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[Herald Interview] Finding talent amid COVID-19 outbreak with ManpowerGroup

Manpower Korea RPO Service, Talent Solutions Director Jimmy Lee (ManpowerGroup)
Manpower Korea RPO Service, Talent Solutions Director Jimmy Lee (ManpowerGroup)

Finding the right talent for the right company has become harder than ever before as the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a heavy blow to the global economy and created a massive pool of jobs seekers at the worst possible gridlock.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki called the slump in job markets “grave” as the number of employed people in South Korea stood at 26.56 million in April, 476,000 fewer than a year ago, marking the biggest on-year decline since February 1999.

The situation is tough for employers as well, as they have to sift through a flood of resumes and deal with tons of paperwork to hire few people -- a process that is exhausting, time-consuming and above all, expensive.

In these uncertain times, companies are looking for recruitment process outsourcing, or RPO services, where they transfer all or part of their recruitment processes to an external service provider.

“The whole point of RPO is to hire the right people at the right time with the help of experts. The RPO service can be really effective when companies need to hire a lot of people at once in cases of a rapid growth, large-scale projects or establishing offices in foreign locations. Most importantly, the RPO solutions can cut costs significantly,” Manpower Korea Director of RPO Service, Talent Solutions Jimmy Lee told The Korea Herald in an interview in Seoul.

“The more candidates companies hire, the more costs they can reduce. In fact, clients who have tried ManpowerGroup’s RPO solution were able to save costs by 30 percent to 50 percent more compared to typical companies’ RPO solutions.”


ManpowerGroup’s expertise has been recognized by top industry analysts. From 2010 to 2020, industry analyst Everest Group named ManpowerGroup Solutions as a global leader in RPO for 11 consecutive years. From 2012 to 2018, the recruiting firm was selected as a leading global RPO provider by NelsonHall.

“ManpowerGroup, with 70 years of history, has been operating its Talent Solutions RPO team for more than 20 years, providing services in 64 countries,” said Lee.

“Korea’s Talent Solutions RPO service is managed directly by ManpowerGroup’s Singapore office, its Asian headquarters.”

Lee further emphasized that the RPO service can allow companies to focus on hiring key personnel as it can manage administrative procedures on behalf of clients. Especially in busy hiring seasons, the RPO service can relieve the workload of human resources teams.

Another advantage of its RPO solution is the filtering system, Lee added. The service can distinguish active candidates from passive ones, providing genuine data to clients rather than handing over piles of resumes.

“ManpowerGroup currently commands 6.9 percent of the global RPO market, hiring 316,000 people in 2019. Also, more than 3,600 RPO experts are supporting more than 480 clients worldwide. Based on that experience, ManpowerGroup’s Talent Solutions has been providing strategic and flexible RPO services,” Lee said.

By Kim Byung-wook (