Archives for July 2022

In the ‘Business of Excellence’ with Jess Wardlaw

In the ‘Business of Excellence’ with Jess Wardlaw

Margot Moore

The Recruiter profession is often bucketed into three key modes: Agency, Internal and RPO – each with their own pros and cons and each offering a unique career path. Many who work in the industry are well versed on the differences between both the Agency and Internal model, however many remain perplexed on how the RPO model works. More importantly though, what’s it like to work for one?

RPO stands for Recruitment Process Outsourcing, and from a client perspective means that a business makes the decision to outsource its recruitment function to another organisation – like us! RPO teams are embedded into a client’s broader organisation and operate as the client’s own employees.
Jess Wardlaw has spent the last 18 years building a successful career in Recruitment and during that time, worked across all three; agency, internal and RPO. Currently, Jess works onsite for our largest global client, Macquarie Group, as a Strategic Business Partner where she leads a team of Recruiters for Macquarie’s front-office groups.
‘My role is strategic. It’s about operational excellence and providing a high level of customer service,’ says Jess who re-joined Hudson RPO after 3 years working for an internal recruitment team.
When asked what brought her back to the world of RPO, Jess explains that it was a combination of the people and Hudson RPO’s culture, coupled with the RPO model itself.
‘For me, coming back was about the strength of the leadership team, the people, and the genuine care factor, which is incredibly high at Hudson RPO. But at the same time, it’s the autonomy to make decisions about the business areas I support and how we manage ourselves day-to-day,’ explains Jess.
Jess and her colleagues from the Hudson RPO and Macquarie recruitment leadership team getting together for dinner after an annual strategy day.
For Jess, the RPO model also means that she feels empowered to do more, too.
‘The major benefit [of an RPO] is that because we are an outsourced provider; we can upscale quickly and we can make sure that we’ve got teams that are well resourced in order to support the client engine and deliver service excellence. I want to deliver a good service,’ she says.
Working as a strategic lead on our largest global client site, means Jess not only has access to her Macquarie stakeholders, but additionally to myriad subject matter experts. With Technology, Data & Analytics and Employer Branding experts at her fingertips, Jess and her team have the freedom and space in their roles to think big and do more.
When it comes to what Recruitment professionals enjoy most about the industry, the RPO model has its strengths for those looking to work in a strategic and consultative capacity.
‘Unfortunately, a lot of people view RPO as a ‘bolt-on’ offshored service,’ explains Jess.
As an RPO, Hudson RPO prides itself on the ability to save our clients’ money, but that’s not our core promise.
‘It’s actually about delivering quality service. If a client wants to create a best-in-class talent acquisition function that’s strategically aligned to their business objectives, then that’s where we come in. Our clients are looking for high-quality delivery and we’re in the business of delivering best-in-class service,’ says Jess.
Accessing subject matter experts and specialist teams, gives our recruiters, sourcers and leads more opportunity to deliver highly tailored solutions and projects as part of their day-to-day. Our teams are doing so much more than executing recruitment processes, they are designing and delivering key strategic work that is contributing to our clients’ overarching objectives.
‘A recent example for us has been working with our broader HR team across Macquarie’s front office business to overhaul the training and subsequent resources for our Hiring Managers. We’ve designed and executed a suite of materials and sessions to make sure our Hiring Managers are equipped to get more out of their recruitment efforts and to deliver fantastic candidate experiences whilst interviewing,’ explains Jess.
‘It’s so much more than simply running a process. It’s about delivering longevity for talent strategies from candidate experience initiatives through to diversity and inclusion projects,’ says Jess.
Jess is a seasoned recruitment specialist with over 15 years in the industry.
Having the opportunity to work in a heavily strategic role and pursue excellence, is ultimately why Jess believes the RPO model is the right balance between operational and strategic for Recruiters looking for more out of their careers. Our RPO teams are also recognised for the work they do, by both Hudson RPO and our clients’.
And while the concept of having a parent company as well as a client ‘employer’ may sound strange or messy, Jess explains that this blend only contributes to a distinctive culture and employee experience.
‘It’s the chance to break away and have fun together as a collective group of professionals and be rewarded and recognised for the impact that we have on our clients. In my experience, I did not get that from previous internal teams. It helps you realise the importance of the role that you play in the company’s strategic direction, and also, the importance of your role within the business that you’re employed under as well,’ says Jess.
For Recruiters who are driven by the pursuit of excellence and approach problem solving with strategic, out-of-the-box thinking, an RPO could be the best place to grow and develop.
‘When hiring for my team, I look for people who have a strong focus on delivering good service. They’re not afraid to try new or different things and are curious as to how we could be doing things differently. They’ll ask, can we make it better? And we’ll be there to help them make things better,’ says Jess.
Our Recruitment team are always open to having a candid conversation from people interested in learning more about a career with Hudson RPO.
Could Hudson RPO be your next career more? Reach out to Skye Kuhlmann for a chat.

Margot Moore

Global Brand Manager

Margot has worked across recruitment, employer branding and marketing for over 10 years. In her current role, Margot is responsible for the Hudson RPO brand and works closely with the global marketing team to ensure the consistency and quality of our brand.

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Matthew De Salvo: Finding a fulfilling career

Matthew De Salvo: Finding a fulfilling career

Content Team

Matthew is a prime example of the calibre of professionals you find in an RPO business. With over 17 years in the recruitment industry, he has a wealth of knowledge and skills to support our clients, his team, and many other departments in our business. His extensive experience in RPO, agency and in-house makes him an invaluable resource for those looking to learn more about the industry and what it means to work for an RPO.

The road to RPO

Matthew has worked in recruitment since the very beginning of his career. After working for a recruitment agency for the first 18 months, he realised he was predominantly upselling rather than spending time understanding clients and helping them succeed.

“I didn’t want to be a salesperson. I wanted to work in an HR environment. I was looking to meet with clients, fully understand their needs, and identify people that would best fit those needs.”

After doing some research, he discovered RPO – which at the time was a relatively new business model in Australia. He loved it from day one. It meant having all the aspects of recruitment he enjoyed most without any other sales, allowing him to focus entirely on matching clients and job seekers and driving their recruitment strategy forward. 

team members in protective gear
“Working in an RPO, I know there is expertise I can rely on. If I bump into a contractual issue, need marketing support, an IT or ATS specialist, I know I can pick up the phone and ask for help.”

More support, more success

After three years in RPO, he took on an opportunity to work for an internal, fully integrated team. He explains that even though it offered him broader HR and Internal Recruitment experience, something was missing.

“I missed the support and the expertise I could turn to at an RPO, even though our team was quite sizeable. There was little career trajectory, training, and ongoing support, which encouraged me to apply to a role at Hudson RPO,” explains Matt. 

At Hudson RPO, we know talent when we see it, and we were lucky to welcome Matthew back to our team. And it’s not just recruitment that Matthew excels at in our business. Matthew has successfully launched new accounts across different industries and has been involved in many projects to help improve our business and how we support our clients. 

“Working in an RPO, I know there is expertise I can rely on. If I bump into a contractual issue, need marketing support, an IT or ATS specialist, I know I can pick up the phone and ask for help. It’s all at my fingertips, allowing me to focus on what I am passionate about,” he says.

The benefits of an RPO career

There are many benefits to working for an RPO. RPO professionals often mention the support, career growth and exposure to different clients. Another one is job security. Matthew explains that he’s often seen internal and agency teams downsize when the market has been slow. But in an RPO environment the first port of call has always been to look for opportunities for our employees across our various solutions. With clients across all industries and of all sizes, our business is accustom to finding internal opportunities for our people, when and if the need arises. 

And let’s not forget about culture. Being part of an RPO means that you will be fully embedded in your client’s team, but you also have the foundation of Hudson RPO.

“I could list more than 20 people who I think are amazing within the broader Hudson RPO team, but what it comes down to is I haven’t found a better group of people to work with. Having two teams might sound like a lot, but it really means a wealth of expertise and support surrounds me at all times,” explains Matthew.  

Another highlight for Matthew is the focus on the quality of service above all else. This means there is always something to get involved in such as projects and initiatives. For Matthew, this was largely getting to launch new solutions for new clients.

“In the last five years, I have been involved in two solutions. Even in challenging times like COVID-19 and rising interest rates, our focus has remained on quality, partnering and adding value over anything else. It’s not about revenue; it’s about delivery,” he says. 

Finally, the benefit of flexibility can’t be understated. For Matthew, this means making his work fit into his broarder lifestyle and the things that are most important to him.

“Hudson RPO doesn’t just offer flexible working; it is encouraged. I can now drop my son off at school or have lunch with my wife for the first time in my career. If you deliver your work requirements, you can make your work-life balance work for your lifestyle,” says Matthew.  

An RPO solution allows your organization to flex talent acquisition headcount up and down as hiring needs change.

Is RPO your next move?

Are you interested in a career in RPO? Click here to read more about life at Hudson RPO or find all our open roles here.

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.

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Meet Stephen Fitzgerald – Director of Technology & Innovation, APAC

Meet Stephen Fitzgerald – Director of Technology & Innovation, APAC

Content Team

We know recruitment technology plays an increasingly vital role in any talent acquisition strategy. When woven into the end-to-end recruitment lifecycle, it has the potential to influence brand perceptions, elevate candidate experience and deliver efficiencies in the process.

However, deciding on what technology is suitable for your organization can be challenging. In addition, the tech market is ever-changing, with new vendors entering the market. So how do you keep abreast of what is happening?

Meet Stephen Fitzgerald, responsible for designing and leading the technology functions across our Asia Pacific operations. He keeps our clients informed of the latest technology and supports them in deciding what technology is best for their needs. In this two-part series, we ask Steve about his role, how he keeps ahead of the Recruitment technology market and what the future holds.

What do you love most about your role?

There are so many elements of my role that I love. First, there’s exposure to a whole range of interesting and passionate clients and helping them understand their needs and deliver a solution. 

I enjoy the operational elements, the change and complexity and thinking through and diagnosing what someone needs and how to link it to a solution. Then there is the vendor side which is such a complex world. There is a vast network of vendors and learning about their research and development journey is fascinating.

It is a great feeling knowing you are part of this movement, shifting how we approach talent acquisition, enabling change, and seeing it come to life. 

What piece of technology or a specific project you worked on in the past year has significantly impacted our clients?

We supported many clients with the implementation of several systems spanning the various touch points in the recruitment process. Most of these focused on automation and using AI to find the right people and upskill their talent programs. 

Many of our clients upgraded their ATS to enable them to benefit from automation and AI for candidate matching and attraction. Other clients used similar technology to automate reference checking and interview scheduling. And finally, we supported a number of clients who renewed their assessment platforms, leveraging technologies like predictive assessments or automated screening to measure the likeliness that someone is the right hire for the role.

Our focus is on ensuring the technology is current and delivering to what our clients need. The pandemic forced many of them to modernize their technology and recruitment processes. For some, this occurred several times throughout the year with us, with minimal disruption to their recruitment activity, allowing them to modernize technology and systems across all touchpoints of the recruitment process. 

What is your process when you are implementing technology to support the client?

One of the most critical elements of a technology program is defining what success looks like right from the get-go. What are the pain points for the client right now? What are the results they would want to see? Defining these is part of the transformation process. It anchors our conversations throughout the implementation in terms of how things are going, how we can improve candidate satisfaction, and how we measure success.  

We also conduct a post-implementation review where we look at the goals we set and the improvements so we can put a program of continuous improvement in place. It is not a typical system implementation; it is a series of transformative steps of which system implementation is just one. 

Stephen at the Aspire Awards
"One of the most critical elements of a technology program is defining what success looks like right from the get-go."

And how do you go about evaluating and selecting what technology becomes part of the tools that we recommend to our clients?

Our methodology looks at the core elements that form part of that technology category. There are about 16 different technology categories relevant to resourcing for talent acquisition. Within those core areas, we believe certain features are essential; we evaluate those against the products and assess how well they can deliver benefits against each of these categories. 

When we provide recommendations to our clients, we take the time to help them define what they are looking for and what the quantification is of what they hope to achieve. What works for graduate recruitment may not work for high touch senior and executive search recruitment. We help the client develop the business case and then evaluate the market for the right technology solution. 

There is not just one product that we recommend every time. Each client and situation are unique, so we look at the scenario and what the client wants to achieve. We then circle back to our research to determine what technology can best deliver against that. Finally, we invite the vendor to come in and demonstrate their case to the client, after which we work on a concrete recommendation on the best product to deploy.

What advice would you give to people looking at recruitment technology?

Be prepared to spend a lot of time in product demos and talking to users about their experiences. Then, separate the sales pitch from the actual benefits realized in the user experience. The system might be fantastic and have all the bells and whistles, but will it deliver against your needs? Is it going to be engaged with and is user adoption going to be high? The system you adopt is only ever as good as the user adoption. So, talk to as many people as you can to get a clear picture of what is essential, and do not get too caught up in endless feature offerings.

In part two of our series, Steve talks about technology trends and what the future might look like for talent acquisition. 

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.

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This year’s recruitment technology trends according to our tech expert Stephen

This year’s recruitment technology trends according to our tech expert Stephen

Content Team

Deciding on the right technology for a recruitment process can be challenging. The technology market is ever changing, and new vendors are continually entering the market. Every development in the tech space has implications for recruitment processes, candidate expectations, and how we can optimize our talent processes. How to keep up with changes in an already rapidly evolving world of work?

Stephen Fitzgerald, our Technology Director in Asia Pacific, shares his insights on what the future holds for recruitment technology. Curious about his role and how helps our clients? Read the first part of our series here.

How do you keep abreast of technology in the HR space, and how does Hudson RPO manage innovation and technology as a global organisation?

Together with the technology experts from our other regions, we are continuously researching products on the market. This is an exciting but challenging journey, as every quarter new products are launched, and existing products are launching new features. We take demos of different products and compare them all the time, ranging from interview scheduling technology to internal mobility platforms and everything in between.

There are so many great technology products out there, so it is not just about understanding the technology. It is about understanding our clients, their challenges, and what technology would best fit the results they are looking to achieve.

When you look back on the last 2 years, what changes have you seen in technology?

I think of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about in the world of technology as an acceleration, rather than a change. Technological programs and processes became more focussed on automation, self-service, and workflow scenarios. The pandemic has increased an awareness that there are different ways of working, and that the technology enabling that is accelerating and adapting. As a result, processes can become more agile, remote, and less dependent on human interactions. Automation and AI are the biggest technologies that underpin that development.

Stephen at conference
“I think of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about in the world of technology as an acceleration, rather than a change.”

And what are your insights on the trends that you are seeing in HR technology at the moment?

Currently there is a big shift towards enterprise-wide human capital management (HCM) platforms, which include recruitment modules. We have seen clients move towards such systems in search for a solution in which recruitment functions, like an ATS, are fully integrated into workforce management and insights. This allows them to forego expensive and complicated integrations while seamlessly integrating recruitment systems.

What does the future look like?

I am excited about several things in the future. Firstly, as talent acquisition evolves, I believe we will start looking more at holistic workforce technologies, involving components of external markets and labour market quantification, brining workforce planning to a new level.

Secondly, I see an opportunity in contingent workforce planning technologies. We are only just at the beginning of contingent workforce systems, and as we move towards a gig-based economy, there is a big future in that area. Other elements of the recruitment process will continue to be automated, improving candidate experience while freeing up time and capacity for recruiters and business leaders to spend meaningful time with candidates.

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.

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