Follow Hudson on Twitter

Site Search
Hudson RPO blog

Getting Started with an RPO Solution in China

Support Business Growth
in China with an RPO Solution

Today, it’s a common buzz word for global organizations that “China is the growth hub and my company is investing in China”. Given the increasing focus on the China market, business leaders are mandated with the mission to expedite the growth here. Your organization can very well be one of them. As a leader in human resources or recruitment function, you may find your team overwhelmed with quite a number of challenges. Just to list a few quotes we have heard from our clients:

  • Costs: We used to have a big recruitment budget for the China market, but we are asked to make our hiring more cost effective given the uncertainty at the moment; we have too many vendors.
  • Sourcing: We are in a niche industry sector and we have already gone through the entire talent pool over and over again. We have to hire more people. Where can I get more candidates?
  • Time: Vacancies have been open for a long time. We don’t have enough resources to handle so many positions. Our recruitment agencies only pick the easy to fill jobs to work on. I don’t see the commitment from them.
  • Attrition: The market is too hot. People tend to stay only for a year or two, and leave for higher salary and bigger titles. Our sales force has a turnover as high as 40%.
  • Quality of Hire: Our line managers are new and they don’t know how to interview candidates properly. It is too difficult to find qualified candidates from 2nd and 3rd tier cities.
  • Metrics and reporting: We do have an applicant tracking system but we don’t seem to be using it to its full function. It is hard for us to consolidate all the recruitment costs. We don’t have a benchmark cycle time.
  • Scalability: We cannot keep pace with the growth demands of our business. We don’t have enough recruiters to handle the volume of hires. We don’t have the headcount for more recruiters as we are not sure if we have to let them go should the hiring peak be over.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

If yes, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) might be an answer to address the above challenges.

What is RPO exactly?

By definition, RPO is the process of outsourcing all or part of a client’s recruitment function to a third party recruitment specialist called an “RPO” (Recruitment Process Outsource). This model embeds dedicated recruiter(s) inside the organization’s business aligned to hiring managers. They manage the end to end process from recruitment forecasting, to sourcing, assessment, placement, on-boarding and reporting. The solution is enabled by clearly defined processes, service level agreements, and online recruitment technology that streamlines the workflow, tracks candidates through the process, provides reports and houses all candidates in a client owned “talent pool”. Benefits relate to cost reduction and increased service, quality, speed, and compliance.

Our RPO solution in China builds around clients’ short-term and long-term talent needs. By having the onsite team live and breathe the client’s culture and business, our recruiters have an in-depth understanding of the business strategy, the supporting talent strategy, talent success profiles, and even hiring managers’ styles. This enables us to formulate a compelling employee value proposition to take to the market, and tap into a range of supplemental channels to source the right candidates, such as social media (LinkedIn, micro-blogs, Ushi, industrial online forums, BBS), open web sourcing, specialist job boards, tradeshows, candidate networks, alumni, university network, international markets, data mining, and so on, that are tailored to the specific job roles and talent category specific to the sector and geographic locations. Our integrated talent assessment tools can also help clients to enhance selection quality, new hire management and development, assess internal talent to facilitate internal mobility, as well as retention success. Furthermore, with the understanding of client’s business and talent market, the onsite team can also manage the client’s talent pool in a more effective and proactive way by taking into consideration the long-term talent pipeline and effective candidate relationship management.

However, before you jump right into the conclusion that “yes we should outsource recruitment” you need to ask a few critical questions within your organization to evaluate the need and then make an informed decision of whether an RPO solution is right for you.

  1. Does outsourcing the recruitment function/process align well with your organization’s business needs/strategy? Plain and simple, if this choice does not present a compelling strategic rationale based on your competitive market priorities, don’t do it.
  2. Will recruitment process outsourcing truly improve your business performance? In addition to cost efficiency, you should establish other performance metrics with your business partner to demonstrate that this arrangement helps you better source and attract the right talent from related talent segments and geographic locations (such as 2nd and 3rd tier cities), speed up time to hire, keep your employer brand consistent and effective, leverage internal mobility, and increase employment engagement and retention.
  3. How can you understand and control costs? It is important for you to understand the entire cost structure, all of its components and how an entire package of products, services and management fees may be bundled together.
  4. Are the financial projections accurate? Take a critical look at any numbers submitted by the RPO provider. Look for assumptions, oversimplifications or just plain misleading figures that may adversely impact your overall cost/fees. There are quite a number of “RPO” providers in the China market who can come in with very low management fees but they are actually just a window to pass jobs to their agency business, which really means you are just having another layer of cost.
  5. Will this arrangement still enable you to have the necessary internal human resource skills and expertise needed in any organization? Your business partner should be open to transferring all knowledge, and turning back over the people and processes to your internal team once a best-practice operation is established and running smoothly.
  6. Who will ultimately manage the financial and performance metrics of the contract? People, processes and technology combine to deliver for a RPO arrangement. It is essential for the company’s internal leadership to maintain management oversight of any outsourcing initiative.
  7. What are the cultural ramifications of outsourcing my recruitment function? Understanding how your managers and broader employee base are going to react to this massive operational change is critical. It is essential that your RPO business partner has change management expertise. An RPO provider who has been there/done that has experienced most of the potential pitfalls and know ways to best handle to ensure organizational support and buy in at all levels.
  8. Is there an escape clause in the deal or protection in place for when business conditions change? Depending on the roles and specific sector, there are also hiring peaks and lows for a lot of organizations in China especially for those with ambitious growth plans. You need to make sure you are not locked into a long-term contract or deal with little or no flexibility to alter scope or completely withdraw over time. Here again, making sure that there is a shared risk model for operational costs when hiring demands change is one way to help ensure some of this protection.

If all the above questions are carefully evaluated and the answers are positive, you will be confident that an RPO model will bring you values and it is worthwhile to further explore and ultimately start an RPO solution to support your business growth in China.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help your recruiting solutions in China.  Contact us today.


How to Define Sourcing Strategies in Latin America

Successful sourcing strategy
for recruiting in Latin America

As part of an RPO team in a global company, we benefit from the opportunity of working with different regions. We are able to learn from each other’s experience and we get to share our point of view with the other side of the world. Yet, as Recruitment professionals, we have to be careful not to generalize when it comes to sourcing strategies. Even though we tend to have a global perspective, recruiters need to understand the client’s specific market and the regional trends before optimizing our sources.

In a region like Latin America it is hard to generalize. There are big countries like Brazil where you can post in very good job boards for free or search for specialists in LinkedIn. But you can still find different realities within a big country – social media posting might be effective for big cities while a newspaper could be the best option for a city less than 500 kilometers away.

You can also find some exceptions in countries like Colombia or Venezuela, where traditionally the Internet is not the most used tool to find job opportunities. For example there is an annual virtual employment expo & fair organized by Bumeran in Venezuela ( It is considered a great branding opportunity for companies and a great place for professionals to learn about organizations and apply for available job vacancies in different regions.

A good sourcing strategy in Latin America takes into consideration 5 important points. Recruiters should ask themselves these questions when deciding the best way to proceed:

  1. Country: What regional factors influence the way people conduct employment searches? How much do you know about this country – should you seek more information before deciding the best sourcing strategy?
  2. Location: is it a big city, where people have access to the Internet or is it a small provincial city where people tend to look for jobs in the newspaper? Are there any special work related events?
  3. Segment and Expertise: Is it possible to find these people in associations or groups? Is it crucial to be a member of groups targeting specific workforce segments, i.e. industrial, retail, legal, technological, and so on?
  4. Academic Background: What is the availability of good professionals attending graduation or post-graduation courses in local universities? Do we have college recruiting programs? What is the internship concept for each country? Can fostering relationship with renowned academics broaden your scope for recruitment?
  5. Effective sourcing should also consider brand awareness and positive image. When the company is known as a great place to work, professionals are drawn to the company enabling greater potential for recruitment. And this brings us to the 5th great point: referrals.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help with your sourcing strategy in Latin America.  Contact us today.


Using Social Media to Source Passive Candidates

Successful sourcing of passive
candidates through social media

Our onsite recruitment solutions have enjoyed great success sourcing passive candidates via social media. Unsurprisingly, our most lucrative channel has been LinkedIn. To a lesser extent we’ve seen some success via Twitter and Facebook as a source of hire however the success via these channels has largely been confined to specific job types/ role families, such as IT related roles in Twitter and entry level Customer Service and Sales roles via Facebook. Our approach to date has been to use these channels more as an employment branding tool than a pure sourcing tool.

The success our onsite solutions have had in sourcing passive candidates via LinkedIn can largely be attributed to two courses we put our onsite consultants through as part of our specialist training program. The point here being, that without specialised training for front line recruiters and sourcing teams, the benefit of a tool such as LinkedIn will not be fully realised.

  1. Open web sourcing – this course was rolled out to all existing Consultants across our solutions. The practical based course covered how to use Boolean logic to search via search engines and in particular mastering the ‘site’ command which enabled Recruiters to search on Linked In without being limited by the size of their existing network. By having this capability it meant our smaller teams without access to a LinkedIn Recruiter license were not disadvantaged in their sourcing activities.

  2. Approaching passive candidates and how to make a ‘head hunt’ call provided additional support and guidance to our onsite Recruiters particularly on the differences in dealing with passive candidates as opposed to active ones.

    For some of our Recruitment Consultants onsite there was a reluctance to approach passive candidates as they were less confident in how to deal with them. Hence the need to design a program on how to make the approach, what to focus on and tips on how to transition a prospect from a state of indifference to someone who is actively and genuinely interested in pursuing an opportunity with the organisation.

    A supplement to the practical part of the training included how to position passive candidates with Hiring Managers to ensure a positive candidate experience ensues.

    Feedback from our teams showed many Hiring Managers were still ‘stuck’ in traditional interview mode whereby they felt every candidate wanted the opportunity instead of actively selling themselves as a manager, the company and the opportunity.

As a result of the training we have seen an increase in LinkedIn as a source of hire as well an overall improvement in Recruiter capability.

LinkedIn will continue to be our focus from a social media sourcing perspective as we enjoy such strong returns and we will carry on exploring Facebook and Twitter.

Our objective remains the same when filling positions for our clients – we uncover the right candidate at the right time across the spectrum of both the active and passive candidate market with neither candidate group considered superior to the other. Candidate quality is not determined by source, rather than by a robust and appropriate assessment and selection process.

Learn how Hudson RPO can help you with your recruiting efforts.  Contact us today.





Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

RSSGet RSS feed


© 2011 - 2017 Hudson Global -- All Rights Reserved

Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.