Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Kelly Adams Dennis

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) simply put is using the expertise of recruitment professionals to manage the internal recruitment for your business.

RPO then and now

“RPO began to evolve in the 1970’s, particularly as Silicon Valley companies were vying for IT talent. Labor markets became increasingly competitive and RPO became a more acceptable option for companies of all types.” according to the Wunderland Group. “In the 1980’s and 90’s, Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) became popular as employers chose to outsource payroll, taxes, and benefits management. Employers began to realize that recruitment could also be outsourced, and the RPO industry was born.”

Today, the rapidly-growing RPO industry is estimated at $1.4 billion, according to Wunderland Group.  “In a recent 2011 Staffing Industry Analysts’ contingent buyer survey, 30 percent of respondents already engage an RPO in some way, while another 23 percent are seriously considering it within two years. The opportunity has made the RPO market very competitive. Some firms are completely dedicated to RPO services, while others provide complimentary services such as staffing and placement. RPO services have also become more complex and sophisticated, thanks to the emergence of recruitment technology, as well as employers’ global hiring needs.”

The benefits of using an RPO include:

  • Enabling key personnel to grow the business
  • Gain access to a team of professionals for a fraction of the cost
  • Access to a consultant who can assist you with end-to-end recruitment planning and role out
  • Reduce total fixed and variable costs associated with recruiting
  • Institute a consistent and predictable recruit-to-hire process
  • Increase candidate quality
  • Reduce time when roles are vacant
  • Assist with marketing and enhance employment branding
  • Reduce turnovers

RPO Stats

27% in RPO contracts in 2011 represent 1.4 billion in revenue

  • 70% of companies rehired the same RPO provider
  • 10% re-used RPO with a different RPO provider
  • 12% used RPO for one time projects

Considerations for choosing your RPO Provider

You like and trust the actual RPO consultant assigned

  • Ensure they have local knowledge necessary to assist your company
  • Access to a wide reaching candidate network
  • Ability to headhunt for clients
  • Ability to set up recruitment department and all processes
  • Ability to prescreen candidates properly having had detailed discussion with you on required skills and personalities
  • Access to a comprehensive candidate tracking system.

Managing your relationship with your RPO

Ensure you are clear on your recruitment goals

  • Work with your RPO provider to conduct a SWOT analysis of your current recruiting process and determine where processes need to be changed or created.
  • Create a measurable set of KPIs that are achievable and fully understood by your RPO provider
  • Ensure your RPO provider is aware of all the applicable policies that will affect recruitment

Schedule regular meeting with your RPO provider to discuss any progress and any required process changes

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