If a business is to reap the many benefits Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) can offer, it needs to ensure it adopts the right programme. Opting for a one-size-fits-all solution is rarely the right approach.
The RPO market has in recent years has experienced rapid growth. With businesses across the globe beginning to understand the competitive advantages of RPO, it’s not tough to see why hiring managers and HR pros are seeking to ride the crest of the wave – especially when we consider the complex and increasingly challenging global talent market.
But though times are tough, it’s essential businesses don’t rush towards adopting the first RPO solution put before them. HR teams need to think smart, work out what their business needs, and then opt for the RPO model that’s best for business.
Yes, RPO has the potential to free up time for HR teams to focus on other aspects of their job, yes, it can massively improve time-to-hire, and yes, it’s potentially the most effective way of acquiring top talent. But to achieve these outcomes, it has to be a good RPO solution from an RPO provider that understands what you want to achieve.
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Why the RPO market is growing so quickly
A few decades ago, the world of work was a very different place. People stayed in their jobs for years, their companies for decades, and their profession for life. Today, however, the way people work is more flexible, agile and for HR professionals trying to hire new talent, complex.
The current complexity is exacerbated with the present job market. In almost every major economy, unemployment is at record lows, while skills shortages are present across almost every sector. Finding the right talent has never been so difficult.
“87% of companies are having trouble recruiting high potential talent according to their definition of top quality employees. Today, 79% of organizations admit that they have a skills gap. The same 79% admit they lack a full understanding of how to resolve it.”
– Aberdeen Group
What RPO solutions offer businesses is a streamlined, end-to-end recruitment process executed by expert recruiters entirely dedicated to their success. With HR departments stretched, the add-ons an RPO solution offers – such as employer branding, technology implementation, worker data analysis, and employee engagement strategies – are the competitive advantages a business needs to succeed in today’s tough talent marketplace.
Why using an RPO should be a strategic decision
Adopting any workforce solution should always be an important decision, and should align with your strategic workforce plan. While the benefits of recruitment process outsourcing, in particular, are plentiful, without the right strategic planning, the chances of it being a runaway success are reduced. That’s not to say you won’t still see a positive ROI, but you might not achieve what’s truly possible if you’re not thinking strategically from the get-go.
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Questions to ask before adopting an RPO solution
To ensure you don’t end up with a generic, one-size-fits-all RPO solution, you need to ensure you ask the right questions before you speak to workforce solution providers. To gain the most benefits of RPO, the solution needs to be completely aligned with your business.
Culturally, it needs to reflect what matters to you, structurally, it needs to integrate with your business, and financially it needs to make business sense. But first, you need to work out what’s best for your business or department.
Here are, in my opinion, some of the most important questions you need to ask:
1. How significant is your expected volume of hiring, and is it set to increase in the future?
When the need for permanent hiring increases, so does the complexity. Internal HR functions become stretched, and most often, a business chooses to employ external recruitment agencies to plug gaps. Not only does this often lead to increased costs, but it also means new hires don’t fully connect with your employer brand and EVP throughout the recruitment process – which inevitably means new starters are less aligned with company culture. The faster a business grows, the higher the risk.An effective RPO provider, however, serves as a specialist extension to you HR, talent acquisition or recruitment team. They help you to develop your employer brand (where necessary), employ your EVP throughout the recruitment process, and ultimately act as a strategic extension of your existing team
2. What tangible business value can an RPO solution deliver?
No two RPO solutions are the same. While some take care of the whole recruitment process, others replace or complement existing functions within a business. To work out the value of investing in an RPO solution, you first need to work out how well your existing teams perform. For underperforming functions, an RPO provider is perhaps the best way to go.
Of course, an RPO solution doesn’t just optimise costs, time-to-hire and headcount, it has softer benefits to a business. From talent analytics to recruitment technology implementation, an RPO can introduce new, optimal ways of working, without the significant investment one would usually have to make to procure, install and train for new tech.
3. How can an RPO solution benefit your existing HR and talent acquisition teams?
One of the biggest advantages of an RPO solution for HR teams is the amount of time it frees up to focus on other aspects of their job. HR teams are under a significant amount of pressure, with the situation set to worsen if the current employment trends continue.
An RPO solution can free up HR teams time to focus on areas outside of the hiring process. Consider which other parts of their roles HR are struggling with. Through an RPO solution, you can not only improve the efficiency of hiring but also improve the output of your existing HR teams.
4. Who is the best workforce solutions provider to deliver the best RPO for your business?
It’s easy to go for the cheapest option. But as with anything in life, the cheap option is rarely the best. To achieve optimal value, choose an RPO provider aligned with your company culture, has the scale to meet your hiring needs and is agile enough to be able to shift when your business grows.
For big businesses, it’s also worth factoring in an RPO provider’s global capabilities. If you expand to new markets, you’ll need an RPO provider with the requisite expertise embedded within their teams – from compliance experts to regional recruiters
To sum up…
The growth of the recruitment process outsourcing market is not a passing trend – it’s a reflection of the increasingly complex talent market. For businesses who hire at scale – especially those seeking to grow – an RPO solution makes a great deal of sense.
Make the right decision and you’ll get the flexibility and agility to hire when and when you need, an employer brand and EVP that resonates with the highest value candidates, direct access to expert recruiters embedded with your business culture, and the latest technology.
But to achieve this, you need to ask yourself the right questions to ensure the RPO provider you partner with is right for your business.