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AGS Takes QUANTUM Leap in the Workforce Acquisition Framework Space

 

Earlier this month, Allegis Global Solutions (AGS) launched the QUANTUM Platform™ to the U.S. market.  QUANTUM is a workforce acquisition (WA) framework comprising a total talent strategy, a sourcing methodology, and a technology platform all in one. 18 months in the making, the idea was initiated about a decade ago, as discussions began around the roadblocks associated with having separate RPO and MSP programs and data/information stored in disparate systems. While WA programs and tech/tools ecosystems have evolved significantly since 2008, throw in the worsening global skills shortage and it becomes blatantly clear that a new approach to acquiring talent was badly needed…. hence QUANTUM, which consists of:

  • QUANTUM Strategy: to help clients fill jobs and get work completed in the most efficient/effective way
  • QUANTUM Methodology: AGS’ proprietary workforce acquisition methodology, providing clients with a single-entry point to all types of workers (permanent, temps, contractors, freelancers/gig workers, and consultants) via the QUANTUM Platform, with advisory support from AGS in how to best go about leveraging those workers to get work done
  • QUANTUM Platform: sits across all other technology platforms and uses AI/ML, underpinned by its analytics, to bring together all types of talent from other sources into one place.

Here, I take a pragmatic view of QUANTUM based on what is generally happening in the marketplace around WA frameworks and my recent demo of the QUANTUM platform. The strategy of “getting work done” is one of the hottest talking points for vendors at contingent workforce events at present, with a few of the key vendors established in the MSP and RPO space currently developing a WA framework to address the issues described above.

The associated methodologies applied to help clients get work done are unique to each vendor: a reflection of the vendors’ history, their strengths/expertise, and the challenges faced by/needs of their clients from a geographic, industry, size, skills, and outsourcing maturity perspective. The methodologies aim to give clients a number of options for how to get the work done based on insights from the vendors’ unique data, associated analytics (via a platform), and the vendors’ internal experts (consulting).

QUANTUM Platform

Talent platforms like QUANTUM Platform enable a hiring manager (HM) view, a supplier view, and the program office view. When each new talent platform emerges, though, there is an expectation that it will leverage some of the latest technology features/functionality available. QUANTUM Platform does not disappoint from that perspective. Features include:

  • Ability for a HM to search for talent by carrying out a people search (like window shopping) or load in a job description
  • Elastic search (enhanced AI matching and stack ranking) by matching candidate skills with those skills necessary to perform the open positions. Elastic search also allows HMs to view stack ranked candidates based on skills and experiences. Candidates are sourced from different talent clouds:
    • Supplier contractor talent cloud
    • Redeployed contractors (who have come out of an assignment ready to go elsewhere)
    • Client-sourced talent cloud (retirees, alumni, veterans, interns, etc.)
    • Freelancer talent cloud
    • Service provider consultants (SOW and service procurement)
    • Full-time candidates (from an ATS, silver/bronze candidates)
    • Existing employees (full-time employees who can assist on project work, who are searching for a new internal career opportunity)
  • Ability for AGS to save time at the face-to-face intake meeting (with automated search results enabling a slate of talent to be in front of the HM the same day, at least a 50% reduction over the standard process)
  • Ability to fill jobs more quickly (trials to date showing a 65% reduction in time to fill on average). 50% of roles have been filled with talent sourced from the QUANTUM Platform, 50% have eventually gone out to competitive bid
  • Underpinned by sophisticated data/analytics:  
    • For example, QUANTUM’s data might show that a local software developer has an average time to fill of 34 days, but there is a qualified freelancer in another market who has just become available and can start immediately. AGS can leverage that freelancer and alert the HM to engage the person immediately (the freelancer being a resource that the HM would never even have considered previously)
    • QUANTUM’s market data (comprising supply and demand data, predictive analytics about location, job market, competitor intelligence) is used to provide a hiring scale to indicate hiring difficulty: focusing on potential candidates, positions currently posted and average post duration. If a particular market has a higher score (more difficult to fill), then AGS consults with the HM to see if they can adjust the skills (to make it easier to get more candidates), or choose a different recruitment channel (use a retiree rather than a traditional temporary worker, etc.) or a different location/relocation
  • Ratings for candidates (given by HMs for work done):
    • Creating better matched quality opportunities for candidates
    • Building up a database of good/better performing candidates for HMs to leverage
    • Enabling suppliers to review HMs’ selection and buying behavior:  seeing which of their candidates are showing up most in searches, and which are more successfully placed in certain clients over others
  • Automatic Alerts:
    • Notifications for HMs to alert them when new relevant talent enters the talent clouds, omitting supplier spam, as only the top candidates are presented (based on ratings given)
    • Suppliers receive frequent updates on the status of their candidates submitted (in the hiring process, or if a candidate has become inactive due to a lack of activity on their profile) as well as general alerts (when the rights to represent candidates is close to expiring or an assignment is ending).

AGS’ Support in QUANTUM Methodology/Strategy

All vendors operating in the outsourced TA space are improving their internal expertise/capability to some extent in a bid to gain competitive edge in the race to find talent.  The initiatives embraced to do this vary from vendor to vendor, aligned to their strengths and the desire to exceed their clients’ expectations. AGS’ recruiters bring a more proactive consultative approach, based on their experience/skills learned, which includes:

  • Approximately ten years’ recruitment experience and seven years in professional recruiting roles managing all aspects of the hiring cycle
  • Expertise in sourcing, experience with consultancy advice
  • Analytical skills to understand the business intelligence data/search for market data to advise the hiring manager (HM) accordingly
  • Strong consultative/communication skills to work well with the HMs and the suppliers (ensuring their recruiters are sourcing and pipelining the right types of talent), working to hiring plans and having the confidence to advise on adjusting hiring plans/sources of talent according to the market situation
  • A partnership approach: moving away from a siloed approach to filling roles (permanent or contractor)/going on gut feeling, to finding the best route forward (any sourcing channel mix to reduce time to fill/increase quality/tenure) to get work successfully completed
  • Initiative to drive their clients to increase the current U.S. national redeployment rates (7%) to save time/money for their clients, (including moving resources between permanent and temporary forms of work.

Future rollout outside the U.S. will be determined by client demand (although AGS perceives the most likely locations next in line will be Europe and APAC). AGS ensures they will meet all the compliance needs in the specific markets first (GDPR, etc.).

Summary

More vendors in the outsourced TA space are adopting a WA framework approach, and this pattern will continue into 2019. Some frameworks are total talent focused, others are permanent or contingent worker focused. Vendors with established frameworks include: Agile One, Alexander Mann Solutions, Cielo, HudsonRPO, KellyOCG, PeopleScout, Resource Solutions, and TAPFIN. Other vendors are currently developing/refining such frameworks. There is no “one-size fits all” WA framework solution. Buyside organizations, cognizant that vendors are taking this WA framework approach to sourcing talent seriously in the best interest of their clients, must still go through a due diligence process to ensure they choose the vendor that is right for them. 

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