Apr 11 2014, 8:16am CDT | by Forbes
Years ago, I received some sage advice from a wealthy friend: “Before you hire a financial planner, ask to see the performance of his/her personal investment portfolio.” The thinking behind this counsel is simple—advisors who can’t properly manage their own finances shouldn’t be trusted to help you manage yours. If you apply this same logic to the recruitment outsourcing industry, you would wisely conclude that any recruitment company that can’t find, hire, develop, and retain an extraordinary workforce for itself shouldn’t be engaged to help you staff your company.
Accordingly, here are three key questions you should boldly ask Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) or Managed Services Provider (MSP) firms before choosing one to help build your workforce:
1. What is their annual loss rate of both employees and customers? A recruiting firm that can’t retain employees may be hard pressed to hire ‘keepers’ for you. Look for an employee turnover rate of less than 20%. Also, a firm’s past customer retention rate may be indicative of how satisfied you would be with the quality of the firm.
2. Do they hire, train, and manage their own employees to elicit innovation and intrapreneurship? Ideally, you want future hires that think and act like owners—looking for ways to decrease costs, increase revenues, and support company strategy. Intrapreneurship is the lifeblood of innovation. Why hire people who are unable to creatively help you reach your financial performance goals? If a recruiting firm can’t build this level of workforce for itself, it probably can’t do it for you, either.
3. Do their employees consider their company to be a great place to work? Organizational culture is a critical consideration when hiring new people. If your recruiter has been unable to create an empowering and engaging work environment through their own hiring practices, how can they find the right people for your culture?
Allegis Global Solutions is one of the world’s largest RPO/MSP firms, with offices in North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM. Allegis Global Solutions is a subsidiary of Allegis Group, an $11B company that employs 15,000 people directly, and has 120,000 contracted employees working at client organizations every day.
This recruiting firm is remarkable, not just because of its financial success, but more because of how it has attained that success. According to Bruce Morton, Head of Innovation at Allegis Global Solutions, “Our people are energized by thinking outside the box about how to better serve our clients. We recognize and reward intrapreneurship whenever we see it.” Morton tells how Allegis’ intrapreneurial capacity results from its culture. “Our culture is based on 1) open communication, 2) carefrontation (honest feedback to all colleagues at all levels because they care for that person and want them to improve), and 3) building a legacy by serving others.”
Employee turnover is also low, hovering at less than 10% in an industry that averages around 25% per year. “We have put a lot of effort into making Allegis a place where people want to do their best work, and we’ve been extremely selective when hiring for our culture, just as we are meticulous when hiring to match our clients’ cultures which are each unique,” says Rick Haviland, president of Allegis Global Solutions. This attention to cultural fit across the Allegis Group has worked well, landing another Allegis company on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2014.
It is no accident that a company going to such lengths to build a healthy culture and innovate within its organization excels at finding great employees for other companies. They recognize intrapreneurial capacities and professional excellence because they seek and nurture those traits as an employer. When they recruit for customers, they naturally apply the same standards.
There are many great recruitment firms to consider. Allegis Global Solutions is one of them. Before you choose a recruitment partner, ask the three questions in this article and you will increase your chances of being well served, and well staffed.
Larry Myler is an adjunct professor in the Entrepreneurship Center at BYU. firstname.lastname@example.org
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