Manpower Group recently launched Talent Solutions, combining three of its offerings. TI sat down with Talent Solutions to learn more about the launch of their Talent Solutions Brand in 2021 and how it came about. Here’s what they had to say.
TI: Can you tell me a little more about Talent Solutions (size, number of employees, locations served etc)?
With 40+ years of experience delivering client-focused, technology enabled, innovative workforce solutions to the market, Talent Solutions delivers expertise to organisations across the talent lifecycle.
We manage over £10 billion of spend in our Managed Service Programmes; we deliver 250+ Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions to clients around the world; and we’re supporting some of the world’s largest organisations on their journey towards Total Talent Management.
Our ability to capitalise on new thinking, new workforce models and new possibilities has made us the most recognised and respected workforce solutions provider in the world – as benchmarked by leading industry analysts.
Across the UK, we have over 550 people working for Talent Solutions, with offices in Altrincham, Bristol, London, Edinburgh and Southampton, as well as client sites throughout the UK.
TI: ManpowerGroup recently launched Talent Solutions (combining three of its offerings). What was the company’s reasoning behind that?
Talent Solutions combines three of ManpowerGroup’s global offerings – RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), TAPFIN MSP (Managed Service Provider) and Right Management – providing innovative solutions and end-to-end, data-driven capabilities across the talent lifecycle through one brand.
TI: What opportunities does the new offering bring to the group?
This new combination of offerings will leverage deep industry expertise and a strong understanding of what talent wants, delivering new solutions to address organisations’ complex global workforce needs.
TI: Were there any challenges when it came to launching it?
Talent Solutions was introduced in the UK on the 31st March 2020, a week after the UK was put into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we took the decision to adjust our plans in the UK, taking a much lower-key approach to the introduction of the new brand.
Whilst this wasn’t how we envisioned sharing the new brand, it was appropriate given the difficult times everyone was facing. Since then, we have been working on raising awareness of our new brand and the value we can bring to our clients.
TI: What makes this offering unique?
With the combination of RPO, TAPFIN MSP and Right Management, Talent Solutions is able to provide seamless delivery of end-to-end workforce solutions that help clients to navigate risk, cost, efficiency and quality while facing changing and uncertain markets.
TI: How has the company been developing its employer brand in recent years?
With the launch of Talent Solutions, we’ve introduced new imagery which focuses on learnability and the opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to progress in the organisation. Across the wider business, we highlight the breadth of opportunity for new experiences across the organisation, whether that’s with our different ManpowerGroup brands, or working directly with our clients across the UK.
TI: What role does employer brand play in the attraction and retention of talent?
An effective employer brand strategy is one of the most important aspects of a successful recruiting function and we believe that this will become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To build a compelling employer brand, you should focus on being authentic in sharing communication of your purpose and the connection that you develop with your candidates, and being consistent in your communication and approach with every candidate.
Attracting and retaining talent
TI: What are you looking for in a potential member of staff for your team?
Whilst knowledge of the industry is an important attribute, with any new employee, we look for individuals with high levels of learnability and adaptability. This increases the likelihood that they can adapt to new opportunities and changing environments and job requirements.
Given the size of our organisation and the different brand structures, it’s also vital that a potential member of staff demonstrates a positive attitude to team working. A collaborative approach helps to drive better results in our business.
We also don’t just recruit those with experience working for recruitment organisations, considering the relevance of their external knowledge to our market and the market of our clients.
TI: How does the company go about attracting emerging talent?
We have a wonderful Talent Team that operates across ManpowerGroup, helping us to attract the right talent for our organisation. In 2021, we also launched our internal talent academy, designed to bring people with no experience of recruitment into the business, put them through an initial training programme and support them as they start their career with ManpowerGroup.
TI: How does the company use training and development to retain staff?
We’re very fortunate that ManpowerGroup puts a considerable amount of investment into training and development to help employees progress in their careers.
As well as having access to an extensive library of online training, we also offer our employees access to Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships as well as leadership programmes with organisations such as Harvard Business School and INSEAD.
TI: What benefits does outsourced hiring bring to a company?
Run correctly, outsourced hiring can offer companies a number of benefits. At Talent Solutions, we focus on providing customers with greater predictability and flexibility of costs, a more efficient recruitment process, an improved candidate experience and importantly, improved talent quality.
TI: How do you ensure you’re delivering maximum value to your clients?
Across ManpowerGroup, we focus on the 4 B’s – Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge – when working to develop effective talent strategies and deliver maximum value for our clients. Each stage involves:
- Build – Invest in learning and development to grow your talent pipeline
- Buy – Go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe required
- Borrow – Cultivate communities of talent outside the organisation, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers to complement existing skills
- Bridge – Help people move on and move up to new roles inside or outside the organisation
TI: Where do you think improvements are needed in the hiring process?
One of the areas that we see most frequently which needs improving is how organisations manage their silver medallists through the hiring process. Whilst that individual may not be the best candidate for the specific role businesses are hiring for at the time, companies could benefit from reviewing whether there are any other suitable roles for them in the organisation. If nothing is available, then they should be kept on file (subject to data restrictions) for any future relevant roles.
Crucial here, as with all hiring, is getting the candidate experience right. This is often something which is neglected in our busy work environments. Candidates are ultimately consumers too, so even if they’re not the right fit to work in your organisation, they may still be a customer, but only if you treat them with respect throughout the process. Introducing technology at the right stages of the hiring process can help you to streamline the process more effectively, allowing more time to provide the human touch.
TI: How could technology be used to enhance hiring further?
From Robotic Process Automation, to our Talent Solutions PowerSuite, which creates the flexibility to tailor our offerings to meet evolving client and candidate needs, we’re continuously developing our technology capabilities and working with our partners to provide clients and candidates with the best technology to support their hiring processes.
Some of the key areas where we see further opportunities to enhance the hiring process using technology are through improved use of chatbots, On-Demand Interviewing and Search and Match technology.
TI: What hiring trends has the company been witnessing recently?
The most obvious trend having an impact on hiring at the moment are the talent shortages we’re seeing across the board. We’re seeing a continued increase in hiring intentions, with a 30 year high of +32% (ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, Jan 2022). However, in many cases, clients are unable to meet their hiring needs due to a shortage of talent. We’re working closely with our clients to help them find the skills they need, by thinking differently about their talent strategies.
TI: How do hiring trends and patterns differ across the countries you operate in?
Operations in each country are assessing the changing trends in every location to make sure they are aligned to the customer needs.
TI: What is Talent Solutions doing to counter skills shortages in certain sectors?
Talent Solutions has a number of different solutions to support clients facing skills shortages. We support our clients to develop talent pipeline management, to ensure they have the individuals they need, when they need them. This can be done through a range of techniques including bridging their current employees into other areas of the business through training or providing Employed Consultants. Employed Consultants are highly skilled specialists who are permanently employed by Experis (part of ManpowerGroup), and then supplied on an interim basis.
We also work with clients to build Train to Fit programmes, taking individuals who already have a range of technical and functional skills which are valuable to their business, and have the aptitude to develop further. We create a training programme in partnership with the client, helping individuals advance their knowledge to the right level and meet the needs of the role over an agreed period of time.
On top of these solutions, Talent Solutions also has the benefit of skills development programmes across the wider ManpowerGroup business, including the MyPath programme in Manpower, which helps associates upskill and develop along their career path. MyPath associates are provided with personalised guidance, career development, training and continuous access to jobs – helping them to achieve their ambitions and meet employers’ needs today and in the future.
Diversity and inclusion
TI: Are companies doing enough to be truly diverse and inclusive?
There is always room for improvement in this area. But it’s clear that businesses are waking up to the need to be truly diverse and inclusive. It’s now on the agenda for every leadership team, with many businesses taking big steps towards active inclusion, rather than just paying lip service. At ManpowerGroup, we created seven steps to conscious inclusion in the workplace:
- Change yourself first
- Leadership has to own it; don’t delegate it
- Flip the question – ask, “Why Not?”
- Hire people who value people
- Promote a culture of conscious inclusion: programmes alone don’t work
- Be explicit; when and where?
- Be accountable; set measurable and achievable outcomes
Managed correctly, one of the potential opportunities to come out of recent turbulence could be the removal of some of the barriers to the workplace for more diverse groups. For example, the increased acceptance of remote working and flexible hours could help businesses to become more inclusive for those with care responsibilities.
TI: What is Talent Solutions doing to support improvements in this (both internally and for clients)?
We’re working with our clients to share advice around implementing the seven steps to conscious inclusion. We’re also advising them on strategies for reaching and attracting diverse groups when advertising for new roles.
We’ve also recently strengthened our commitment to inclusion and diversity globally, committing to:
- Reaching our primary global diversity goal of 40% female leadership by 2024
- Investing in our inclusive culture to retain and develop diverse talent
- Advancing employment security for the long-term; reskilling, upskilling and improving wellbeing and employability for all
In the UK, we’ve also launched our Supplier Diversity Initiative, a commitment to developing relationships with diverse suppliers who enhance the solutions we offer to our clients. We will be supporting diverse suppliers to accelerate their growth and ability to succeed in the marketplace, as well as helping others to become more diverse and inclusive. The result is optimal client solutions and partnerships within a world of diverse and high-performing talent.
Looking to the future
TI: What are your plans for the company over the year ahead?
As building talent increases in importance in workforce planning and development, we will continue to support our clients and candidates through the further development of our Academy offerings – ensuring that we are upskilling individuals for the jobs of the future and providing the skills that our clients need to grow and progress.
Using our expertise in ESG, we’ll enhance our support for clients around Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, helping them to improve in these vital areas at the same time as accessing potentially untapped talent pools as part of the strategy for overcoming skills shortages.
In response to ongoing volatile market conditions, we’ll also continue to increase the flexibility of our solutions, using our Centres of Recruitment Excellence (CoRE) to ramp requirements up and down as needed and supporting across the Total Talent Management lifecycle. Our Agile RPO solutions will continue to expand, meeting the need for short to medium term support for internal recruitment teams.
We will also continue to work with our new and existing clients to help them meet changing workforce requirements post COVID-19.
TI: What outsourced hiring trends do you expect to see in the year(s) ahead? (Will there be an increase in in-house hiring?)
With the increased pace of change in customer demands impacting upon workforce strategies, we anticipate an increased need for businesses to speak to external experts for advice to help them continue to run their organisations as efficiently as possible. This will provide them with an outside in perspective from people who have a view of the wider market.
Understandably, we also expect to see demand for flexibility from candidates continue, as many will have experienced the potential benefits during lockdown.