The recent downturn led many organizations to scale back their workforce, but as things turn around, now they are looking to hire. As a result, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is on the rise.
The current economic climate calls for a new talent acquisition model; one that is scalable, flexible and more cost-effective than the internal recruiting departments of yore. RPO is a compelling departure from traditional methods, making it a logical choice for growth-oriented businesses large and small.
What Is RPO?
The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) defines RPO as “a form of business process outsourcing where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external provider.”
RPO firms essentially serve as an extension of a company’s human resources department and can manage all or specific parts of the recruiting process. Their solutions are customizable depending on need and available resources, and they typically offer services ranging from job profiling to the on-boarding of new hires.
RPO services differ from those offered by staffing companies and contingent or retained search providers in that RPOs assume ownership of the design and management of recruiting processes and responsibility for the results. In addition, RPO firms promote the client company’s brand rather than their own.
Is RPO Right For You?
In the hands of a skilled provider, RPO can offer a lot of benefits, including improved hiring time, increased quality of candidates and the provision of verifiable metrics for the recruiting process. In today’s competitive marketplace, these factors can give businesses a significant competitive edge.
Whether you need a little bit of help with hiring or would prefer to outsource the entire process, there are a few things you should consider when evaluating an RPO solution for your company:
- Why your company needs help with recruiting.
It is important to understand your company’s need for hiring assistance before seeking outside help. Doing so will set the stage for the selection and management of a suitable RPO, as well as expectations for your internal human resource, management and executive teams. Begin by exploring specific reasons and rank them in order of priority.
- Metrics related to recruiting quality, speed and cost are unknown.
- The type of assistance you require.
If you need help hiring a few salespeople, that’s project outsourcing. If you just inked a government contract and need 200 people immediately, that’s project outsourcing. If your entire HR department needs support, that’s total outsourcing. Identifying the type of assistance you require will help determine if RPO is right for you, and will go a long way in helping you select a provider who can fulfill your specific needs.
- The specific problems an RPO can and cannot solve.
Although cost savings is an eventual advantage of outsourcing your recruiting function, it should not be your primary reason for considering this type of arrangement. RPO is a highly consultative function with vast differences in structure, focus, technology and cost.
Where RPO firms excel is in their ability to improve candidate quality, increase recruitment responsiveness and implement a best-in-class recruitment process to carry your company forward. They cannot, however, be expected to solve your existing problems with fewer resources than you are currently allocating.
If your company has inefficient processes and infrastructure in place, focus on the end results you desire, rather than your immediate need to cut costs. In the end, hiring employees who perform at a high level and retaining them will dramatically improve your company’s bottom line.
After deciding whether or not RPO is the best solution for your company, you will need to evaluate your options. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an RPO provider:
- Size of the RPO firm:
- Service structure:
- Company background:
- Cultural fit:
As the business landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is important for your company to stay abreast of new talent acquisition models and recruitment processes to maintain a competitive edge. An RPO can provide consistency, scalability and quality in hiring practices that your internal team may be unable to achieve. Most importantly, an RPO can help you find people who are a better fit in a fraction of the time.