Turning the RPO World Upside Down

Posted by: Barry Diamond

It was just Halloween and every year our home town, Whitefish Bay, WI, has a huge pumpkin carving event. The event is sponsored by the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation. They provide free pumpkins, carving tools, candles, and table space. You design a jack-o-lantern, and it will be lit and on display every night during the last week of October.

night pumpkinsLike many of you, I’ve been carving pumpkins for many years. I always start by cutting out the top of the pumpkin and scooping out the inside. Once my pumpkin is prepped, I find a design, apply it to the pumpkin and begin to carve.

In preparation for this year’s event, I went to the Internet to research some “cool” designs. Before I could even find a theme for this year’s pumpkin, I discovered something earth shattering about pumpkin carving technique. The information was so simple and yet I had never ever even considered this revolutionary pumpkin carving methodology. I checked with a few friends and they also had never heard on this alternative and exciting pumpkin carving process. It will forever change the way I carve pumpkins.

Here is what I learned:

“Instead of cutting the top, try cutting out the bottom of the pumpkin. Carving from the bottom up gives the pumpkin a cleaner look, plus it’s safer. You won’t burn your hand when you try to light a candle and place the pumpkin over it.”

When I look around at the RPO industry, I see 2 types of service providers that are represented in the pumpkin carving world.

One type of RPO company is “cutting the top of the pumpkin.” Or stated another way, they are providing services that lack innovation and inspiration. These firms have chosen to just transfer services from the client without dratically altering the way things are being done.

Their value proposition is all (or mostly) about cost. They barely have enough resources at their price point to meet their client’s transaction volume, let alone have people who can provide thought leadership, innovation and continuous process improvement.

The other type of RPO partner brings innovation and is always looking for “a better way to carve the pumpkin” even if it means, at times, flipping the pumpkin upside down. These providers are committed to finding a superior way to do talent acquisition. They are not the lowest (hard) cost RPO firms because they are resourcing programs correctly with both transactional and strategic team members. However, in the long run, they are delivering the best results and overall long term value.

RPO Pumpkin


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