The technology behind recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)
Pam Beard

3 minutes

The technology behind recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)

For decades, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has enabled smart businesses to procure the volume and quality of employees they need to thrive – while also enjoying cost savings. Today, with acute skills shortages restricting the availability of top talent across the UK and beyond, access to elite talent solutions has never been more vital.

An RPO provider’s main purpose is to ensure that your business gets the best hires during permanent recruitment campaigns, even in markets which are notoriously difficult. With recruitment process outsourcing, the time, energy and expertise in sourcing, screening, and onboarding new staff ensures that a business gets the best talent. RPO providers can also offer compliance support, manage talent pooling to avoid future skills gaps, and provide strategic insight and advice in areas like employment branding.

For hiring managers, recruitment process outsourcing is also more cost-effective than traditional recruitment. Project RPO is most often measured on time-to-hire, cost-of-hire, and quality-of-hire, as the provider’s role is to ensure that permanent vacancies do not remain open for months at a time. A fully optimised RPO solution ensures that these negative factors remain at a minimum – and technology is key to success.

The four technology pillars of RPO

Keeping up with industry innovation can be tricky for internal talent acquisition teams. With both budgets and talent pools tightening, investing hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds in recruitment technology can make even the most ambitious companies wince.

RPO solutions, however, come with the latest talent technology - from high-tech VMS platforms to data analysis tools - built into the service offering, to ensure that clients acquire the talent they need to succeed.

Today, taking a digital-first approach to the hiring process enables businesses to reach their talent objectives, while also exceeding jobseekers’ expectations around candidate experience in the process.

The four tech pillars of RPO, which make these outcomes possible, are:

  1. an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  2. a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tool
  3. a dedicated careers site; and
  4. an internal talent community platform.

Together, these systems enable a seamless, first-class recruitment and onboarding process, which benefits hirers and candidates alike. A modern ATS seamlessly manages, monitors and compliantly records the entire recruitment process, while a great CRM enables relevant and timely communications with networks and effective talent pooling. Dedicated careers sites and internal community platforms, meanwhile, make ideal vehicles for employer value proposition messaging as well as acting as a perfect portal for personalised, direct candidate or employee support.

Beyond these technological must-haves, however, the most forward-thinking recruitment process outsourcing providers are now also exploring the potential of cutting-edge tools which utilise artificial intelligence to boost the power of RPO solutions even further.

Integrating AI into recruitment process outsourcing

Here at Guidant, we recently worked with a US government contractor that was expanding its operations into Ireland and needed to build an entire new team locally. Through harnessing the power of technology, we were able to increase candidate engagement remotely through a quick but comprehensive recruitment process, underpinned by chatbot and video interviewing technology. We used bespoke chatbots from Leadoo to remove the need for manual screening and used video interview software Hinterview to engage with qualified candidates. This strategy removed an entire round of initial screening, saving up to 75 hours across 100 applicants alone and reduced time-to-hire from 20 days to 10. The increased speed of selection can be attributed to our partnership with Leadoo, while Hinterview added an important ‘human touch’ when face-to-face meetings were not possible.

Elsewhere, digital assessment technology provides remote, interactive assessments, auto-scored tasks, and asks questions to make sure a candidate can perform a given job. Artificial intelligence technology identifies whether the person is using Google to look up answers to questions., for example, is fully automated and offers a deep catalogue of job descriptions across most major industries, which benefits managers hiring for new tech skills. Traitify, meanwhile, provides cultural fit assessments through picture-based and short word testing. Through partnering with companies such as these, we are able to streamline the vetting process and take bias out of the equation. This increases the quality of hires and ensures that successful applicants have both the hard and soft skills they need to do the job.

For internal recruiting teams, recruitment process outsourcing transfers all or part of the hiring process to unrivalled staffing experts who have the knowledge, experience, and tech tools to manage recruitment campaigns that would be impossible to implement internally. RPO services are also the most cost-effective way for businesses to meet their talent acquisition ambitions.

It is worth noting that some recruitment businesses may claim to offer genuine RPO solutions, without actually having the expertise or technology embedded within their offerings. Simply recruiting permanent staff is not an RPO solution - it’s just recruitment.

Historically, only large organisations used RPO. But over recent years – especially with the rise of technology – medium-sized businesses are using recruitment process outsourcing solutions to their advantage. For any business that hires permanent staff on a regular basis, an RPO solution makes a great deal of financial, structural, and strategic sense.

Technology is changing our world. It’s also changing recruitment process outsourcing. From talent analytics to machine-learning, candidate screening to automated sourcing, the best RPO providers harness advanced talent technology to provide a highly-efficient, cost-effective hiring process. And as technology advances, genuine RPO service providers will too, in order to deliver for their customers in a better way.