Talent solutions for a new era

As the Australian workforce undergoes dramatic change, now is the time to rethink traditional recruitment methods

Talent solutions for a new era
As the Australian workforce undergoes dramatic change, now is the time to rethink traditional recruitment methods

Globalisation. An ageing workforce. Fundamental shifts in how, where and when people are undertaking work. These are just some of the key disruptors shaking up the workforce of 2017. At a time when businesses need to think even more strategically about their workforce mix, and as HR teams are under pressure to deliver more results with less, it’s understandable some may feel daunted.

Unfortunately, research suggests that the impact of workforce change is only just starting to be felt. Nicole Cook, Managing Director ANZ, PeopleScout, cites just one example: the rise of the contingent workforce (eg temporary, contractor and statement of work engagements). This development has challenged businesses to think through creative ways of attracting and engaging these workers, to think through the mix of workers required to deliver necessary outcomes and to revisit the policies needed to support a contingent workforce.

“We have first-hand experience working with clients in media and advertising – industries that rely on the freelance economy for results,” says Cook. “Your recruitment approach in these industries is passive strategic sourcing and you must be prepared to present a compelling employee value proposition [EVP] to keep good talent. Traditional views of turnover metrics may also be challenged. What is an acceptable turnover rate in this new way of working?”

In addition to this, Australia’s population is changing, and it will soon have a very real effect on the country’s workforce. According to McCrindle research, we should start to notice these differences by 2020 when the country’s median age will be 40 (up from just 29 in 1980), and there will be more 65-year-olds than one-year-olds.

“The population is ageing while young people continue to flow into the workforce from secondary and tertiary education,” says Cook. “For people in talent acquisition, this means balancing the talents and desires of five distinct generations of workers.”

Then there’s globalisation, which has had a profound impact on workforces and the employer landscape throughout the APAC region, particularly in Australia and New Zealand.

“The rise of multinational corporations and foreign investment has provided robust demand for talent,” says Cook. “Australian companies investing internationally have also created a demand for Australian managerial talent to work outside the country for a significant period.”

Globalisation is also a major factor in the description of jobs being created in the Australian economy. Cook cites an example: a consumer in Chicago can order a pair of boots from an Australian company on his computer and expect them to arrive on his doorstep in a matter of hours. In addition to those working in the factory in India, this is only possible due to those who work in global supply chain management, others who work processing the internet orders, and those who transfer those US$ being paid to A$ returned as profit.

“The nature of jobs in the global marketplace is constantly evolving along with technology and the market itself,” says Cook, who adds that the classic supply and demand model of local talent filling the needs of local employers is obsolete.

A helping hand
It’s no surprise that Cook has found that even for organisations with sophisticated and well-staffed HR departments, these challenges can be daunting. A possible solution may lie in partnering with a reputable recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider, such as PeopleScout.

PeopleScout operated in the ANZ region as HRX from 2005 through 2015 and became fully integrated into the global PeopleScout organisation in 2016. Cook says the firm’s global reach is important. It allows PeopleScout to offer Total Workforce Solutions – which blend Managed Service Provider (MSP) with RPO in one integrated program. It also enables the firm to provide workforce planning when there are no formal programs in place; and to draw on deep expertise in the strategic elements of talent acquisition, such as championing and integrating diversity programs and succession planning. This is important to a number of sectors, as many APAC organisations need to access talent from outside the country or region.

The term Total Workforce Solutions can mean different things to different clients depending on their needs, but Cook says for PeopleScout the term implies there is a trend for organisations to look at a more comprehensive view of their workforce needs (executive search, full-time professional hiring, contingent and labour hires) from end to end.

“We’ve seen talent acquisition get more attention at the board levels; therefore, our solutions have to demonstrate innovation and differentiation in the approach,” says Cook. “Being a part of a global organisation like PeopleScout means that we now have access to a global team to extend our reach and keep us tightly linked to innovations in this space.”
Two key HR trends are business-driven talent analytics and predictive talent models with HR analytics. Both of these concepts involve merging talent data from the pre- and post-recruitment process with business process
information. The focus is on predicting how and where to access talent based on the use of analytical tools and algorithms using what if scenarios. Nicole Cook explains how PeopleScout uses these insights.

“PeopleScout implements Higher Insights, a proprietary business intelligence reporting platform that provides powerful analysis of program-specific data and metrics at a customised frequency and cadence aligned with our client’s overall business objectives. Higher Insights custom reporting provides clients with data on candidate quality, candidate pipelining, process efficiencies, hiring volumes, trends, SLAs and KPIs, sourcing effectiveness, market research, compliance reporting and more. The platform also provides meaningful and relevant industry data on topics including competitive insights, regulatory and legislative changes, RPO, HR and talent acquisition trends, technology and innovation, economic market indicators such as unemployment data and more.”

RPO changes
The evolution of the RPO industry is another consideration for talent acquisition leaders. BPO analysts NelsonHall predicts that RPO will be the fastest growing service in the HR arena by 2020 and that the Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets will emerge as high growth. The global RPO market will help companies that require the flexibility to access talent from different geographies.

Total Workforce Solutions have also been on the minds of RPO buyers for a number of years. The market is now maturing and PeopleScout is finding more talent acquisition professionals interested in the possibility of a  blended solution.

“Many of the key drivers for RPO are directly related to the key drivers for Total Workforce Solutions, including the changing world of work, talent scarcity, demand for improved analytics and technology and need for improved ROI,” says Cook.

Cook adds that employer brand positioning is a key trend in the talent acquisition space. Due to so many employers competing for the best talent, RPO programs play a crucial role in effective employer brand positioning and candidate experience, and can assist with strategic talent consulting and long-term workforce planning.

Lastly, RPO programs – as well as Total Workforce Solutions – help buyers increase online access to program analytics, workforce planning and labour market data to boost visibility into relevant market dynamics.

Despite its popularity, some misconceptions about RPO remain. One is that there’s a highly defined client profile. This is not the case, says Cook.

“We’re seeing interest from places that wouldn’t have considered our services five to eight years ago. We have extremely highquality people that we’re able to supply to our clients who are skilled at understanding the nuances of their business and trained to get fast results in recruitment.”

The key, she adds, is being able to develop customised solutions to clients’ needs.

“Now that we’re part of PeopleScout, much of this is driven by our brand pillars of technology and innovation, where we’re able to leverage the global infrastructure that comes when you are making 28% of all RPO hires around the world.”
Nicole Cook outlines why RPO might be appealing:

Results-focused “An RPO model is unique in that we operate like a fully integrated internal model, but we have contractual KPIs aligned to our client’s talent acquisition objectives that are non-negotiable. We can also flex up or down to meet recruitment demand easier than an internal team can.”

Flexibility “Customers look to us to provide the flexibility to adapt to increases and decreases in demand, changing talent acquisition agendas and provide innovation. Our ability to be nimble and flexible in meeting the changing demands of our client is a requirement.”

End-to-end services “HR directors in the APAC market aren’t simply looking for a transactional RPO any more. We’re being engaged to manage graduate recruiting, redesign employee value proposition programs, manage diversity agendas, run internal consulting projects or provide the entire HR function itself (HRO).”

PeopleScout, a TrueBlue company, is a Total Workforce Solution provider trusted by businesses around the world for Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Managed Service Provider (MSP) and blended programs. PeopleScout provides coste effective delivery of scalable, integrated and highly customised recruitment solutions to more than 70 countries worldwide. Learn more at peoplescout.com.

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