and Spotted Zebra’s Chief Customer Officer Nick Shaw as they delve into the key findings from the research, lay bare the skills crisis and show why the clock is ticking for HR leaders.

In the webinar, Simon and Nick cover:

  • How organisations are addressing the mismatch in skills demand and supply
  • The current state of skills utilisation, skills-based hiring and the need to expand talent pools
  • Strategies for improving talent mobility (including case studies and success stories)
  • Practical steps you can take to transition to a skills-focused model
  • And more!

 

Countdown to Skills Crisis? What Our Latest Research Tells Us About Skills Gaps

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

The workforce skills landscape is transforming at blinding speed. Automation, AI, sustainability initiatives, demographic shifts—global forces are conspiring to make skills gaps and talent shortages more acute by the day. Don’t think it’s moving that fast? Well, the World Economic Forum predicts that a jaw-dropping 85 million jobs could sit vacant by 2030, resulting in $8.5 trillion in lost revenue.

The very meaning of “skills” is shifting beneath our feet. Skills requirements have already changed 25% since 2015, and experts forecast 65% more change by 2030. However, companies still rely heavily on degrees and experience over skills when it comes to making hiring decisions. No wonder we’re careening towards a global skills crisis.

PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management platform provider Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior HR and talent acquisition leaders globally, plus over 2,000 employees worldwide, to compare perspectives. Our new research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, maps the skills landscape and diagnoses the disconnects between employers and their workforce.

Read on for some key findings from our report.

HR Leaders are Ill-Prepared for the Skills Crisis

According to a study by PwC, 40% of global CEOs believe their business will be economically unviable in 10 years unless they reinvent for the future. Our study revealed that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will require new skills to effectively perform their job in the next five years. Yet, when asked if they are currently undergoing or planning a workforce transformation initiative in the next three years, nearly half (45%) of HR leaders admit to having no plans to undertake one.

So, in other words, half of employees will soon be underprepared for the future, but most companies have no strategy in place to address the issue.

According to LinkedIn, 84% of members are in occupations that could have at least one quarter of their core skills affected by generative AI (GAI) technologies, like ChatGPT. So, how are HR leaders preparing for this digital transformation and the AI era? Shockingly, a full third (34%) say they have no preparations in place to prepare for new technologies. Those who are preparing emphasise bringing in outside talent rather than reskilling existing employees.

Industry Composition by GAI Segment
Percentage of LinkedIn Members by Industry

impact of GAI on workforce skills
(Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph Research Institute)

This is likely because they lack an understanding of the skills they have within their existing workforce. Our data revealed that 68% of organisations identify skills from manager feedback, which is highly subjective. So, it’s no surprise that 56% of employees think their skills are underutilised in their current roles, and 61% think there are other roles in their organisation where their skills could be utilised.

An unprecedented skills revolution is barrelling down the tracks, but companies are fast asleep at the switch. It’s time to wake up and get employees future-ready or risk a global skills crisis and talent scarcity for decades to come.

Digital & Tech Skills Gaps are Widening but Tech Skills are Viewed as Unimportant

Both employers and employees dangerously underestimate the importance of tech and digital skills. In our survey, both parties listed tech and digital literacy skills with low importance. With the skyrocketing demand for tech and digital talent, this does not bode well.

skills in the workplace

Mobile apps, ecommerce and digital transformation have made technology integral to every corporate strategy. However, supply isn’t keeping up with demand. McKinsey analysed 3.5 million job postings in high-tech fields and found there’s a wide divide between the demand for tech and digital skills and the qualified talent availability. The most sought-after skills have less than half as many qualified professionals per posting compared to average global figures. 

No wonder 63% of HR leaders in our survey admit they struggle to recruit the skills they need. Closing tech and digital skills gaps through recruitment alone is no longer sufficient. So, we were concerned when our research showed that 73% of the workforce haven’t been offered opportunities to reskill.

Organisations must invest in helping their employees evolve their skills via reskilling and internal mobility to cultivate digital and tech literacy across their entire workforce.

Case Study: Reskilling in Action

The Challenge:

A large global financial services company needed to undertake a major digital transformation program. The organisation needed to acquire key digital and tech skills while leveraging the existing company knowledge of employees in declining customer service roles by reskilling them.

Previous efforts by the organisation to assess employees’ suitability for reskilling were led internally and included multiple, time-consuming line manager interviews. Of even greater concern, around a quarter of those who began the reskilling program dropped out.

The Solution:

The bank worked with their long-time RPO partner, PeopleScout, and Spotted Zebra to assess customer service staff in bank branches and call centres to find ideal candidates for its tech and digital skilling program. Skills profiles were created for tech roles, which employees were assessed against to find the best fit.

The Results:

  • Redeployed 150 people, saving over $2.5M in exit costs
  • Saved over $350,000 in training and development costs
  • Reduced time investment by hiring managers
  • Reduced the reskilling cost-per-person by 70%

Employees Don’t Feel Confident in their Skills for the Future

A third (34%) of workers have doubts about how their skills will keep pace with new technology and automation. Meanwhile, just 17% of organisations are offering targeted reskilling programs for existing employees.

Where are HR Leaders Deploying Skills-Based Practices?

Skills-Based Practices
(Source: PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra)

This imbalance spells disaster. As change overwhelms existing skill sets, most workers will begin to feel unsure of their career paths or left struggling to stay relevant.

Investing in reskilling makes solid business sense. We must bridge the gap between workers anxiously facing uncertainty and leaders failing to invest in their resilience. HR leaders who empower their workforce with adaptable skill sets today will drive continued success in times of swift and sweeping change.

Finding a Talent Partner to Support Your Skills Transformation

The agility to match emerging skill requirements will soon become a competitive necessity. If you haven’t started your skills-based transformation, now is the time.

In our survey, one in two HR leaders admitted to a lack of understanding of skills-based practices. If you’re struggling to understand how to take advantage of skills-based practices in your organisation, PeopleScout is here to be your guide.

As a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner, we can help you understand the skills within your existing workforce as well as the external market supply and demand. We offer solutions across the skills agenda, from skills-based talent intelligence and market insights, building skills frameworks, and creating skills-based success profiles to redesigning recruitment processes, skills-based hiring strategies, and helping you maximise the potential of your existing workforce.  

To learn more about PeopleScout’s skills-focused talent solutions, get in touch.  

The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps

The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps

Our latest research reveals, nine in 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will need new skills to perform their jobs in the next 5 years. Yet, only 7% say they are actively investing in reskilling programs, and 45% admit to having no plans to undertake a workforce transformation initiative to prepare for the changing skills landscape.

PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management company Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior Human Resources and Talent Acquisition leaders from organisations around the global and 2,000+ employees globally to compare perspectives on workforce skills. The resulting research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps, provides a detailed picture of the current skills landscape and the disconnects between the perspectives of employees and businesses.

Download our free report for the latest research exploring:

  • The current state of skills in the global workforce and outlook for the future
  • How HR leader are preparing for the impending skills crisis
  • How employees expect their skills will need to adapt to new technology or automation.

Plus, you’ll get a roadmap of actionable steps to help your organisation become more skills-centric.

Selecting the Right RPO Partner: How to Navigate Your RFP Journey

Whether your organisation is looking to outsource some, most or all portions of your talent acquisition program, a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner can help you.

So, how do you find an RPO partner? While there are plenty of roads you can take on your journey to finding the right RPO partner, the request for proposal (RFP) process is one of the most popular and effective methods.

In this article, we will outline the business case for RPO and guide you through the RPO RFP process to prepare your organisation before embarking on your hunt for an RPO partner.

Getting Started on Your RPO RFP Journey

The first step in your RFP journey should be envisioning your organisation’s ideal talent acquisition future. Then, ask yourself this question: How will outsourcing my talent program help reach this idealised future? The goal of this exercise is to get a clearer understanding of where your talent program is today, and where you want it to be in the coming years.

How an RPO Partner Can Help Improve Your Talent Program

Here are just three ways RPO can help you build and maintain a talent program that produces continued recruitment success.

  • Sourcing Hard to Find Talent: Skills gaps and talent scarcity have made sourcing talent an increasingly specialised field. An RPO partner can help proactively search for qualified candidates for current or planned job openings.
  • Talent Technology Support: Talent technology changes rapidly. It’s just about your applicant tracking system (ATS) or candidate relationship management (CRM) system anymore. AI, machine learning and recruitment marketing tools are evolving the recruitment tech stack. An RPO partner has experience working with multiple talent technology tools and can help you analyse and action your recruitment data. They may also provide proprietary talent technology, like we do at PeopleScout, that can complement your existing systems.
  • Recruitment Scalability and Flexibility: An organisation’s talent needs are rarely static; they often fluctuate due to internal and external factors like the economy or product development. An RPO partner can scale its recruitment teams to support your business strategy, without increasing your in-house talent acquisition headcount.

👉 Learn more about what to expect from an RPO program.

Assessing Your Needs Prior to RFP 

The next step in the RFP process for RPO is assessing organisational needs and outlining a definition of success for your talent acquisition outsourcing engagement. Establishing needs and goals prior to sending out an RFP to potential RPO partners provides you with an opportunity to build a consensus within your organisation, solidify key stakeholder support and give you something to go back to after an engagement is completed.

Your needs analysis will also help you avoid being swept away by grand vendor presentations and make your decision much more objective and aligned with your defined organisational needs.

As an example, imagine you are looking to procure a new talent technology platform. Your needs assessment process would begin with a discussion about what you would gain through adopting a new platform. In this case, you may look at your organisation’s overall competencies regarding talent technology such as:

  • Do you have internal resources dedicated to talent data expertise and stewardship in managing candidate data?
  • Do you have a need for enhanced digital recruitment marketing capabilities?
  • Will you need to integrate your current internal technology systems and dashboards with a new platform?
  • Are you in need of strategic consulting and advice bundled in with the platform or do you have internal resources who can learn and manage a new system?

Your goals in this situation may include:

  • Enterprise-wide adoption of new talent technology
  • Improve talent metrics reporting and applicant tracking
  • Automation of the sourcing process
  • Improve time-to-hire
  • Improve candidate engagement and communication

Your needs assessment questions and goals will outline how you structure your official RFP, so be sure to plan them in detail. Your needs assessment will pay off before the first vendor responses, as your RFP will have a better representation of what you are looking for from outsourcing.

RPO Partner Relationships: Defining Your Stakeholders

Your needs assessment can’t be done in a silo. Deploying a successful RPO solution requires more than a relationship between hiring managers and the RPO partner’s recruitment team. The internal relationships between the drivers of the RPO engagement and other stakeholders at your organisation will affect the success of your RPO partnership.

To create buy-in for RPO, it is essential to involve the right stakeholders from the beginning. To make sure the process runs smoothly, you should develop a plan that formalises how each stakeholder will be involved in making the RPO RFP process a success.

When determining the stakeholders, you typically include:

  • CHRO
  • Procurement
  • Senior business line leaders
  • Front line management/Hiring managers
  • HR leaders
  • TA leaders 

👉 Learn how to create buy-in for RPO with our conversation guide.

Determine Your RFP Timeline

After assembling your team, bring everyone together to establish a timeline for the RFP process. The timeline should align with your organisation’s goals and deliverables for the project—including when you want the solution implemented by.

Key items on your timeline include:

  • RFP launch date
  • Due date for questions from vendors
  • The date answers will be provided by your team
  • Due date of the RFP
  • Announcement of finalists
  • Date of finalist presentations
  • Final award

Your RFP timeline should include not only the due date for proposals but also due dates of when a contract must be signed and when work should begin.

RPO Partner

Developing Your RFP Document

Developing your RFP document should start with creating an outline. This outline can be as detailed as you want to make it. At a minimum, you should make a structured list of the sections you want to include in the final RFP, as well as the order in which they will be presented. Your procurement stakeholder will be an invaluable resource at this stage.

If you and your team conducted a needs assessment, gathered stakeholder input and have a timeline set, you have already done the groundwork. If you skip these early steps, it can lead to a lot more work in the end.

Finally, you need to edit the RFP document you and your team have created, as typos and misspelled words throughout the RFP look unprofessional. According to Tom Sant, CEO of The Sant Corp., which develops software for generating RFPs, typos in an RFP are one of four things that frustrate vendors. The other three are “RFPs that are disorganised, RFPs that ask redundant questions, and RFPs that have contradictory requirements,” Sant says.

The Bottom Line: Finding the Right RPO Partner

Finding the right RPO partner will help your organisation gain a competitive advantage in talent acquisition by providing industry-specific hiring expertise and increasing your recruiting bandwidth.

This is why constructing a thorough RFP that carefully addresses your organisation’s talent requirements and expectations of the engagement is a valuable weapon in the RPO selection process.

Creating Buy-in for RPO: A Conversation Guide for Outsourced Recruitment

Recruitment touches every employee, team and department within your business. If you’re considering recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), there will be many people in your organisation who will experience the benefits. But it also means these folks must adjust to new processes and approaches. We all know change can be hard for any organisation, so it’s important to engage various stakeholders early on to get everyone on the same page.

Human resources (HR), procurement, the C-suite and hiring managers will all have different pain points, concerns and desired outcomes. No matter where you sit in the organisation, understanding the challenges of each stakeholder can help you demonstrate how talent acquisition solutions from an RPO partner can help individuals across the organisation achieve their business goals. As a result, these stakeholders will be more “bought in” and open to changing their behaviours to make RPO successful.

In these conversation guides, we’ll help you understand recruitment challenges from the perspective of each stakeholder. Plus, you’ll get a list of questions to ask in order to gather information for your business case and tips on how to speak each stakeholder about the value of RPO.

👉 Want to learn more about RPO? Check out our guide.

RPO in HR

What Matters to HR

Whether the talent acquisition function sits under Human Resources (HR) or is a separate department, HR is a crucial stakeholder for any RPO program. Strategically, HR is particularly concerned with ensuring the organisation has the talent it needs to meet business objectives, and that it is set up to meet these needs into the future. From an operational point of view, HR supports hiring managers and current (and future) staff through the entire employee lifecycle. They strive to meet the standards of hiring managers and the C-suite by balancing organisational productivity and employee needs, creating a flourishing company culture and obtaining the best talent to support ongoing success.

Top Concerns:

  • Quality of hire
  • Employee retention
  • Workforce planning
  • Employer branding
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I)

How to Talk to HR about RPO

When speaking to HR, it’s important to present RPO as solving critical business challenges and not just as outsourcing your recruitment function, which can sometimes trigger emotions and anxieties about potential redundancies within the in-house recruitment team. It may be helpful to discuss how RPO could complement or augment the existing in-house recruitment resources to expand scope, provide specialised expertise and alleviate workload. Emphasise the ability of an RPO to scale up and down as hiring needs change and to tackle parts of the recruitment process that would allow the HR team focus on other priorities.

Show examples of how an RPO partner can act as a trusted advisor who can optimise your talent acquisition program through process, technology and employer branding improvements. RPO providers have access to market insights to help HR and talent acquisition leaders make workforce decisions and strategic plans for the future. Plus, with DE&I expertise honed across many clients, an RPO partner understands how to source, engage and hire candidates from underrepresented groups.

Questions to Ask HR to Gain Buy-in for RPO

Strategic Focus

  • Are there roles that are crucial to your organization’s objectives that you’re struggling to hire for now? How do you see this changing over the next couple of years?
  • What are the retention rates for hires made in the last 12 months?
  • What are your DE&I goals, and how does talent acquisition fit in?
  • Are your employer brand and talent attraction methods effective for engaging the right talent profiles in all regions? What feedback are you getting from hiring managers?

Tactical Focus

  • Are you using any third-party agencies for permanent hires? What are the associated costs? Are they meeting Service Level Agreements (SLAs)?
  • Is the talent acquisition team the main point of contact for these agencies, or are hiring managers engaging them?
  • What technology are you using for recruitment? What’s missing from your current recruitment tech stack?

Operational Focus

  • How many in-house recruiters do you have right now?
  • What is the recruitment process? Are there stages where you’re seeing high drop-out rates?
  • Are you measuring the candidate experience (i.e., candidate NPS) or asking for candidate feedback? What are you hearing back?
  • What are your key and/or recurring operational issues, and what is causing them?
getting buy in for recruitment process outsourcing

RPO and Procurement

What Matters to Procurement

Procurement leaders look at external spend and evaluate and select vendors that partner with the business to drive results. They are often champions for RPO as they welcome the cost saving benefits. As with any purchase for the business, they’re interested in benefits like flexibility, cost reduction, risk mitigation and tangible results against organisational goals.

Procurement will likely have set processes and policies for selecting a talent acquisition partner, so it’s best to engage them early so you understand what they require during the selection process. Treat them as a valued advisor, and they’ll be happy to support you with requirements definition, process efficiencies and contract negotiations. Bring them in too late, and they could feel more like a barrier than an ally.

Top Concerns

  • Cost per vacancy
  • Agency spend
  • Process efficiencies and added value
  • Risk mitigation

How to Talk to Procurement About RPO

When discussing RPO with procurement, emphasise the economies of scale that can be gained by an RPO partner’s ability to ramp up and down. Procurement professionals will be wary of getting locked into a contract that’s too rigid to account for unanticipated changes in the business environment, so stress the flexibility within the potential RPO partnership.

If your organisation is leveraging multiple staffing agencies, procurement may be frustrated with the disparate methods for obtaining talent and will be motivated to reduce the reliance on third-party agencies to gain control of costs. Share information about how RPO can help you consolidate recruitment under a single partnership, reduce staffing agency usage and make costs more predictable. They may also be interested to hear about a potential RPO provider’s supplier management capabilities as part of an integrated total workforce solution.

👉 Ready, Set, RPO: What to Expect in a New RPO Partnership.

Questions to Ask Procurement to Create Buy-in for RPO

Strategic Focus

  • What is the current annual external spend on talent acquisition?
  • How many third-party agencies are being used for permanent hires? Who is managing these relationships?
  • What issues are created by using multiple agencies?
  • What resources would be needed to support an RPO approach long-term?

Tactical Focus

  • When it comes to deciding on an RPO solution, what do you see as the qualifying criteria? What is the winning criteria?
  • What stages and timescale do you anticipate for a selection process like this?
  • Are you committed to any contract termination timescale with existing suppliers?

Operational Focus

  • What data do you need to collect internally for the procurement process?
  • How should you initiate discussions with providers in the market?

Securing Executive Buy-in for RPO

What Matters to the C-Suite

The CEO and other members of the C-suite are chiefly concerned with ensuring the organisation has the talent it needs to keep a competitive edge. In the midst of economic uncertainty, companies are struggling to navigate changing employee expectations and hire the talent they need. It’s crucial for the CEO to feel confident that the organisation can quickly fill vacancies and grow with high quality talent in order to maximise productivity, hit revenue targets and retain customers.

Top Concerns

  • Speed to hire
  • Candidate experience
  • Candidate quality
  • Employer branding
  • Cost per vacancy

How to Talk the C-Suite About RPO

When speaking to the CEO about an RPO solution, highlight how the long-term partnership allows for a holistic approach to creating a strategic talent acquisition program that fuels business initiatives. They will also be excited by the labour market insights that RPO providers offer, which is not part of an engagement with a staffing agency. This data will help with strategic planning so the C-suite can make informed decisions about geographic expansion, new products or services or other business transformations.

In addition, leading RPO partners offer talent advisory services, including employer branding. This consulting engagement creates a differentiated employer value proposition to help your organisation become an employer of choice for all your talent audiences.

Questions to Ask to Gain Executive Buy-in for RPO

Strategic Focus

  • Do you have talent gaps that are impacting productivity and/or revenue?
  • Does your talent acquisition strategy reflect and boost your employer brand?
  • Does the current recruitment program support business continuity and succession at all levels?
  • Are there business changes coming that could impact recruitment (i.e., merger or acquisition, reorganisation, new location, new product or service, etc.)? Do you feel prepared for these changes with the current talent acquisition approach?

Operational Focus

  • What talent acquisition metrics do you have access to? What would you like to see?
  • Does your visibility into recruitment program vary by region?
  • Do you have good insight into what roles your competitors are hiring for?
getting buy in for RPO

Hiring Manager Buy-in for RPO

What Matters to Hiring Managers

The relationship between hiring managers and recruiters can vary significantly. In some cases, it can be strained, especially when the talent acquisition program is not meeting the hiring managers expectations. In others, there is a strong relationship, though this does not necessarily mean that business needs are being met. Often there’s a mismatch in perceptions—80% of recruiters say they have a high understanding of the jobs they’re trying to fill while 61% of hiring managers disagree.

We recommend speaking to hiring managers in departments where a lot of hiring is needed, like call centres with seasonal fluctuations, or teams where skills are particularly hard to find, like software development teams. This will give you a sense of the current state and the amount of time and effort hiring managers are investing in the recruitment process.

Top Concerns

  • Filling positions quickly with a consistent process
  • Candidate quality
  • Spending less time on recruiting activities
  • Trust in the process and recruiters they work with
  • Control over budget

How to Talk to Hiring Managers About RPO

Hiring managers will want to know how the RPO team manages the recruitment process and how they can reduce the hiring manager’s time investment through interview scheduling, assessment execution and even offer management. Emphasise the RPO partner’s focus on providing quality feedback to both candidates and hiring managers for a great all-around experience.

Another benefit of RPO for hiring managers is reducing time-to-fill through talent pooling. Leading RPO teams create pools of qualified candidates so they’re not starting from scratch every time you open a new requisition or need to backfill a role. In addition, proactive outreach means you can engage with passive candidates who may never have considered your organisation, widening your access to talent.

Questions to Ask Hiring Managers to Create Buy-in for RPO

Strategic Focus

  • How much time are you putting into hiring activities?
  • What are the key areas of need or challenge?
  • What are you spending directly on recruitment (i.e., advertising or agency spend/budget you control)?
  • Are you attracting the right candidates in terms of both skills/experience and cultural fit?
  • How would you rate the quality of candidates being presented by in-house recruiters and/or agencies?

Tactical Focus

  • Are you engaged with third-party recruitment agencies? Are they meeting their SLAs?
  • What kinds of agencies are you working with? What are their strengths?
  • What other recruitment approaches have been working for you (e.g., LinkedIn, events)?

Operational Focus

  • What is your offer acceptance rate for each job type?
  • Are there any roles you get too many responses for?
  • Are there any elements of the process that are not efficient or effective for you or candidates?

Paving the Way for Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Although obtaining data and information for your RPO business case is an important reason to have these conversations, your key aim should be to gain buy-in for RPO and build trust, and to develop a joint-working approach. Hearing stakeholders’ stories, as well as understanding their motivations and what might be blocking them from supporting change, will foster a culture of collaboration and set your RPO program up for success.

One of our experts would be happy to provide information about RPO, more tips on creating buy-in or help building your business case! Let’s chat!

Talent Predictions: How Talent Acquisition Will Navigate 2024

By Simon Wright, Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting 

We are in one of the most transformative periods in the history of work. Between technological disruptions, societal shifts and global events, the talent landscape five years from now will likely look very different than it does today. However, even in times of uncertainty, we can discern key trends that will impact the way organisations source, recruit and retain talent. 

As a leading talent solutions provider, PeopleScout has a unique vantage point to view the forces shaping the future of work. Based on our experience and industry insights, we believe there are eight core areas talent acquisition leaders should embrace in 2024 to up-level their strategic importance within the business.  

1. Talent Leaders Will Look to New Models to Ride the Economic Waves 

The power balance has now shifted back to the employer amidst a tight labour market, fewer vacancies and a cost-of-living crisis. But if you think it’s time to pause investment in your talent programs, think again.  

Talent acquisition teams shrunk during COVID-19 and then grew quickly as part of the bounce back only to shed jobs again this past year. With continued uncertainty, TA leaders must showcase the value they bring to business by minimising the impacts of economic fluctuations.  

It’s time to leave behind the boom and bust and embrace agility through a strategic approach to workforce planning and forecasting. Talent solutions like recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), including modular RPO solutions, offer responsiveness to help stabilise operational delivery amidst unpredictable economic waves.  

2. Business Transformation Will Shape the Workforce 

The specific skills and capabilities companies need are shifting rapidly, which means the jobs and roles employers need to fill are changing too. According to McKinsey research, one-third of new jobs created in the U.S. in the past 25 years were types that barely existed previously, particularly in high-demand areas like data analytics, software development and renewable energy. According to Totaljobs, despite a general slowdown in hiring, the demand for green jobs continues to go up, skyrocketing by 677% between 2019 and 2023. 

However, this business transformation is being hampered by the lack of talent and relevant skills. Economic, social and labour market changes are evolving faster than workforce training and development systems can keep pace. There simply aren’t enough workers with experience in emerging fields and new technologies.  

TA leaders must work proactively to build the reputation and influence of their employer brand with potential talent now—ahead of the hiring they need to do in the future. This means being able to recruit the best talent in the market, not just the best talent in your pipeline. Investing in candidate nurturing and employer branding strategies now will ensure organisations can hire first—and fast—when the time comes. 

3. Employees Will Continue to Reevaluate Their Relationship with Work 

TA leaders must be the eyes and ears for their organisation, tuning in to the candidate market and shaping the employer value proposition (EVP) to meet the changing needs and expectations of candidates. Today’s employees are demanding more, and the one-size-fits-all EVP approach must evolve to keep up.  

Organisations that refresh their EVP with a more human-centric approach that recognises employees as people, not just workers, will go beyond traditional offerings to provide exceptional life experiences that match employee needs. Delivering a positive emotional connection will be crucial for improving retention, overcoming the productivity vacuum and attracting quality talent in 2024.  

4. Data Will Be the Key to Overcoming Talent Scarcity  

The labour market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers, and companies face an enormous brain drain of institutional expertise. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but they lack the some of the soft skills of the departing generation. With this double depletion at play, organisations will need to work hard to attract and train Gen Z in order to keep their workforce development on track for the future. 

Additionally, long-term illness, including lingering complications from COVID-19, has sidelined many working-age adults. The latest ONS data shows that the number of people economically inactive because of long-term sickness is now over 2.5 million in the UK alone. 

The key to reducing the impact of talent scarcity in 2024 is data. It’s time for TA leaders to treat talent intelligence as business intelligence, bringing it to the C-suite to drive decision making and inform strategy. Organisations must leverage data to understand both internal and external talent pools, maximising ROI on talent attraction and retention efforts. 

Talent Acquisition Predictions

5. Skills-Based Practices Will Take Centre Stage 

In order to keep pace with changing roles and dwindling talent pools, leading organisations are taking a proactive and holistic approach to adapting their workforces. They are investing in upskilling and reskilling programs while also leveraging RPO partners to find professionals with the most in-demand and future-proof skills. 

More organisations will look to expand candidate pools and tap into diverse skill sets through skills-based recruitment. To do this, organisations must evolve their candidate assessment practices to focus on skills rather than credentials or pedigree. We’ll see more organisations follow the likes of Google and drop their university degree requirements. This will have the added benefit of promoting greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace.  

6. Internal Mobility Will Receive Big Investment 

More than a third (36%) of HR professionals surveyed identified employee retention as a priority in 2024. Internal mobility will become the key to retention as well as filling open roles and skills gaps. Focus will shift from building external talent pools to internal talent pools, putting methods in place to identify transferable skills that can be boosted to support business transformation.  

We saw an uptick in labour hoarding in 2023 talent trends. In 2024, organisations must invest in transforming the skills of the workers they’ve kept on board in order to ensure they’re ready for what’s on the horizon. 

In 2024, career moves won’t take a linear path but will weave across departments and disciplines, providing workers with variety and rewarding work. Organisations must train hiring managers to look at candidates, not just for their fit for a specific role, but for the value they can bring to the organisation.  

7. Long Overdue Tech Upgrades Will Happen for HR 

The Josh Bersin Company estimates the HR technology is a $250 billion market. 2024 will be the year of recruitment tech stack upgrade.  

Organisations will look to capitalise on AI-powered features to do the heavy lifting so their teams can focus on more valuable recruiting activities. TA leaders should look to technology to augment human touches throughout the candidate experience, to identify opportunities for streamlining through automation, and to help them better interrogate data for a more agile resourcing model.  

This is also an opportunity for TA leaders to demonstrate they can deliver digital transformation and deliver ROI from these investments. This has been a criticism of talent acquisition and HR in the past, and it’s time to dispel that narrative.  

8. AI Fever Will Hit an All-Time High 

And finally, it wouldn’t be a 2024 talent acquisition forecast without a mention of AI. Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools, like ChatGPT, were on the tip of our tongues in 2023. As organisations grapple with the ethics of AI, most will succumb to the transformative potential and begin to test and experiment with how AI can benefit their workforce and operations in 2024.  

The role of technology will keep evolving within talent acquisition, but it’s primed to have a pivotal role in streamlining recruitment tasks and improving efficiency in everything from screening to assessments to interview scheduling.  

Organizations should take a principled approach to leveraging AI and automation to augment recruiting, while ensuring human oversight and care for people remains central. Starting with a small project or two will clear the mist so you can see clearly where AI will add value to your recruitment tech stack and candidate experience. 

The Importance of the Right Talent Partner to Help You Ride the Waves 

The future of work holds exciting potential, but also some uncertainty. However, while individual trends are difficult to predict, TA leaders that embrace agility, skills practices and tech innovation will find themselves in a strong position to prove their value in driving business performance. As your talent partner, PeopleScout will be ready to support, challenge and inspire you for whatever lies ahead. 

By staying on top of key shifts like these and working with an expert talent solutions provider like PeopleScout, companies can build workforces with the skills, mindsets and diversity of experiences to thrive in the next era of business.