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Creating Effective Partnerships with a Streamlined RPO Model

May 8, 2020
RPO model Comrise

Creating Effective Partnerships with a Streamlined RPO Model

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is an effective solution for the majority of companies in China, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines. However, a streamlined RPO model takes work and collaboration among the client and leaders of the current organization.

We interviewed Comrise’ RPO Practice Leader, Bernadette Sudio-So, to provide additional insight on successful RPO partnerships. The project was delivered for our Client a Global Technology and Outsourcing Services Provider.

What was the challenge that the client faced before engaging Comrise?


 In the beginning of the engagement, our client, a global technology service provider, was not satisfied on how the first project for a leading global logistic solution company was performing. The team was in disarray and had no clear direction on how the RPO Model worked.  The client was not convinced of the credibility of the RPO team and the relationship lacked trust.

Our client reached out to us to make some changes on how the project would be managed internally. From the Philippines, I switched my current assignment from CBSS to RPO and worked to apply changes to the current model. With my previous experience, I applied the three fundamental P’s for the team which includes: project, process, and people. 

What was your approach to the account and solution you provide?


I applied my current experience with RPO and the following key factors: Project, Process, and People.

  1. Project: Since the team had little RPO experience, I began reaching out to the Leaders at our client side to understand more on the model; The Project Delivery Executive then, based in the UK, and myself started connecting almost every day to understand the project scope, expectations and overall goals. By doing this, I was able to understand in depth the RPO project requirements to the core and in turn, it made my internal reorganizing and restructuring of the team much easier. Within the first week with RPO, I immersed myself on its operational day-to-day, analyzing the current status and expectation, recognizing gaps and opportunities within the process and people. So, after gathering data and applying intensive root-cause-analysis, I focused next on the process.
  2. Process: Non-compliance can become an issue, so we worked on the client-project relationship, as this is a crucial part of their SLA, to educate on the importance of following the DTPs (Desktop Procedures). We conducted a series of refresher courses, concurrently with our client. Additional practice sessions and weekly monitoring ensured the team’s variances would be decreased to almost 0.  The Process Actions were only effective, but also encouraging our people to understand the project, process, and risk involved. As company culture and core values are equally important to the success of any team or project, I now conclude with the final key factor, people.
  1. People: Our current recruiting team didn’t understand how the RPO model worked since the majority of their only background consisted only of recruiting, headhunting, or human resources. This part was challenging yet rewarding as we worked to arrange one-on-one meetings as a way for me to get to know them personally, including their background, family, personal motivation, hobbies, etc.  With deepening the relationships, it became easier, as a leader, to communicate with each person to help motivate them and apply new knowledge of the business.  I spent the next three weeks in “training mode” focusing on introducing the RPO model to the Team and how each role plays in the model.  Sharing the project’s high-level information like our “go-global” goals, leadership, and process as it relates to the client and customer we partner with. In simple terms, I helped them understand that their role is much bigger than what they originally had in mind.

What else did you do to encourage a people mindset and WeCulture focus for your team? 

Bernadette: I joined the meetings and conference calls with clients based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.  The saying, “Lead by Example” really worked in this scenario.  I demonstrated to our leaders how to face a client and the best way to behave in a conference call without losing your focus when things get tough.  It was the most challenging part, yet the most rewarding.  Seeing the leaders approach a level of global mindset translated on how they communicate directly to the Client’s Project. The escalations dropped significantly and we started getting feedback from clients that our team was delivering as expected.

What was the milestone for 6 months after securing the project?


Due to changes in team dynamics and delivery, our client was very happy regarding the 360 recovery of the team. The escalations were minimized and the aging jobs slowed down.

The milestone is the shift of relationships between our Comrise RPO team and the Clients’ Project Team, the collaboration was a significant factor in their success. By then, you can see trust being forged between the two parties. And this was ultimately our biggest achievement in the long run as building lasting relationships between team, customer, and the client is of much importance.

And for the company, we secured more new projects from the client in China, and a year after that, our client decided to put our team in the Philippines under Comrise. Currently, we are still the Partner of Choice in China and the Philippines.

In conclusion, what are the key takeaways?

Never be afraid to get your hands dirty and always start with the basics if things are messy. As leaders, sometimes it is important to not lose sight of the value of hands-on-work with your teams, helping them to refocus on the bigger picture. During this project, I learned that for RPO, the Vendor-Supplier mindset is not the best approach, instead what works, is always getting things done quickly yet efficiently. In leadership, we must be willing to simplifying the process, especially if it is something new, this goes a long way for the team. Overall, our job is to help them see the bigger picture in simple terms and eliminate any noises that may distract them from achieving success in the work.

Want to learn more about Comrise RPO services and talent solutions?

Email us at or visit our LinkedIn page for more information.

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