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Cielo’s Candidate Focus Proves a Differentiator

Cielo held its annual RPO analyst event at its Milwaukee headquarters and service center last week. Cielo is one of the leading RPO providers in terms of revenue, number of hires, candidate focus, talent management focus, and global growth. It made 134k hires in 2015, with 130 clients in 69 countries. And with the addition of its newest service center in Buenos Aires, Cielo now has delivery centers in all major regions to support multi-country RPO (according to NelsonHall’s latest RPO market analysis published last week, multi-country contracts represent ~43% of all RPO deals).

However, of all of this, I believe a key ingredient to Cielo’s success is its strong candidate focus, something that was highlighted on a tour of their Impression Center and Bridge Center.

Impression Center: A High Touch Candidate Experience

The purpose of the center is to ensure a high touch experience with the candidate and not tie up recruiter time (with a resulting 96% reduction in unnecessary calls to recruiters). Satisfaction is immediately evidenced upon entry to the center with a bulletin board displaying notices of candidate accolades relating to Cielo’s performance throughout the recruitment process. Scorecard data includes first call resolution of 96% and candidate satisfaction of 96%.

When candidates call into the Impression Center with an inquiry about a job opportunity with a specific client, they do not know they are speaking with Cielo. For example, Comcast has Cielo recruiters dedicated solely to candidates applying for Comcast jobs. Every client has a specific phone number which connects to Cielo recruiters trained on serving that client. Recruiters know who is calling and then log into the system for that account, prepared to answer the candidate question. On an average day there are 1,435 client interactions, of which 85% are calls, 13% are email and 2% are live chat. The high percentage of phone calls is an interesting and important statistic given that there is an upward industry trend in usage of live chat, but given the high touch and positive experience candidates have with Cielo recruiters, the vast majority would rather call than chat. The Impression Center is a service clients do not have to pay extra for and is a value-added service.

Bridge Center: Elevating Candidates’ Pre-Employment Experience

After a candidate is offered a job and accepts, there are pre-employment background and drug screens provided by the Bridge Center. Formerly, recruiters used to perform these screens but then would not have time to follow up with candidates on their status in a timely fashion. Now, upon being offered a job, each candidate gets a welcome call and email with an explanation of the process from the Bridge Center. Results include:

  • 100% of new hires receive a welcome call
  • 30% average reduction in time to clear
  • 100% compliance with organization, local, state and federal regulations
  • 98.6% of hiring managers surveyed agree that “my candidates’ pre-employment experience is elevated through their interactions with the Bridge Center”
  • >50,000 candidates were processed through the Bridge Center in 2015.

The process has been so successful that Cielo has three standalone Bridge Center clients and three in the pipeline.

Per NelsonHall’s latest RPO research, clients’ top vendor selection criterion is recruitment capability, with expectations of high candidate engagement and satisfaction. Hence, it’s easy to understand why Cielo has been successful, growing revenue at ~25% CAAGR since 2011. Given its global expansion and its strong focus on candidates, including building and managing talent pools, I expect that Cielo will continue to have double-digit profitable growth.

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