Measuring Up? A new research report about RPO metrics

What companies really think about RPO metrics and how they could be improved in the future

As performance analytics become increasingly advanced, with traditional means of tracking the effectiveness and efficiency of the HR function giving way to far more sophisticated methods, the question of how we measure recruiting success is more pertinent now than ever.

To find answers to this and other questions, Futurestep joined forces with HRO Today Magazine to undertake a primary market research study among users of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services. We focused our investigation on three key areas:

  • What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being used in the RPO space?
  • How satisfied are users with those RPO metrics?
  • What RPO metrics do users want that they don’t currently have?

We also took the opportunity to gauge feelings on other related topics including:

  • How satisfied are clients with their RPO providers overall?
  • Is it easy to link talent acquisition data with HRIS systems?
  • How well do RPO applications meet user needs?

Summary of findings

The main finding of our study is that successful metrics go hand in hand with successful RPOs. Customers are more likely to be satisfied with their RPO if it offers metrics for reporting and decision-making – and by investing in the relationship with year-over-year improvement initiatives, they can continue to be as satisfied with their RPO in the fifth year as they were in the first.

Other key findings include:

Clients who are satisfied with their performance metrics are also satisfied with the performance of their RPO

Of the customers we spoke to who were not satisfied with their performance metrics, only 35% were satisfied with their RPO. On the other hand, nearly everyone who was satisfied with their performance metrics was also satisfied with their RPO. Some clients are much more sophisticated in their use of analytics than others The level of sophistication we encountered among clients varied widely. Interestingly, those with a more sophisticated understanding of data also tended to report higher levels of satisfaction with their RPO.

Quality is more important than quantity

Much of the data currently captured is not being used. Better metrics, therefore, does not necessarily mean more metrics. The key is rather to enable HR to drill down into meaningful segments and to provide them with actionable information that can be communicated to C-level executives. In fact, actionable information appears to be a crucial factor in customer satisfaction levels: 89% of those who are happy with their metrics also feel that the information they receive is actionable.

Success depends on the client as well as the provider

The way in which metrics are initially set up will determine whether the information they provide is actionable. Client involvement at this early design stage is therefore essential. The client also has an ongoing responsibility to produce normalized and fully accessible data for the RPO provider to draw on.

Infrastructure is important

Meaningful metrics can only be produced if there is sufficient infrastructure in place. If talent acquisition data is not seamlessly linked into other HRIS systems, it is difficult to derive real value from it. In fact, over half (57%) of those not satisfied with their metrics complain that the data does not link with other systems.

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