Archives for October 2019

Tips for interview nerves and other candidate frights this Halloween

Tips for interview nerves and other candidate frights this Halloween

Content Team

Like the spooks and ghouls of Halloween, interview nerves surround even the best of candidates. After knocking on door after door — hoping not just for a treat, but a real opportunity — one opens wide enough for you to come explore its secrets.

On this spooky day of Halloween, you’ve reached the Interview Door of Doom or Dare. Few have come this far. Few will go further.


What do kids on Halloween and candidates at interview have in common? They may both be able to relate to a little thing called fear. Thankfully, it’s often coupled with adrenaline.

How we deal with that fear influences our prospective success.

I’m not trying to trick you this Halloween: interview nerves are a very real thing. Yet, there are ways in which you can manage and channel them to your advantage. A creative approach can help you turn most any fear or vulnerability into something positive.

Stick with me as I share a few ways in which you can guard against those interview nerves becoming a complete Monster Mash of an experience.

Patrice Burnside discusses interview tips
Patrice Burnside helps you manage those interview nerves this Halloween.

Interview nerves: overcome them by owning your fear

I once met someone who said he couldn’t remember the last time he’d applied for a job. He was a CTO in a start-up. He had in-demand skills. And, of course, the start-up community networked in a way that was so organic, they would never even call it networking. So, fair enough, perhaps in his case — and maybe for some folks you know, as well — he had reached a stage in which the formal interview seemed to be the stuff of fairy tales.

It rarely works that way for the majority of us. With any given role, we might embark on one, two, three or more interviews. Some over the phone, some in person, some using a hybrid approach with Skype or similar.

Does your heart race before these interviews? Do you worry about how you’ll sound? Perhaps you’re concerned about forgetting key information.

two carved pumpkins

Let me tell you: there is no shame in owning your nerves, straight from the start. It is OK, and perhaps downright helpful, to let the interviewer know that you are managing a certain amount of nervousness about the interview.

Once you state that you feel nervous, the other party tends to acknowledge your feelings and express empathy, helping put you at ease.

Clearly, it’s common for many if not most people to feel nervous before an interview. But I find that the act of saying it aloud helps me to acknowledge what I am experiencing, and to then move forward with the reassurance that a safe environment surrounds me as a candidate.

Plus, you can say it in such a way as to reinforce your desire to succeed in the role, for example: “I’m so excited to be here, interviewing for this terrific opportunity, yet I just can’t help but feel a bit nervous. Please let me know if I speak too fast, or if you’d like me to explain anything in more detail.”

By the way, if you’re concerned about leaving out important points during the interview, why not write them down beforehand? Take a few notes inside a neat little notebook, and bring it on the day. Perhaps include a set of questions you want to ask, in case you go blank when the interviewer asks if you’ve got any questions.

You can also use the notebook for taking notes on the day. In this regard, it can blend naturally in the environment. If and when you decide to refer to it, simply let the interviewer know that you wanted to ensure you covered all the key points.

How to cope with anxiety related to interview nerves

For some people, interviews can induce anxiety. And, as much as it affects the mind, anxiety can also manifest in physical ways.

So, when you’re going into an interview, how do you deal with this?

Hydrate, and exercise in fresh air. Get your sleep! A nice bath can also help you relax.

Eliminating Interview nerves instructions

Some of this may be easier said than done, of course, but a healthy, nourished, and balanced lifestyle can help you feel calm. It can help your mind focus.

As you prepare for an interview, these are the basic ingredients that you just can’t get enough of.

And of course, be sure to simply practice and review for the interview, to help allay any interview nerves.

Why you should embrace vulnerability as a candidate

Acknowledging vulnerability can be a powerful lever in an interview setting.

I once ran into a picture on the wall, and apologised to it, before settling into my chair for a very intense interview. I had flown in for it, and was outnumbered by about 15:1 in the room. Now, I have no idea if that incident at the start helped, but it certainly didn’t hurt. In the end, I secured a golden opportunity.

Whatever yours may be, it really is OK to admit your weaknesses, and be accepting of them. In fact, your honesty in this regard may be the very thing that sets you apart from the next candidate.

many pumpkins
Facing a scary interview? Bring your authenticity to the table.

I spoke earlier of dealing with nerves and anxiety. You are certainly not alone if you experience either or both. Great teams understand that not everyone is an expert in excelling at interviews, but equally that this doesn’t take away from what each person is capable of, day to day.

Halloween gives us a chance to celebrate living in a world full of pumpkins, each representing something truly unique. When you interview, it’s OK not to be or feel like a superhuman. No one is expecting you to be anything other than who you are. Authenticity and courage are a powerful combination in their own right.

Discover an exciting new career focused on transforming people’s lives

Considering a career change? We’re currently recruiting exceptional candidates for opportunities worldwide.

Learn more in our careers section.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

A guide to recruiting and retaining exceptional pharma sales reps

A guide to recruiting and retaining exceptional pharma sales reps

Content Team

Does employee turnover affect your pharmaceutical sales teams?

For many organizations, even those who are household names, it often does.

Industry insiders suggest that pharmaceutical and medical device sales reps should perform in their roles for at least two-to-three years for a company to realize a good return on investment from employee training. This may differ for strong performers.

Is your pharma sales team hitting that mark? Better yet, are you smashing it with high-performing, deeply invested sales pros?

Two pharma workers discussion
Employee turnover often affects pharmaceutical sales teams. The right strategies can help address this.

If not, a simple yet business-critical question must be answered: how can pharmaceutical companies successfully attract and engage great sales people?

Everyone wants to find better candidates in pharmaceuticals. And with the right talent partner, many options can be explored.

To begin, however, we recommend a core combination of three strategies to address staff turnover rates in pharmaceutical sales.

Read on, then prepare to act.

1.) Allow flexible hiring to discover exceptional talent

Jenn Taylor, Manager of Talent Acquisition for Hudson RPO client Bausch Health, regularly seeks innovative ways to attract top candidate profiles. In particular, she targets those with a track record of B2B sales success, especially those who have had success in meeting quotas and experience with life ‘on the road’.

She explains: “The hiring manager must be open to candidates outside the industry. When we have that flexibility, we consider not just the major competencies for the role, but candidates who are self-motivated with an aptitude for quickly learning new knowledge.”

These soft skills are assessed through testing, role-playing, and behavioral interviewing.

Jenn Taylor
To build strong pharma sales teams, take a flexible approach to hiring. For example, be flexible about industry background, says Jenn Taylor.

For one drug division, Taylor’s team is piloting a 200-question assessment that candidates must pass before interviewing.

In another example, candidates are provided information on a topic and charged with creating a presentation to give to the hiring team.

“Pharmaceutical sales can be more lucrative than other industries, which of course is a draw for candidates. With talk of a potential recession, it’s helpful to remind candidates that pharma sales will likely weather a recession. People need their medications regardless of the economy.”

2.) To find commitment, seek compassionate people

In almost every case, it’s important to ensure that candidates have a desire to help others.

That advice comes from senior recruiter Gary Jones, who serves as Account Director for one of Hudson RPO’s key accounts, Smith & Nephew. Drawing from a deep background of industry experience, he specializes in life sciences recruitment.

“If a candidate becomes a pharma or medical device sales rep solely for the money, I find they are more likely to experience turnover,” Jones says.

“It’s important that the candidate has a desire to make a difference in patients’ lives. It’s part of their purpose.”

Gary Jones Headshot
Gary Jones, Account Director, says compassion signals dedication.

3.) Motivate with clear growth paths and reviews

When it comes to retention, high-performing pharmaceutical companies tend to provide a clear growth path for sales specialists.

This is a big factor in retaining top talent, says Kasey Butler, who managed Hudson RPO’s GSK Canada account for five years and now serves as Director, Client Delivery.

Great companies also conduct regular reviews of salary and benefits.

“At GSK, if we hired a great candidate right out of school, after one to two years of experience, we would later review whether we were still paying them the market rate for someone with that experience. If we don’t keep up, the employee will leave,” Butler added.

Kasey Butler
Want to retain top pharma talent? Don’t underestimate the power of regular salary reviews, says Kasey Butler.

This approach tends to pay off, she said. Thanks to the employer’s dedication, most pharma sales reps would perform for three to five years before transitioning into new roles at GSK.

Some of the roles they move into include sales training, marketing, market research, and sales management. Some even take on market access roles.

“It’s one thing for drugs to be approved,” Butler said, “but are they accessible to patients covered by healthcare plans? The most passionate pharma sales people are ready to support the entire life cycle of patient wellbeing, in whatever way they can.”

Butler added: “Plus, new sales reps don’t need to come with a book of business. They are given a territory and a list of doctors to call on, which gives candidates more confidence and companies more hiring flexibility.”

The sales representative needs to be sufficiently educated to have intelligent conversations with doctors and physician assistants, but when specific scientific knowledge is required, a medical affairs representative offer support.

4.) Really, truly, understand candidate motivations

From the start, you must get to know what motivates your candidate. Tap into what kind of career journey the candidate envisages, or risk being ghosted early on, says Jason Walker, who serves as the Recruitment Centre Manager at GSK for Hudson RPO.

“When it comes to talent planning and recruitment in general, organizations need to ask the right questions and listen carefully to what they’re hearing from prospective sales candidates regarding their long-term career outlook and goals,” Walker advises.

“Many reps focus exclusively on the sales path, and progressing within the field through to management, whereas others find themselves ultimately interested in pursuing non-field based positions at HQ, often outside of sales. These kinds of roles are typically heavily sought after, with very competitive pools of candidates internally and externally vying for them.”

Jason Walker
Jason Walker is the Recruitment Centre Manager at GSK for Hudson RPO.

He continues: “Developing an understanding of what path the hiring manager on their team, and the organization as a whole can reasonably provide, starting from the point of hire, is critical.

“Otherwise, candidates will leave in favor of other organizations, in order to progress. Often, they’ll leave for a competitor — taking all that they’ve learned with them, including competitive intelligence and training.”

An authentic connection to the product or service can also inspire long-term commitment in sales employees.

“Our trends have shown that the most effective and longstanding sales employees are those who have a personal connection with the product or therapeutic area they represent,” Walker says. “Oncology and Respiratory sales are a great example, with many employees seeing the opportunity to effect change in an area personal to them or their families as a very tangible generator of engagement.”

Addressing employee turnover in life sciences and pharma

Staff turnover can be a challenge for any organization, but it shouldn’t dominate the HR agenda. An experienced talent partner can help you focus your sales recruitment strategy. The right recruitment partner can help you dial up or down as needed within hiring, while mitigating business risk.

Are you looking for a talent partner who can support growth in pharma or life sciences? Click through for more information about pharmaceutical sales recruitment.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

From criminal investigations to candidate psychology, these are our top SOSUEU 2019 takeaways

Hudson RPO sourcing experts Aniq Butt, Marjorie Gaume, and Jessie Caudron, are back from SOSU Europe (aka SOSUEU, or the Sourcing Summit) which took place in Amsterdam earlier this month.

They wrote last month about what they were most looking forward to from SOSUEU. Here, they reveal their first impressions and strongest takeaways from the event.

1. What did you think about this edition of SOSUEU?

“This was the first time for Aniq and myself (Marjorie) to be part of a sourcing event, and it did not disappoint me at all!” Marjorie said.

“I found this edition really diverse. There were different type of presentations: some for junior sourcers, others for people who have some IT abilities, and some speakers were also outside of the sourcing/recruiting field. It was clearly super inspiring and made us think a lot about what we could implement in our own way of working in order to improve ourselves.”

2. Which were the most inspiring talks?

Every presentation offered something unique. Below, our team share their views on some of their favourite sessions.

‘See me, feel me, touch me, hear me: how to become a super sourcer, starting today’, presented by Frans Reichardt

As Frans said: “Most people are able to hear, but not everyone is able to listen.”

Frans talked about the difference between hearing and listening, and how to improve our listening skills was one of them. It’s important as a sourcer to be able to listen to what the candidate is telling us, to understand what they are looking for and if they could really be a good fit for the position.

It’s important not only to find a candidate for the open position we are recruiting for but also that the candidate is genuinely interested in the company and position. It should be a good match on both sides. This talk was also more general and we can use those tips in our day-to-day talent sourcing.

Hudson RPO SOSUEU event
The Hudson RPO SOSUEU team consisted of Jessie Caudron, Marjorie Gaume, and Aniq Butt.

Frans shared five easy tips that will help improve your listening skills:

  • Listen consciously
  • Ask questions and stay curious
  • Show that you listen
  • Pay attention to body language
  • Listen without judgement

‘OSINT case study: Netherlands Police’, presented by Lisette Abercrombie and Maike Borst

This talk was given by two police officers who were explaining how they are using open sourcing intelligence to investigate criminal cases. They went through a real case of abduction, explaining each step of the process to trace the missing person. It was really interesting to see that sourcing skills could be used in real-life investigations.

‘Hacking human brain: a neuromarketing approach to sourcing’, presented by Guillaume Alexandre

Did you know that 70% of decisions are influenced by emotions? That’s a big deal when it comes to building great connections for talent sourcing.

Guillaume Alexandre talked about this and much more, as part of another favourite presentation from this year’s edition.

He chose to explain how the human brain works. With this knowledge, we can adapt our approach to help secure a candidate’s attention.

Here are three of Guillaume’s tips for building emotive connections:

Guillaume Alexandre presents talent sourcing tips at SOSUEU.
Guillaume Alexandre presents talent sourcing tips at SOSUEU.
  • Use ! and 😊 (don’t overdo either)
  • Format your text to make it stand out
  • Don’t overload or guide them to read

‘Sourcing psychology’, presented by Laura Gonzales, a sourcing alumna of Hudson RPO

Laura Gonzales, a sourcing alumna of Hudson RPO, spoke this year about using psychology to improve sourcing power. This talk was really inspiring. She explained how to use psychology in our candidate outreach.

Laura applied six psychological concepts to recruitment, explaining how she used them in her everyday recruitment style: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus.

The results are there: she manages to not only fill her open role, but also create a long-term pipeline with exceptional candidates by being honest and transparent with them.

Laura Gonzales, sourcing alumna of Hudson RPO, presents at SOSUEU
Laura Gonzales, sourcing alumna of Hudson RPO, presents at SOSUEU.

3. How was the Hackathon?

For those who don’t know, the Sourcing Hackathon is a series of live sourcing questions made to challenge recruiters and sourcers.

We woke up at 3am for our flight to Amsterdam, and the Hackathon was the very last thing we did that day before going to rest at the hotel. We were probably a bit tired at that point!

The questions were varied, some easier than others. But it was overall really cool to participate and to compete surrounded by some of the best sourcers in the industry!

SOSUEU Hudson RPO team with Florian Bonnet
SOSUEU Hudson RPO team with Florian Bonnet (far left), Hudson RPO sourcing alum.

SEEK recruitment awards: Hudson RPO a finalist for ‘RPO of the Year’

Hudson RPO has been named a finalist for RPO of the Year in the 17th SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards.

The event takes place in November. It is run by SEEK Limited, an APSCo Australia affiliate member.

The awards committee reported a record number of submissions this year.

Kimberley Hubble, CEO of Hudson RPO in APAC, said: “We are thrilled to be nominated for RPO of the Year in the prestigious SEEK awards. Being an awards finalist reflects the team’s dedication to providing value-added recruitment solutions. We take great joy in helping clients hire top talent in Australia and across APAC.”

Hudson RPO named SARA finalist

The nomination rounds out a successful year for the Australia team, with the team ranking No. 2 among top RPO providers in APAC, according to the HRO Today Baker’s Dozen regional rankings. In addition, Hudson RPO and client AstraZeneca Australia were named Innovative HR Team winner by HRD magazine.

Hudson RPO also celebrated its 10th consecutive year on the HRO Today Baker’s Dozen list for global RPO providers.

IR35 private sector changes: companies start to make their call

IR35 private sector changes: companies start to make their call

Content Team

IR35 private sector changes have HR leaders watching closely. Many businesses are adapting their strategy for a robust contingent workforce powered by managed services.

Barclays recently communicated internally that it will cease to engage contractors who provide their services via a personal services company, limited company or other intermediary. Instead, the bank will engage contractors on a PAYE basis only for new or extended contracts from 1st January 2020.

The decision has been attributed to the forthcoming changes in the way HMRC will apply rules for off-payroll working.

Barclays’ strategy follows a similar course taken by other high-profile British employers, including Lloyds, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and GSK.

Miles Stribbline
Miles Stribbling reviews the latest IR35 announcements and reveals their implications for other UK businesses.

When it comes to IR35 private sector changes, those organisations have adopted a one-size fits all approach. They’ve effectively declared all contract roles ‘inside’ IR35. Some are offering the opportunity to transfer to a permanent employment contract or to work via an umbrella company — but with considerable consequences to their contractor population.

IR35 is influencing the supply and demand of skilled talent in many ways. What are the consequences to the market? Miles Stribbling, Consultant at Hudson RPO, explores the latest news from IR35, and how it may affect your business as well.

Which IR35 changes will affect the private sector?

Currently, HMRC requires contractors to self-assess their employment tax status and pay the appropriate taxes. This means that many workers have been able to engage in off-payroll working contracts when they are actually carrying out the role and being managed in the manner of an employee.

From 6th April 2020, HMRC requires that the end user of the services (client) takes on the responsibility for determining the tax status of the worker and communicate the decision to the worker and agency/intermediary. It is the expectation that both parties will work in consultation, taking ‘reasonable care’ when making assessments and resolving any disputes. It is not intended that hiring teams make blanket IR35 assessments.

Additionally, the end user (client) assumes liability for unpaid taxes if HMRC fails to collect these from the ‘fee payer’ or from other parties in the supply chain. Claims and penalties can be applied retrospectively.

What options are available to end users of contractors?

The approach taken should not be determined by the size of an organisation. However, a company with 1000+ contractors will naturally experience greater issues than those with 10.

A thorough audit of the contract workforce should be undertaken. Employers should conduct an individual assessment of the assignment, skills required, and conditions of work.

With this information, the following options are available:

  • Contractor remains outside of IR35
  • Contractor works via an umbrella company
  • Contractor converts to PAYE
  • Contractor delivers project via a Statement of Work (SoW)
  • Contractor works under Deemed model
  • Contractor is offered permanent employment


four team members collaborating at table
Under the proposed IR35 private sector changes, many organisations will have contractors falling into several different categories.

This presents a considerable amount of work. Understandably, large organisations will consider all options before committing money and resources to tackling the challenge.

Many organisations will have contractors falling into several different categories. The added complexity is likely to require specialist skills to get the correct contracts in place.

Employers adopting this approach will not necessarily keep all of their contractors happy. But, they will have followed the HMRC guidelines and should have remained engaged throughout the assessment process, providing clear communications.

The audit process should provide the company with a far greater understanding of their contingent workforce and offers them the opportunity to make strategic decisions using this information. It certainly lends itself to those looking to reduce their cost base via benchmarking or other activities

Those companies that have made the decision to solely offer PAYE contracts from 1st Jan 2020 have likely weighed up the costs of rolling out a large-scale assessment programme, as well as legal and procurement costs.

Furthermore, they will have considered possible reputation risks. They will have deemed the risks too great. In effect, by not starting the assessment process, they are not taking a ‘blanket’ approach to the assessments.

What is the impact of IR35 private sector changes?

Apart from companies having to prepare for legislation change and all the associated work, there is considerable unrest within the contractor community. After I recently wrote about IR35 and the digital skills shortage, I was contacted by an anonymous contractor who made their thoughts clear:

I’m usually pretty optimistic about most things, but despite having skills and experience that was until recently in very high contract demand, and serving multiple clients, I’ve already had a number of my clients terminate the arrangements; each have cited IR35 as the reason. Work has been either cancelled or moved to offshore providers. I am facing an immediate existential threat to my business (despite some careful financial planning over many years).

I have two options: take a permanent position with a very significant downsize adjustment whilst drawing down from earlier financial planning; or, move overseas. Initial enquiries suggest few employers want to take me on as a permanent member of staff (age, experience, and long-time contracts history is “off-putting”). Yes, that’s discriminatory but also my reality. Overseas interest and flexible contract opportunities are proving stronger, so I’m actively exploring that.

So, UK will likely lose my skills, experience, and taxes; and I’ll likely work for a company that probably competes against UK companies. I never wanted this.

I have been unable to follow up directly with this individual, but it is a sentiment shared widely in online contractor forums and communities.

For many people, the financial cost of working ‘inside’ IR35 on a PAYE basis is unacceptable. It is not clear to what extend the day rates of contractors will be benchmarked against permanent employees. However, it is highly unlikely that the banks will want to create a two-tier pay structure. With that in mind, contractors will have to seriously weigh up the options of a permanent salary with benefits against the uncertainty of future contracts and HMRC hard on the tails of non-compliant employers.

There is little doubt that many people will look elsewhere. In a strange twist of fate, there are reports of IR35-friendly contract opportunities in the public sector (for example, at HMRC, where the roles were originally classified inside of IR35, only to be outsourced to a third party now seeking contractors to complete the work).

Many organisations will embrace the new changes and follow the assessment process.

They will have the comfort of being compliant and correctly engaged with their total workforce.

Many contractors run their own successful businesses, providing services to clients that legitimately sit outside of IR35.

five team members in meeting
The cost of replacing contractor labour may lead some organisations to consider alternative arrangements under IR35.

It would seem shortsighted not to retain these services, where possible.

The potential cost of replacing critical skills to deliver projects in a market that is already short on skilled talent leads me to believe that the clients will end up paying more in the long run.

There is the opportunity to find middle ground during the assessment process: it may benefit both parties to resolve matters before market conditions change.

Can the private sector see a positive outcome from IR35 changes?

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the roll out of changes to IR35 in the public sector in 2017.

With more than 51% of hiring managers reported as having lost skilled contractors, and more than 70% reported to have struggled to retain their off-payroll workers, companies should try to avoid similar scenarios when planning for 2020.

A reliance on the UK Government’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool caused massive confusion, as it still does today. Blanket ‘all caught’ assessments saw a mass exodus of contractors from key projects leaving almost 80% of projects failing to meet deadlines or having to reset expectations. Large-scale outsourcing of the projects has barely managed to fill the gap. Cost savings have not materialised.

Some would argue that there are no winners, with employers paying more, contractors being paid less or losing jobs, projects failing, and HMRC making far less tax revenue than anticipated.

Even the large consultancies are struggling to the find the right talent at the right price, which is eating into their profits.

Despite this, organisations that manage the process diligently and with reasonable care, are more likely benefit from a flexible but firm approach to assessment.

Closeup shot of a laptop and a team working in the background
From employers, to contractors, and even HMRC, the IR35 private sector changes promise a range of implications for all parties.

Off-payroll workers provide a huge variety of services. They should be engaged appropriately.

There is middle ground in the majority of circumstances, and the key to success is finding it.

Organisations that choose not to assess will lose contractors. Organisations that fail to assess correctly or leave it until the last minute will lose contractors. Even those organisations that do everything by the book may lose contractors unless they are able to help make up the differential in pay after April of 2020.

Traditionally, one of the tax key benefits for contractors has been the ability to claim for daily travel expenses and sustenance. This made the long commutes to jobs in large cities more affordable. Perhaps one positive outcome will be the affordability of highly skilled talent on a more local basis. It should certainly help accelerate the drive to more flexible and remote working practices.

Preparing for IR35 private sector changes and Brexit

With the Brexit deadline of 31st October rapidly approaching, there is a real possibility that a further six month extension could coincide with the IR35 rule changes deadline of 6 April 2020. This is concerning.

To make matters worse (or better), lobbying groups continue to challenge HMRC on the objectives of the new legislation. The rules could still be changed, beyond what we know today. Perhaps they will be delayed or withdrawn completely. Anything could happen when it comes to IR35 private sector changes.

IR35 private sector changes may coincide with Brexit
IR35 private sector changes may coincide with Brexit, posing further challenges to organisations that use managed services.

While Brexit commands so much media attention, it is possible that some of the consequences of a delay are being missed. Our recommendation is to be be informed, be prepared, and take action.

With the above in mind, Hudson RPO are global leaders in recruitment process outsourcing and managed services provision.

Since 1999, customers have trusted us for innovative, customised recruitment outsourcing, and talent solutions.

We offer an exceptional ability to source and hire candidates with hard-to-find skills on behalf our clients. We also support our client with IR35 and SoW solutions.

Our approach is highly consultative, professional and, above all, honest. We may not have all the solutions to the challenging times ahead, but we would welcome the opportunity to talk to you to see how we can help.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Saint-Gobain’s talent strategy: blend RPO with an in-house team

Saint-Gobain’s talent strategy: blend RPO with an in-house team

Content Team

If you could avoid paying for extra headcount when times are lean, or when hiring volumes are down, would you?

For many HR leaders, the answer would be yes, of course.

The leaders of manufacturing giant Saint-Gobain are among those who have chosen to mitigate that risk. They’ve put in place a blended RPO / in-house recruitment model, selecting Hudson RPO as their partner.

“Because we can flex up and down, we can build them an in-house team which they can’t get headcount for,” says Jared Massey, Hudson RPO operations manager serving the Saint-Gobain account.

“For many companies, it can be very difficult to get extra headcount on an urgent basis,” Jared explains.

“If they all of a sudden get busy, most companies will have a short-term or long-term plan that has been agreed, and it becomes virtually impossible to get sign-off beyond that agreement. When you work with an RPO, the risk is on the RPO to take on extra headcount when required.”

Jared Massey
Jared Massey, Hudson RPO operations manager, talks about the advantages of a blended recruitment model.

The Saint-Gobain partnership is based on adding value to the in-house operation.

Jared explains: “They’ve got an in-house team, and we’re an advancement of that. We essentially provide an in-house team on top of their internal recruitment team.”

Building long-term capacity from a blended model

Prior to Hudson RPO entering the scene, Saint-Gobain took a different approach with another RPO vendor: A role would come through to the in-house team. They would try to fill it. When they couldn’t, they then gave it to the RPO team, who had one week to fill the vacancy. If they couldn’t, the role went out to an agency.

But the arrangement didn’t perform well enough, so Saint-Gobain appointed Hudson RPO.

Saint Gobain logo

The understanding shared by both partners is that all recruitment functions can be brought in-house within two years.

Jared says: “Once we build the optimal systems and processes for them, they plan to bring it all in-house. That’s the beauty of a blended recruitment model.

“From D&I, to recruitment technology, and beyond, the right RPO partner offers best-practice expertise across the recruitment spectrum. Our recruiters are poised to pass this knowledge and capability to the in-house team. Being embedded — sitting alongside your counterpart and sharing experiences, knowledge, and resources — is an invaluable opportunity for blended-model clients.”

Designing a value-added RPO partnership

Before Saint-Gobain pursued the RPO route, internal recruiters would be tasked with filling a set number of roles per year. They would deal with some of those roles, while others, such as HR vacancies, went to agencies.

Now that the partnership is in place, Hudson RPO fills as many roles as requested at any given time.

“In addition to roles that would have previously been delegated to agency,” Jared says, “we can also deal with peaks and troughs, freeing their in-house recruiters to focus on other key initiatives.”

He explains: “For them, it can work in two ways. First, it means that their current in-house team can get involved in more initiatives, because we’re taking care of a range of time-consuming tasks in the background. Second, we can also provide specialist expertise which they may lack, for example around HR technology, developing an employer value proposition, or building a graduate scheme.”

Delegating work between in-house and RPO

While Saint-Gobain operate a fluid model, the in-house team tends to look after filling easier placements, such as internal roles.

“Apart from in-house roles, everything else tends to come into their in-house recruiters or our in-house team,” Jared says. “Generally, the more difficult roles come to us.”

Hudson RPO collect and process data around hiring demand. With enough data, the team will be able to advise on which roles should be handled by either team.

“Once we build the right systems and processes for them,” Jared says, “they plan to bring it all in-house.”

two workers in manufacturing plant
In the blended model, Hudson RPO fills key roles.

The role types currently filled by Hudson RPO include many within manufacturing, such as:

  • Engineering
  • Production
  • Quality
  • Mining and other specialist roles within the UK

The teams also recruit for central services, including:

  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Customer service

Building trust in the RPO with clear communications

Hudson RPO currently supplies three recruiters on-site, and one off-site. They are all branded as Saint-Gobain.

From the start, Jared says, “the communications needed to be absolutely right.”

He explains: “In all contexts, but certainly blended environments, we’re not there to threaten the essential roles of in-house recruiters — we’re there to help.”

Across the business, Jared says, Saint-Gobain employees understand the purpose of the partnership and have bought into the concept.

Saint-Gobain’s financial model also supports the spirit of partnership. Jared explains: “Because the costs of their recruitment are all centrally costed within Saint-Gobain, outsourcing a role doesn’t cost their team any more than filling it in-house. Whether you look at it with a focus on finance, or the way in which it adds value to their HR team and in-house recruiters, the blended arrangement is designed to propel Saint-Gobain to the next stage of talent acquisition maturity.”

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Download our Latest Guide