Harmonizing RPOs with HR automation
Organizations that have business leaders and HR heads on the same table are comparatively more successful than its peers that don’t adopt this strategy. The reason is a no brainer – the synergy of integrating people processes with business goals maximises people performance with company goals in a seamless manner. And technology plays a crucial role in this.
Companies are striving hard to integrate human capital management and organizational goals with Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and automation. Rather than getting into the pros and cons of each, let us examine how both can be deployed synergistically for maximum efficiency.
Cost cutting is not the key metric
RPO and automation are seen as tools of cost cutting in the HR sphere. But that was not the case why they came into existence. Automation was seen as an effective tool to handle a large number of applicants thus cutting down the man hours and speeding up the process. However, no system is perfect yet. Automated recruitment process relies on data alone to make decisions, but in the process, also weeds out potentially suitable candidates just because they did not fit into the mold. This can swing the other way too. A candidate with right credential, but a wrong fit may get selected, which later might turn into a costly mistake for the organization. An RPO agency can effectively tackle this with its mix of automated and manual screening processes. Rest of the repetitive tasks like reference checks and aptitude tests can be handled efficiently by automated processes. Organizations thus need to understand that cost cutting is not the key metric as far as RPOs and automation in HR is concerned. The goal is to maximize the efficiency of talent acquisition.
A continually evolving process
One of the misconceptions of automation is that once it is set, it functions on its own. This might be true to some extent as intelligent algorithms can do that, but continuous value addition and monitoring is essential. In order to truly harness the benefits of automation, an expert needs to keep on tweaking parameters that enhance the efficiency of the process. For instance, post onboarding an employee, the HR manager needs to observe and tabulate how the employee is performing. What are the parameters that is driving fantastic or catastrophic results? Once a decision has been reached, and the important parameters have been identified, the system needs to be told to prioritize the talent acquisition process accordingly. With a limited number of HR staff, this may or may not be possible for organizations. It also means the HR needs to be well versed with the working of the automated system and the outcome of each of the element in recruitment; the cost of training for which has to be borne by the organization. This is where RPOs can be utilized.
RPOs are already staffed with experts who can keep a tab on employee performance data and feed in required data at regular intervals. Organizations employing RPOs thus do not have to spend their energy, time and money on upskilling the HR. The HR can keep on doing what it does best, monitor the employee performance and pass on relevant data to the RPO for enhancing the talent acquisition process further.
Nipping bias and increasing diversity
One of the challenges that organizations face today is workforce diversity and ensure that the recruitment process is bias free. Bias can seep into the system in any form, which can seriously hamper the workforce diversity goals of an organization. Data based automated process can effectively tackle both issues. Based on the organizational goals, an RPO can tweak the talent acquisition process to ensure diversity. As the screening, selection, and onboarding is entirely managed by a third party, the probability of bias affecting the process is nil. The RPO is bound by organizational goals which it cannot digress from.
Automation and RPOs are still in its infancy, at least in India. Though larger organizations are openly embracing both tools, teething problems are bound to be there. HR departments are not yet fully ready to embrace automation as it needs upskilling. RPOs, on the other hand, are in a position to help organizations for managing their talent acquisition needs in the best possible way with proven methods and capability enhancing tools. Rather than being fully dependent on automation for recruitment, organizations can automate certain processes and leave the rest to RPOs. This will ensure that neither has the full control over the hiring process. The goal is to make an organization efficient; cost cutting is a pleasant byproduct.