What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)?

Recruitment process outsourcing — a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) — is the process of a company transferring all or part of its permanent recruitment to a third-party expert. The RPO (Guidant Global, for example) is responsible for sourcing and placing people within a business, and typically has employees based onsite, embedded within the HR function for the business. An effective RPO programme roots a talent acquisition team, the latest technology, and flexible processes within an organisation.

What are the benefits of RPO?

From forecasting to reporting, RPO solutions take full ownership of the design of the recruitment process. As RPO providers are experts in every aspect of contemporary and traditional recruitment, they are one of the most cost-effective outsourcing solutions for businesses.
1. Efficiency

Hiring talent takes time. Sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, onboarding. It’s not a simple or cheap process. Utilising an RPO solution puts these long, arduous and often fruitless tasks in the hands of experts who have access to large talent pools. These pools can be leveraged to get your business the best talent — improving time to hire and quality of hire.

2. Compliance

Compliance is not a word that piques the interest of many. But with ever-changing employment laws and processes, an RPO solution makes sure that every hire is compliant with local laws. Which is especially helpful when a business works across multiple geographies.

3. Extension of HR

The RPO's onsite talent acquisition team becomes an extension of the business' HR function, getting to know the dynamics of the business and its hiring requirements intimately - equating to a better experience for hiring managers and stronger relationships built between the RPO and the business.

4. Industry insight

As the embedded team are employees of the RPO, they have access to thought leadership, seminars, leading research and knowledge of the RPO - this includes access to the services of the RPO’s central functions. A large RPO programme is often set up with Resourcing Business Partners (RBPs) aligned to business verticals. For example, the IT vertical focused RBP will provide an ‘expert-to-expert’ consultative service to the IT Hiring Manager, again adding insight and value beyond simply a recruiter filling roles across multiple categories of labour.

Two women in a meeting

What are the typical RPO services?

1. End-to-end RPO

An end-to-end RPO can be used in a single business division, a single market, or a global enterprise.

2. Project RPO

A Project RPO is used to quickly bring in experts to fulfil a short-term staffing need, on a single project basis. For example, launching a new sales division.

3. On-demand RPO

Similar to a Project RPO but more short-term, an on-demand RPO involves recruiters joining your team for a short period of time to rapidly attract and hire the talent you need.

What technology is used in RPO solutions?

Technology is changing our world. It’s changing RPO too. From talent analytics to machine-learning, candidate screening to automated sourcing, the best RPO providers harness the latest technology to provide a highly-efficient, cost-effective hiring process. And as technology advances, RPO providers will too.

Typically an RPO would provide technology covering:

1. An ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

2. A CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) tool

3. A dedicated careers site

4. An internal talent community platform

Two men in hard hats shaking hands

Is RPO a good fit for your company?

For most organisations, an RPO can be a boon to business. Historically, only large organisations used an RPO. But over recent years — especially with the rise of technology — small and medium-sized businesses are using RPO solutions to their advantage.

Unsure if it’s right for your business? Get in touch

Contact us

Our team of workforce solutions experts are always on hand to talk to you about your hiring needs. Fill in the form to get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.