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The Do It Yourself RFP: Let the Buyer Beware
by Al Grimaldi, Director, ISG
Buyers of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services show a growing trend toward managing the request for proposal (RFP) and the associated service provider selection process internally rather than investing in a sourcing advisor, such as ISG, to oversee the process. I liken this to selling a house without the aid of a realtor – it can be done, but instead of saving money on the commission, the seller may take on unexpected costs in reaping the return on a significant investment. A realtor understands the overall market and local conditions, has access to housing data and market comparison data not readily available to the seller, and can navigate the myriad legal and contractual nuances of the sale.
In the same way, the sourcing adviser guides the RPO buyer through the provider selection process associated with an RFP. An advisor is immersed in the market on a regular basis and draws on established relationships to benefit the buyer. Much like using a realtor, investing in a sourcing advisor is well worth the long-term value generated from a properly structured RPO agreement.
Consider these ways in which investing in a sourcing advisor benefits the RPO buyer:
Market expertise: The sourcing advisor has the market expertise and supporting data to match the buyer’s needs with the RPO providers who can deliver the services.
Sustainable agreements: Cost savings are but one component of a sustainable RPO agreement. Too much emphasis on cost savings often places undue pressure on an RPO provider, leading to an unsustainable agreement. The result? An unhappy client and a frustrated provider! The sourcing advisor can balance cost savings with the demand for shorter hiring cycles and improved hire quality, resulting in a stronger RPO agreement.
Faster, cheaper, better: An RPO buyer doesn’t always have a clear idea of just what services to purchase. The sourcing advisor will create a fully articulated RFP that describes the scope and objectives of the buyer and specifically addresses the services requested and the types of positions covered; the supporting data associated with the recruitment process; and service level delivery targets, contract terms and pricing models that represent industry standard positions. A quality RFP reduces unnecessary cycles and saves time and money.
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