Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Is RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) And Is It Right For You?

 As an industry, our approach to recruiting has drastically changed over the past 20 years.  With the development and advancement of social media, the emergence of the millennial generation entering the workforce, and an increasingly decentralized workforce, organizations are more transparent than ever, and candidates expect more.

In 1993 recruiting resembled purchasing.  Organizations had a position to fill and candidates lined up to fill the position.  Today organizations strive to be an employer of choice as they position themselves in the marketplace.  Twenty years ago companies used traditional sources like newspapers to post positions.  Sites like and CareerBuilder were just coming into existence.

In today’s market, the candidate has become more sophisticated and demands more information about the company, leadership, and direction than ever before.  Additionally, the number of avenues that one can use to try to reach these candidates can be overwhelming.  Vehicles and tools that worked yesterday may not be adequate today.  Add to this that the cost to recruit quality candidates has soared when you factor in the expense of hiring a recruiter, working with temporary staffing firms or paying contingency recruitment fees that can be as high as 30%.

In Recent years, another option has been gaining momentum.  RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) is a service where an outside firm manages all or part of the recruitment function.  This can be for a single position, specific department or an entire company.  They can handle the entire search, or only parts of the recruiting function like sourcing and screening.  The RPO firm becomes a temporary partner/expansion to your Human Resources Department equipped with the knowledge, skills, tools, technologies to immediately improve recruiting results!

This type of service is typically less expensive then hiring an internal recruiter, and significantly cheaper than working with temporary agencies or paying contingency fees – often saving as much as 60%.  You own the product of all work done for you by the RPO firm and can utilize sourced candidates for future needs at no additional cost.  You set the number of hours each week that they support you and most RPO firms will allow you to stop and start the service at any time.

Another benefit of working with an RPO firm is that they will have a team of seasoned recruiters that to support their clients.  These recruiters are well versed in how to find candidates utilizing the most sophisticated technologies of today.

There are a number of situations where an RPO solution can net you strong results:
·      You have difficult to fill positions
·      Anticipated increase in hiring activity
·      Great variances in the volume of your hiring
·      Internal resources are minimal or non-existent
·      Need to reduce recruitment expenses
·      You presently have hiring manager dissatisfaction in time-to-fill or quality
·      Need to increase your employment brand over competition

The process to get started with this type of service is simple, but there are a few critical areas you will want to cover.  Make sure the RPO provider conducts a detailed Needs Analysis for each position and takes the time to understand the unique characteristics of your company.  Establish the process that you would like the RPO firm to follow.  Finally, just like you would with an internal employee, you will want to define performance goals, metrics to measure success and understand the reports you will receive to analyze progress.

Incorporating an RPO solution into your business plan can be a powerful and flexible solution that you may want to draw upon many times in the growth of your business.  If you have questions about this type of solution, shoot me an email at

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