The Ri5 interview: Jon Porter, TMP Worldwide


Yocto. A unit of measurement denoting the factor of 10 to the power of -24; otherwise referred to as one septillionth. In layman’s terms, the smallest measurement known to man.

It’s not exactly a household term; nor is it the most obvious choice for a product name - most brands plum for bombastic titles that connote scale, power and reach. But as Jon Porter, managing director of Yocto at TMP Worldwide explains, the title is ideal for what the business has in the pipeline.

Yocto is TMP’s new, standalone Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) brand. And Porter points out that its name represents the small, marginal changes and gains that the product will enable, combining to offer a larger cumulative result – an exemplary candidate experience.

Porter explains that, while RPO has been part of TMP’s offering for some time, the business feels now is the time to position it as a standalone brand within the TMP stable. “Our RPO offering is well established and we serve a range of clients through it,” he says. “It’s a growing part of what we do – and, as it’s getting bigger and bigger it’s now the right time to set it out as a distinct proposition.”

Porter concedes that there are other RPO offerings out there, but is keen to stress that Yocto will do things differently.

“Looking at the marketplace, there’s an established ‘Premier League’ of RPO providers,” he says. “However, Yocto is coming from a different place because of its roots in TMP. We’re offering a different perspective on the process and how it can impact the candidate experience, and that stems from our background in talent attraction.

“Our background offers a really robust basis on which to build our RPO offering and informs how we’re able to reach out to a wider audience with it. Our brand attraction expertise sets this offering apart from other players in the marketplace.”

Referring to the increasingly challenging, candidate-led talent landscape that organisations find themselves currently facing, Porter adds: “It’s hard to find talent. The connectivity is there, but the most talented people are limiting the range and types of contact they’re open to. So, a new process opens up new opportunities for dialogues with candidates regarding what an organisation has to offer.”

He uses the cyber-security sector as an example. It is what he calls a ‘hot’ sector, with talented candidates in high demand. However, it also offers distinct challenges, with many of these candidates proving difficult for recruiters to engage with. 

Porter explains that Yocto is built on the twin disciplines of art and science, and it is the use of these two distinct strands within the process that will engage with candidates who are not currently being reached out to as effectively as they might be - like the cyber-security professionals he points to as an example.

Another of Yocto’s strengths, says Porter, is how it will set out to inject an element of personality and emotion into the process.

He says: “We’ve got 25 years of experience on the comms and attraction side of things, and we want to feed off that experience and the existing approach we use, in order to strengthen the emotional relationship between candidates and brands.

“We feel there’s definitely room for a bit of personality in the RPO space,” he adds. “RPOs are a big part of the industry and they’re discussed to a huge extent, but the actual delivery tends to be a bit autonomous and robotic. However, historically TMP’s traditional business is more about cultural dynamics and personality, and that feeds in to what we’ll be offering through Yocto.”

Data will also be at the core of the offering, with Porter considering it vital in providing the kind of insight that will help to offer an effective process both now and in the future. “It’ll really help us to focus on the whole candidate experience, and will give us a position from which we can leverage the relationship between the candidate and the organisation,” he says.

In addition, Porter adds that Yocto will set out to be disruptive within the RPO space. The business is keen for the offering to challenge current ways of thinking in the market, which he anticipates will enable it to stand out.

“We’re happy to be a bit edgy,” he says. “We know we’re approaching the RPO space from a different perspective and we want that to come through in the brand and in the service we offer. There’ll be rigour and precision at the heart of what we do - and as a result the candidate experience will be second to none - but we’re confident in positioning ourselves as something different in the RPO world.”

Porter explains that while RPO has long been an established TMP offering, the business has been planning Yocto’s launch as a standalone entity since September last year. Extra resource has been brought on board to facilitate the change, with teams based across TMP’s London and Bristol offices as well as on-site with clients around the UK. In addition the team is looking to bring in a sales director and bid manager.

Porter says this new, dedicated resource will ensure Yocto’s delivery will be exceptional from the outset, and will also facilitate improvement in the business’ ongoing RPO offering.

With a dozen existing RPO clients and a number of other clients who work with the wider business on comms projects - and whose relationship is likely to call for forthcoming RPO work - Yocto is geared up to hit the ground running; and Porter anticipates Yocto’s launch will enable the team to foster further relationships with more clients likely to come on board soon.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

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The Ri5 interview: Jon Porter, TMP Worldwide
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