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How PeopleScout is Addressing the Changing World of Work


PeopleScout held its annual Client Forum last week, with discussion groups covering employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, employer branding, the talent landscape, total workforce solutions, the impact of industry disruption on best practices, and improving the employee experience.

All these HR themes are important, but here I look specifically at what PeopleScout is doing to prepare for the changing world of work in three areas:

  • Global expansion
  • Offering total workforce solutions
  • Enhancing its technology offering.

Global expansion

Globalization is changing how we access the workforce, and at the same time HRO contracts are becoming more global and multi-country in scope. For example, ~43% of all RPO contracts include hiring for more than 1 country, ~10% are global with hiring in 3 or more regions, 11% are multi-regional in 2 regions, and 22% are multi-country within 1 region. Steps in PeopleScout’s expansion include:

  • In 2014, Seaton Corp acquired HRX, an RPO provider in Australia and New Zealand. In 2015, HRX integrated and rebranded as PeopleScout to expand its global capability, including in Asia Pacific
  • In 2016, PeopleScout acquired the RPO division of Aon Hewitt, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies primarily in hospitality, banking, industrial, retail, government, and service industries.

Today, PeopleScout services clients in ~70 countries from delivery locations including Chicago, Charlotte, Sydney, Krakow, Beijing, Toronto, and Montreal. For one of its Healthcare clients, PeopleScout performs ~5,000 annual hires across ~70 countries.

Total workforce solutions

Most companies’ workforces are becoming more blended, including a combination of permanent, temporary, contractors, freelancers, FT and PT workers. Many of the new jobs being created are for contingent workers. NelsonHall research indicates that today, ~10% of RPO and MSP contracts are blended, supporting both permanent and contingent workforces. NelsonHall estimates that this will rapidly increase to ~15% of all contracts being blended within 3 years.

To meet client needs, in January 2017, PeopleScout added MSP to its suite of talent services. MSP services were transitioned from Staff Management/SMX, a TrueBlue company, to PeopleScout, along with its entire service provider teams. With this addition, PeopleScout expanded its ability to provide total workforce services, where RPO and MSP services are blended into one overall service under one brand (while offering RPO and MSP as stand-alone programs).

Technology enhancement

By the end of summer this year, PeopleScout plans to have a new integrated technology that sits on top of existing applicant tracking systems and will have candidate experience as its core focus. This includes:

  • Mobile first, to apply for jobs, and for recruiters to schedule interviews
  • Chatbots and messaging to engage with candidates
  • Artificial intelligence and RPA to identify top talent more quickly, decreasing time to hire
  • More personalized experience, aimed at treating candidates like customers.

I anticipate that PeopleScout will continue to have high double-digit growth attributed not just to its global service offering, but to the way the company engages with its customers. This was the second straight year I spent two days with PeopleScout and its clients, and what I observed is a partnership that is genuinely communicative and effective.

In NelsonHall’s 2016 RPO market analysis, recruitment capability and cultural fit were identified as the top two vendor selection criteria. With a 98% client retention rate, and with 94% of those retained expanding their business on renewal, PeopleScout is evidently delivering against clients’ most important priorities.

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