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Enhancing HR Performance Through Recruitment Outsourcing

Working closely with key managers in the firm, Spherion's top-level multi-disciplinary team worked to reengineer the employment process to yield greater efficiencies, minimize the cost per hire and reduce cycle time.

September 18, 2003
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Related Topics: Outsourcing, Recruitment
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As a leading hospitality services company in North America, this food and facilities management expert employs 130,000 people to prepare meals, manage buildings, clean offices, maintain grounds, and provide a myriad of other facilities-management services for its clients. The company is big, diversified and growing very quickly.

Business Challenge
    With thousands upon thousands of people at the heart of every service this company provides, it faced a number of recruiting challenges. Even if associate turnover was tightly controlled, the sheer number of employees needed clearly demanded an ongoing and efficient system of talent replacement. Moreover, the company’s mandate to become a world-class service provider meant it had to find a way to fill both new and vacant positions promptly, effectively and with the best possible candidates.

    Exacerbating the situation were both the vastness and the very nature of its decentralized operation. While some of its far-flung locations employed as many as 400 people at a time, others only called for 10 employees; it was difficult if not impossible for its human resources department to take a centralized, consistent approach to employment processing.

Partnering with Spherion®
    But that was exactly what this company was determined to do. So, focusing first on its non-food operations, it brought in Spherion and asked it to reengineer the recruitment function so that it would be more efficient and more cost-effective. In addition to reducing cycle time--something it believed would not only cut expenses but increase the potential for revenue generation--the company hoped Spherion would establish a larger pool of management candidates on a regional basis, while balancing internal and external recruitment efforts.

    Working closely with key managers in the firm, Spherion’s top-level multi-disciplinary team worked to reengineer the employment process to yield greater efficiencies, minimize the cost per hire and reduce cycle time. At the same time, the team identified and brought up-to-speed a seasoned recruitment team--within Spherion--that could quickly assimilate client culture while producing qualified candidates.

Measurable Results
    Spherion, from the beginning, had specified measurable objectives through which its client could judge the program’s effectiveness. These included such standard metrics as cycle time (which Spherion brought in 50% faster than the client requirement), internal/external hire ratio (Spherion’s external/internal placement ratio was 1:1) and cost per hire (which was reduced by up to 140%). And, confronting the geographic problem head on, Spherion employed a targeted recruitment strategy focused on attracting talent within specific geographic regions and developing a region-specific candidate database; this reduced average annual relocation spend from $3.5 million to $212,000.

    What made the real difference was a focus-by both the client and Spherion-on the project’s outcome. "From Spherion’s point of view," says Diane Shelgren, senior vice president of product management for Spherion, "this focus set everything in motion. If we aren’t delivering a significant outcome, we haven’t done our job," she says. As for the client, "While we might not have anticipated outsourcing our recruitment process," said its senior vice president of HR, "we knew what we needed to achieve and were willing-and able-to do whatever was necessary to achieve those objectives."

(c) 2003 Spherion Pacific Enterprises LLC. All rights reserved. Spherion and the Spherion logo are registered service marks of Spherion Pacific Enterprises LLC.

Workforce, July 2003, p. 76 -- Subscribe Now!

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