Friday, 26 November 2010

Thoughts on the HRO Europe Summit: Social Outsourcing?


  So as I wrote on Friday, last week I was in Amsterdam for the HR Outsourcing (HRO) Europe conference.

I was there mainly to catch up with people and see how the outsourcing market had changed since my last involvement in it (working on GSK’s HR outsourcing to ACS).

But I also caught some of the sessions, and was on a panel together with:

  • Consultants Andy Spence and Jane Owen Jones
  • Nigel Perks from one of my old clients, BT Global Services
  • Peter Cappelli from Wharton.


I’ll come back and write this up later on.

But next week I’m chairing another panel, this time at Social Recruiting, talking about social media and employee engagement.

So I had social recruiting in the back of mind when attending the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) summit within a summit at HRO.  After all, if you believe, as I do, that social recruiting, as just about the most significant new driver changing the recruitment industry right now, then one of the key questions must be is how is it changing RPO.

What then did I hear about it at the RPO Summit? Largely, nothing. The chair talked about it a few times, and encouraged people to tweet, but none of them did, even though I was challenging them to do so via my tweets displayed on the backchannel projected behind the speakers.

For example, Zurich Insurance did a presentation about their outsourcing deal with Alexander Mann Solution, and showed us some slick videos, but didn’t mention social once. Now I know AMS do have an angle in this area (they were down to speak at the other Social Media conference I was due to chair next week). But for whatever reason, it didn’t feature in this case study.

And I started to think further about the impact of social on outsourcing (and in learning, if not in payroll too). Is there such a thing as social outsourcing, or are social sourcing and out sourcing two different and exclusive things? How does an outsourcing provider participate in, contribute to, and even facilitate a conversation between internal employees and external targets and candidates, when they’re not within the conversation – ie not part of the organisation (other than providing the technology). Can they do this? And if they can’t, does it reduce the organisation’s incentive to be social?

Perhaps a topic for HRO next year… And before then, your comments please…



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