Shelia Gray and Terry Terhark on Strategic Sourcing from the HCI Summit

Posted on March 11, 2008. Filed under: HCI Summit, Trends |

It’s Amanda, liveblogging the second session in Talent Management!

Shelia D. Gray, SPHR, Director of Global Talent Acquisition for International Paper and Terry Terhark, President & CEO of TheRightThing present today’s session “Strategic Sourcing: Experts and Insight to Improve Your Results”. This session is also sponsored by TheRightThing!

Shelia starts off by asking the audience why they joined this session. The responses are everything from expecting it to be “exciting” to people who are going through a talent acquisition study and wanted to pick her brain.

A little bit about International Paper – they have over 50,000 employees, close to half are global. Starbucks even uses their paper for their coffee cups… And in the beginning they did not have a dedicated recruiting force.

Lets ask the audience “how many people sell potential employees on the opportunity?” – Not many but those who do think they can deliver what they promise.

The transformation journey

Important pieces: Workforce planning, partnerships, assessment & testing and performance metrics.

Audience? Surprisingly, not many people know their cost per hire.

Lets delve a little deeper: Employment branding – very important, with good employment branding you’re able to come up with a employee value proposition (evp).

Technology is also important – 85 % of fortune 500 companies only take resumes online. Google is number one source for data and jobs. Technology is taking over! Will we ever be able to scale up and be competitive if we do it ourselves? Shelia decided no – so she decided to outsource.

Recruitment overhauling – Most organizations have great parts to it but you can’t completely model one company after another. It’s a change management journey. RPO really opened her eyes about things she hasn’t used before, especially finding candidates in the most unlikely places. Another? Diversity applicants – being able to tap into diverse candidates using RPOs and having a flexible and virtual workforce was a lot easier using the RPO.

Recruitment Outsourcing Partnership – Terry on the journey

Terry has 20 years of recruiting experience. And he stresses that there IS a war for talent. Starting out he wants to make sure we know that like many companies, International Paper isn’t sexy 😦 a lot of selling has to happen to recruit.

Also, TheRightThing only does outsourcing and sorry people but they are not evil! They are a provider to more than 60 companies and have 18 years of experience as a core company. They also share profits with employees, they are recognized by SHRM and the Great Place to Work Institute as one of the best places to work – small and medium companies.

What Were the Goals?

Terry’s main four overall goals are to drive excellence in recruitment, have predictable cost, increase diversity pools and improve the hiring experience. He focused on these while working with International Paper.

What are Some of the Things TheRightThing Did to Help International Paper (even if they went kicking and screaming)?

Centralized the process for consistency and compliance

Focused on candidate experience and implemented surveys

Targeted sourcing and recruiting

Dedicated recruiting sources

Reduced agency use

Cost containment

Extensive card communication

Robust reporting and metrics.

Important to remember: There isn’t a silver bullet, it’s always changing and there’s always a lot to do.

The Impact

Positive candidate experience

Metrics driven process

Focused on candidate quality

Ongoing enhancements

But Shelia wants to stress one important point – Culture fit assessment, an RPO can’t do that for you, that’s something your company will always have to do for its self.

Success Factors

Operations/HR involvement – You have to change your way of thinking and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Communication – ALWAYS important

Change management

Sourcing/Recruiting strategy – You have to leverage technology

Technology integration – We are beyond the days of the rolodex


Results (Oh yes, they can be measured)

Here’s the timeline:

Within 25 days after getting the call that a position needs to be filled you have to have your hiring strategy down. There is no “easy” job to fill, only moderate and hard positions. These 25 days include the identification of what you’re looking for and job posting, and don’t leave your job posts up after 90 days, they get stale and should be filled by then anyway!

Now you have 30 days to slate the presentation to the offer, here is your opportunity to shave some time off the cycle… This includes the review of resumes.

Finally, Terry gives 10 days from offer to acceptance.

The Three Types of Candidates

Level 1 is the easy to hire. Level 2 is the elusive, passive candidate, this job is harder to fill and most of your time and activity will be spent on this level (this is for every kind of job and company out there not just International Paper), you have to use really aggressive networking and outreach. Level 3 is the targeted hire or in other words the “needle in the haystack”. You should be able to fill most jobs with levels 1 and 2. Warns Terry: Contingency recruiting is a dying breed.

Notes to Remember

40 % of external hires are coming from employee referrals. Compare your initiatives against your employee referral system.

In The End? In the war for talent all eyes are on performance!


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