How we implemented a data-driven sourcing solution with RPO Source

How we implemented a data-driven sourcing solution with RPO Source


A new talent partner to improve candidate quality

Our customer — a US compensation services firm — partnered with Pontoon because they were spending too much time and money on poor quality agency hires.

We used market expertise, data analysis and automation to generate direct engagement from qualified candidates.

The results?

No more agency fees, fewer unsuitable applicants, and a much lower employee turnover.

The challenge

Creating a sustainable solution

Like many businesses, our customer took a DIY approach to recruitment: they managed the function in-house and had partnered with agencies, having struggled to source enough suitable candidates themselves.

The situation wasn’t sustainable.

Interest in our customer’s jobs was minimal, employee turnover was at an all-time high, and the company was wasting time and money throughout the hiring process.

Why Pontoon?

The customer chose Pontoon as their RPO partner in September 2020.

We won their business after delivering a detailed analysis of how improving their positioning on job boards could save the company time and money, while massively increasing direct engagement from high quality candidates.

They were also impressed by our commitment to targeted sourcing, and our approach to persona mapping — both of which help us to attract the right applicants more quickly and effectively.

How we helped

We had two initial objectives, which we needed to pursue in tandem:

  1. To increase applicant traffic in the customer’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  2. To quickly implement a full and effective RPO solution

Increasing applicant traffic

Our experts analysed the customer’s historical applicant data and sourcing efforts, building on the analysis that had won us the contract.

It was clear that search traffic relating to the company was minimal.

There was little traction on job boards, and the company’s sourcing strategy wasn’t generating enough interest to fill open positions. As a result, the customer was having to rely on expensive, time-consuming and often ill-qualified agency placements.

Our team created and implemented a strategic sourcing strategy within the first week, using an automated data-mining bot to speed up the process of qualifying CVs. The sourcing solution was live within just two days.

The results were staggering:

  • Unique clicks on the customer’s jobs jumped from 319 in September to 2,118 in October — that’s a 560% increase in the space of a month.
  • During October, we engaged 1,794 candidates through our CRM. We converted 231 of these to applicants in our client’s ATS, which led to a 190% increase in CV submittals.

Implementing the full RPO solution

The RPO deployment was a race against the clock — the customer had an immediate need to fill spaces on a bi-weekly training course throughout February.

We went live with the full RPO solution just six weeks after kicking off.

Our recruiters and sourcing teams used the profile personas we developed with the customer to identify a large number of ideal candidates. The customer’s Talent Acquisition (TA) team was able to fill their first hiring class within two weeks, and filled a further five within the next month.


Successful results yielding expanded business

Since 2020, we’ve expanded our partnership with the customer — we now support them with additional hiring in other business divisions. The impact of the project has been enormous:

  • The company’s hiring managers no longer have to supervise a stressful, ineffectual and decentralised hiring process
  • We’ve used data analysis, automation and a strategic approach to hiring to achieve significant time and cost efficiencies throughout the entire hiring process
  • Agency spend has dropped from 80% to 0%, resulting in 20% annualised cost savings
  • By directly sourcing well-qualified applicants, we improved candidate retention by 25%
  • We achieved a time-to-fill of eight working days, and a time-to-hire of just 17 working days
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