Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – What is Right for Your Company? 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – What is Right for Your Company? 

“Recruiting new employees is not cheap. According to new benchmarking data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire was nearly $4,700. But many employers estimate the total cost to hire a new employee can be three to four times the position’s salary, according to Edie Goldberg, founder of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based talent management and development company E.L. Goldberg & Associates.” 

One solution is Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) but is it right for your business? 

What is RPO? 

RPO refers to outsourcing a business’s recruitment process to a third-party. Recruitment Process Outsourcing companies can cover all aspects of talent acquisition. They can take over all the recruitment functions or specialize in a specific part of the process, depending on the business’s needs. From full, to partial, to selective, an RPO has evolved since its inception to fit the needs of businesses regardless of size.  

An RPO is not a staffing agency simply filling roles immediately. Partnering with an RPO provider is about more than filling a vacant position. An RPO takes a proactive approach and provides strategic solutions to address your overall talent acquisition process. Because the RPO process is focused on strategy, it offers additional benefits for your business. Different RPO models offer different kinds of services.  

RPO can now be a cost effective and viable solution for businesses of any size. Particularly small businesses who do not yet have the need for a full-time recruitment team. An RPO gives your small business the advantages of a recruitment team that knows your business’s specific and unique talent needs without overhead. 

Different Types of RPOs 

  1. Full RPO – Outsourcing end-to-end recruitment processes

A Full RPO means the RPO agency takes over the entire process. From sourcing and screening to assessment, as well as management of the entire process. This model is end-to-end with little for the employer to do. Fully sourced and vetted candidates will be delivered to you. This process is the most costly but useful for companies which do not have the internal recruiting resources or want their HR resources dedicated to other initiatives. 

  1. Partial RPO – Outsourcing all hiring needs for specific projects, programs or sudden demands

Special projects can have time constraints or require a certain set of skills and specializations, or the current staff can’t be pulled away. A partial RPO will bring you the candidates most suitable for handling your project. 

This model is also useful for sudden recruitment needs to meet the unexpected rise in demands, and get candidates, as fast as possible. 

  1. 3. Selective RPO – Outsourcing only specific recruitment processes

Even with an internal recruiting team, there are areas or specific processes your team might need help with. The selective RPO model allows you to utilize the assistance of the agency for a specific part of the process, like sourcing, screening or assessment. This can be the best option for a small business from a cost perspective and for any business who wants to connect with specific talent such as military, people with disabilities or justice-involved. 

Advantages of an RPO 

An RPO provider will have specialized market knowledge, connecting your business needs to the market, making hiring faster, reducing project delays, and matching you with the right candidates. An RPO provider will help you attain scalability and brand identity. Leveraging their access to talent using extensive tools and networks – to fill current positions and create an ongoing pipeline of skilled talent. 

When an HR department is freed from sourcing or screening candidates, they can focus on tasks that will help your core business, such as improving company culture and talent management. RPO firms can help you connect with the best candidates. Internal recruiters typically search for candidates only when positions are open, while outsourcing firms look at candidates continuously to be ready for change and growth. 

Details to consider 

Data securityshould be considered. Carefully select an RPO provider you can trust with the security of your data. Outline expectations to avoid the “warm body” effect of bulk resumes and RPO providers who are too focused on the numbers game and not sustainable quality. Be alert to RPOs who are not truly invested in your company and as such, may not be timely in getting back to you, or the candidates they choose are not relevant to your search. This loss of control is another factor to consider. How much control are you comfortable relinquishing in your recruitment process?  

Research is knowledge 

Know what your organization needs and don’t sign up for more than you need. Identify what the RPO offers and the available options that address your needs. Evaluate the cost and the ROI. An RPO provider should offer more than a recruiting toolbox – they should cultivate a genuine partnership. Even selective RPOs who only do a specific task, should treat the task as a partnership. 

“AI is expected to be a game-changer in the recruitment industry. It automates several tasks such as candidate sourcing, candidate rediscovery, employee reference, and diversity hiring to improve strategic workforce planning. Small & medium enterprises are opting for RPO services to switch from conventional HR activities to strategic decision-making processes. RPO is becoming more popular as companies place a greater emphasis on talent acquisition and workforce planning to meet the issues of maintaining human resources. RPO vendors are focusing on creating specialized and diverse service offerings in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market.” Grandview Research