Delivering RPO in a Global Economy
As is the case with every other aspect of business in the contemporary world, recruiting has gone global: employers now wage the war for talent on a worldwide scale, scouring countries and continents for the best of the best.
Say what you will about this state of affairs, but one thing is for certain: the global reach of modern business complicates recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) in new and potentially exciting — or frustrating — ways.
Paul Harty, president of Boston-based recruitment process outsourcing firm Seven Step RPO, says he’s experienced the challenges of global recruiting firsthand. “Many of the larger companies that we service here in the U.S., they’re all global, so they’re all asking the question: ‘You’re doing a great job here in the U.S.: how can you help us in these kinds of countries?’” Harty says.
Harty says that Seven Step has been involved in global RPO for a little over three years, but the constantly increasing volume of worldwide recruiting now requires his company to take a “boots on the ground” approach to global sourcing and hiring. This is why Seven Step recently made the decision to purchase U.K. RPO firm BlueGlue.
“We’ve had globalization on our radars for a long time, says Mark Feldman, Seven Step’s vice president of marketing. “We did not take it lightly – acquiring a company. It’s something that we’ve spent over a year doing, and we vetted a lot of potential partners for cultural fit, for strategic fit, for the right fit with our passion for client-focus.”
But simply acquiring a new RPO firm is not enough to keep up with a globalized demand for recruiting. “We also wanted to bring in the right people to the company at the leadership level, [people] who can help us make the right decisions and help us grow effectively, so we can continue to serve our clients really well,” Feldman says.
Harty adds that the right kind of leadership is “a lot more significant, based on the requirements of our current client base.”
After acquiring BlueGlue, Seven Step needed someone who “could help drive [global recruiting efforts], but who first of all was committed to [the company's] virtues and who had the same passions that [Seven Step has] about [its] people and [its clients'] talent platforms.” The company also needed someone with global experience who could “help [Seven Step] expand with [its] clients.”
Providing efficient RPO services in a globalized world requires more than a series of mergers and acquisitions. Successful recruiting also needs a human touch and a keen sensibility, regardless of the circumstances.
Seven Step believes it has met this goal by naming Amy Bush its new vice president of global client services.
A Global Approach to Recruiting, in Bush’s Words
Bush has been in the recruiting industry for roughly 15 years, coming to Seven Step from Alexander Mann Solutions, where she served as managing director and head of regions, Americas.
“I’m very, very passionate about talent and helping organizations around talent,” Bush says. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on a global basis and to work with teams in each region of the world.”
Bush says that Seven Step’s people and the company’s approach to talent were her main motivations for joining the team. “In particular, the leadership and the commitment to clients, as well as to the talent in the organization, and how both of those focuses were there,’” she explains. “It wasn’t all internal. It wasn’t all about the client. There was a healthy balance of both, which I think is really empowering to be a part of.”
Bush believes that any RPO firm looking to succeed in the global recruiting sphere needs to balance internal and external concerns. “As vice president of client services, I am genuinely focused on evolving [client] talent platforms. Not just through thought leadership and strategic direction, but also by focusing on adding value to [client] business outcomes via talent.”
While client partnerships are Bush’s main concerns going forward, she says her work is not limited to that. “My six-month priority here is … also focused on the team that I’m lucky enough to lead, getting to know them and their passion points and their career development and where I can really help them with opportunities, exposure, and the like,” she says. “It’s nice to be in a role that has that internal and external focus.”
As for overall future plans, Harty says that Seven Step is “looking forward to going out to sell more global deals with companies that are based in other countries as well.”
For now, the rest of us can only wait to see if Seven Step is blazing the best trail through the knotty problem of global-scale recruiting and RPO services. Only time will tell.
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