One of DZConnex’s (DZX's) clients, an international financial services firm, was looking for a partner to manage their contingent program in a vendor neutral model while also managing permanent requisition delivery. The client needed help filling competitive roles at a time of low unemployment rates. They had past partnerships that had failed, and they quickly needed to find a partner who would be flexible and dedicated to take over their entire talent acquisition program. The new total talent solution provider would have to focus on breaking a dependency the business stakeholders had with SOW engagement and find a way to cut costs while increasing efficiency and program compliance. The dependency on SOW stemmed from a lack of program ownership and appropriate technology. When the total talent program was put out to bid, DZX was awarded the business because of our successful 6 year track record with this client, managing their permanent hires plus our expertise managing contingent talent programs.
DZX proposed a total talent solution leveraging our proprietary technology platform to manage internal permanent and external contingent hiring needs. We manage the supplier network and provide high-touch service to the hiring managers to understand their business needs in order to fill critical roles in IT and Professional skill sets. One of the key goals to our strategy was to streamline the talent acquisition process by shortening the interview process and improving the quality of talent in the pipeline. Managers were regularly going through the familiar, convenient and expensive process to procure contingent talent in IT through SOW engagements. The DZX team invested time and training to educate managers on why SOW wasn’t always the most effective path, while also customizing and integrating the technology solution to create a more effective talent acquisition process. One of our top priorities was to be a dedicated and engaged partner during every aspect of the hiring process, while aligning ourselves with internal operations to create goals and strategies to best meet the needs of the organization.
In order to ensure that DZX’s total talent program was working, we held a cadence of strategic performance reviews with client stakeholders quarterly and with the hiring managers twice a year to discuss the talent acquisition process and contingent worker population. During these reviews, we found that 95% of contingent workers were meeting or exceeding expectations. Approximately 20% of permanent hires subsequently came from contingent labor conversions, and the retention rate improved dramatically. Additionally, DZX reduced the time to fill by 50% without compromising the quality of talent, and we saw the annual permanent hires in multiple divisions more than double. Through a Total Talent Solution, the need for SOW in IT was drastically reduced which resulted in a 30% cost savings in their program to date. DZX became the flexible, hard-working partner that our client needed for their total talent acquisition program.
The Search For A Total Talent Partner
Since the 2008/2009 stock market crash, the industry has grown exponentially. The wealth gap between the richest and the middle class has continued to expand. One of DZX’s clients, an international wealth management firm with 16 offices globally was looking for a partner to manage their contingent labor program into a vendor neutral model. The client needed help filling difficult roles as the unemployment rate dropped when the recession came to an end. The client had past partnerships that had failed and needed somebody who would be a strong advocate for the company to take over their talent acquisition program.
DZX had been working with the client since 1998 as a talent provider, and then was asked to be their onsite RPO provider in 2003. Based on our strategic partnership with the client and the success achieved over the past 6 years, the client reached out to DZX in 2009 requesting that we also be their onsite MSP provider. They needed a dedicated partner to manage the IT contingent spend, as the existing contingent worker program did not meet their needs, and so our Total Talent Solution with the client began. In 2014 the entire program was put out to bid, and DZX was awarded the business thanks to the successful work we had been doing with the client for several years. In our expanded role, we were now tasked with breaking the dependency with SOW, finding a way to cut costs and increasing overall program efficiency.
Funding the strategy with tactical ideas
DZX and the client's HR team developed a partnership plan where DZX would manage the supplier network and work directly with the hiring managers to fill critical IT roles. One of the primary goals was to streamline the talent acquisition process by shortening the interview process and to improve the quality of talent in the interview pipeline to break the dependency on SOW.
Managers were working around the system and went through the familiar, convenient and expensive SOW process to procure talent. The client was utilizing their available resources on SOW contingent roles that should have fallen into staff augmentation, which could provide cost savings without sacrificing high quality candidates. The dependency on SOW stemmed from a lack of program compliance with staff augmentation policies and a lack of technology. DZX invested time to train and educate managers on why SOW wasn’t always the right path. As unemployment rates dropped, it became harder to find talent. We had to become incredibly strategic and versatile in filling these competitive roles if the client was going to cut back on the use of SOW.
We added DZX proprietary technology for a seamless end-to-end hiring process. In an effort to accommodate the client's request for a white glove service approach, we customized our technology solution to include a robust Vendor Management Service (VMS) and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) platform to meet their needs. This technology solution streamlined the talent acquisition process, while improving manager visibility and providing consolidated reporting and analytics to help them effectively manage their business. The supplier network found our technology solution to be user friendly and effective.
The Long-term Investment
One of our top priorities was to be an involved, high-touch partner during every element of the total talent acquisition process. We aligned ourselves with internal operations and created goals and strategies while leveraging the client’s messaging and employee value proposition. We met with every manager weekly to talk about everything from honest feedback on each submittal to the status of each interview until the requirement was filled. DZX was responsible for onboarding all contingent workers and encouraged managers to reach out to all new hires (both permanent and contingent) prior to them joining the team. During their first day of orientation, the newly acquired talent would meet DZX's team before the manager so that we could ensure they had system access, were aware of all policies and procedures and to provide them with a sense of belonging.
In addition, we also made it a point to meet with the head of the Diversity and Inclusion group starting in 2014 to understand the clients strategy around under-represented talent. We shared the importance of diversity with all teams, suppliers and contractors, and we discussed the roadmap that compared results to objectives. We also met with of all 13 Client Employee Resource Groups and asked each one – “what can we do?”. We wanted to fully understand each group’s objective and mission. We encouraged all managers to join a minimum of 2 groups and to invite their teams. Participation in each of the Employee Resource Groups increased tremendously, which ultimately lead to workers feeling more connected to the business, increasing both retention rates and productivity.
In order to ensure that the program was working and managers were satisfied, we would hold performance reviews twice a year and ask questions like: How is the project going? Any concerns? Is there any training that you can benefit from?. We wanted to learn how we could better understand and deliver processes to meet their unique needs. Through this process, managers gained better insight concerning how to leverage our solution for both contingent and permanent total talent needs.
A Prosperous Partnership
During the term of our partnership and as unemployment continued to drop, DZX optimized the contingent labor process. We removed the tiered requisition distribution system, and we reduced the number of suppliers from 13 to 7 within IT and Finance. We also partnered with the client to create a standardized competitive performance increase process at the end of the year for continued retention based on contingent worker performance.
Additionally, we integrated contingent and permanent talent pools in order to increase conversion rates. Approximately 20% of permanent hires would come from contingent worker conversions, and the retention rate improved dramatically. We reduced the time to fill by 50% without compromising the quality of talent, and the number of annual direct hires in multiple divisions increased by 200%. Through Total Talent Solutions, the need for SOW was drastically reduced which resulted in a 30% cost savings over 7 years. On the contingent labor side, we focused on risk mitigation including co-employment, adherence to the client's policies and procedures and an understanding of the reason behind this to gain greater adoption.
This is a great example of how a strategic partnership can increase value in terms of total talent hiring, but also extend out to greater engagement, diversity, equity and belonging. The value of DZX’s Total Talent Solution programs is a testament to our dedication throughout the talent acquisition lifecycle through continued innovation and evolution.
Industry Fast Facts
$74.3 TRILLION of assets managed globally
Number of U.S. millionaires has grown to 5.68 MILLION
10% of US HOUSEHOLDS own 80% of stocks
THE WEALTHIEST 5% of Americans have 24 times the wealth of an average household