The Benefits of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

6 min read

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a type of business outsourcing model where either full recruitment process or some part of it is transferred to and handled by an external company (RPO provider).

An RPO provider can source, select, screen and onboard talent for their client being as involved in the process as required. It’s important to mention that all the hires are made for internal positions in the organisation.


During the hiring process, an RPO provider acts as an extension of an internal HR function, so the team follows the company's processes, policies and culture. They may wear the company's uniform or badges and introduce themselves as the company’s employees to the potential candidates.  


In the recent years, RPO has been growing in popularity in Europe and North America where more in-depth adoption of this type of service begun in the early 2000's. However, as predicted by Business Insider, Asia will become the fastest growing RPO market in the upcoming years, as the market is expected to expand fourfold by 2022.


While globalisation certainly played an important role in terms of the popularity of recruitment process outsourcing solutions, with time, RPO has also been adjusted and became more flexible to better meet the recruitment needs of the companies. It changed from a full life-cycle solution (end-to-end process) to flexible solutions that can be unique to each company and developed based on their requirements.


Current activities that fall under an RPO provider can cover all of the below points or only some of them depending on requirements:


  • Forecasting, strategic planning and HR advice.

  • Selecting, setting up and managing technology and processes.

  • Sourcing: managing job ads, online sourcing, offline and online campaigns, referral and alumni programs, networking and events.

  • Applications and conducting interviews.

  • Psychometric and behavioral assessments.

  • Background and reference checks.

  • Making and negotiating an offer.

  • Managing any 3rd party vendors if required.

  • Onboarding.

  • Reporting.


This flexibility of being able to pick and choose required elements  is one of the reasons why RPO is being more and more often chosen by the companies across the globe.


However, the list of advantages is long - below we listed the main benefits of RPO:


1. Scalability


You can ramp up and scale down the operations anytime, which is especially beneficial to organisations affected by seasonal demands or those starting off new projects that requires niche skills. RPO allows to scale up the operations when required which means that the peaks and valleys of recruitment don’t affect the business.  


2. Quality of new hires


RPO processes and technology are designed or selected especially to identify and hire the best talent in the market for each organisation. Every step of the process serves a purpose of selecting the highest quality candidates within the certain area or sector. The teams dedicated to recruitment have deep knowledge of specific marketplaces which means  they can quickly identify the best talent.


3. Reduced costs


This is often named to be one of the main reasons why companies turn to RPO. Managing a recruitment process often requires purchasing slots on different job boards, technology and often using headhunters. An RPO provider reduces these costs by streamlining the entire process. On many occasions, RPO proved to be significantly more cost-efficient to the organisations using their own internal HR resources.


4. Reduced time to hire


RPO providers design resource models to overcome the challenge of tight deadlines and reduce time-to-fill. RPO resources are allocated based on requirements with teams dedicated solely to reaching agreed objectives. This means that in many cases, companies using RPO providers will notice some or even significant improvement in terms of the time between beginning of the recruitment process to its completion.


5. Access to market knowledge & expertise


Good quality RPO providers not only possess but also share their market knowledge, experience and expertise with their clients. Knowing the past and emerging trends in recruitment across different sectors and disciplines is what saves organisations time and money.


6. New and improved process


RPO can help to develop new sourcing and recruitment processes, build-up or improve existing ones or create processes that could complement existing ones. All of these are based on in-depth research and understanding of the internal needs of each organisation and on the market knowledge and experience of the providers.


7. Measurable recruitment function


It’s expected that RPO providers track and measure their performance. The data should be accessible to the organisation working with an RPO provider at any time through real-time reporting which gives companies more control over the number and costs of hiring staff, tracking of application volumes, pipeline and application-to-hire ratios. The final reports can and should be created on the completion of the RPO project which allow companies to easily measure ROI and conduct any internal audits.


8.  Access to technology and tools


RPO providers often have access to the latest technologies and tools that are used for anything from drafting the most effective job ads, online sourcing, application management, screening and assessment software and many others. What’s more, RPO providers may be able to secure better prices and deals on behalf of their clients, saving them time, money, and resources.   


In the world of RPO, It's the service buyers, not providers, who decides on every aspect of the service such as what, when, and how the project should be executed. Third-party management, flexibility, and standardization of processes are not the only perks of recruitment outsourcing. It often depends on the outsourcing companies what kind of benefits they’ll gain from using an RPO provider.


If you’d like to find out more about RPO, take a look at our video or check out the results of our RPO survey.

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