While it is true that Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is not always the right solution, there are times when that decision is based on false assumptions. We have collected nine common misconceptions regarding RPO that you can sift through to make sure your organization has all the right information when assessing its talent acquisition needs.

1) RPO is a temporary fad

RPO has seen explosive growth in the two-plus decades it has been in existence and is only getting bigger. In a true test of its durability, it has also evolved to meet the changing needs of clients, becoming more strategic and nuanced with each iteration.

The initial phase – RPO 1.0 – saw rapid growth as RPO partners met key needs for buyers around direct and measurable benefits like cost reduction and process efficiency. RPO 2.0 grew the recruitment outsourcing service to take a more holistic approach that considered more nuanced and granular aspects of cost and business impact. RPO 3.0 offered strategic value creation in a rapidly evolving world. The latest development is RPO 4.0: a more dynamic, reliable and agile model that will shape the future of talent acquisition delivery, especially as workforces remain more distributed. RPO still might be relatively young, but it is here to stay.

2) An RPO partner is too expensive

It is not guaranteed that an RPO partnership will always be the least expensive option, but there are several ways that RPO providers help bring down costs, including:

  • Faster and more precise sourcing
  • Decreased agency spend
  • Reduced time-to-fill
  • Lower turnover
  • Overall improved efficiency

Investing in a talent acquisition partnership optimizes financial and operational health over time and for the long haul. Both partners have a vested interest to reduce overall recruitment costs while increasing the quality of hires. This is something that is seldom true for one-off, transactional solutions.

3) RPO partnership is transactional and does not focus on quality

Unlike staffing agencies, which are entirely transactional, RPO partners track qualitative metrics such as hiring manager satisfaction, quality of hire, and candidate experience. They also provide frequent and consistent reports on these metrics. Cielo Healthcare, for instance, regularly helps organizations achieve 96% new-hire satisfaction while still reducing recruitment costs.

4) RPO leads to a lack of control and transparency

Organizations worldwide achieve success whether their RPO partnerships are virtual or on-site. While your RPO team might not be in the same physical location as your in-house team, this does not mean they are not accountable to you. RPO partners should provide fully transparent metrics on their performance to keep themselves accountable to you. As for control, RPO partners will drive the talent acquisition process and help you make informed decisions, but final hiring decisions are still yours to make.

5) RPO partnerships require “all or nothing”

The best RPO providers collaborate with organizations to determine whether it makes more sense to enhance current processes or build new ones from scratch. Experts with deep experience evaluate what is currently being done, identify needs, and then customize solutions to help your organization meet its goals.

6) RPO providers’ solutions are reactionary

Taking a proactive approach should be at the core of any RPO partnership. Yes, the immediate hiring needs will be filled, but RPO partners also work to build talent pipelines and talent communities to ensure that organizations are prepared for the future, addressing situations before they become emergencies. They support your organization’s specific needs, including quantifying the skills required, interpreting metrics and creating a talent plan for today and in the future.

7) RPO partnership dilutes culture and employer brand

Taking on employer brand practices is becoming table stakes for RPO providers. Cielo's WE BECOME YOU™ philosophy, for instance, directs us to become immersed in our partners’ culture, mission, values and brand. We are the organization’s talent team and being fully trained stewards of the employer brand is a huge part of that.

8) Candidate and applicant experiences are not priorities for RPO providers

Research shows that while most candidates and applicants expect to have some communication with the organization – regardless of intent to hire – not many are actually contacted. In other words, they fall into the proverbial candidate black hole. This damages employer brand, and possibly consumer brand as well, since organizations need to think of candidates as customers. RPO partners know this, and candidate experience is a major priority in the partnership. Dedicated recruitment teams act as a central contact point for all candidates, and manage the gap between an accepted offer and the candidate’s first day of work.

9) RPO means an organization can now be “hands-off” about talent acquisition

Simply entering into an RPO partnership will not magically make all your recruiting challenges vanish. Dedicated recruitment teams do expand an organization’s ability to source, attract and recruit top talent, but the real success comes when both parties work together to improve processes and fix other problem areas. It begins with the organization and RPO provider identifying the root of the talent acquisition issues, then using the RPO partner’s cutting-edge technologies, expertise and resources to make the necessary changes.

Now that you know the truth about RPO, learn more about how it can help your organization achieve transformational results. Check out “10 Reasons to Outsource Recruitment” and “Creating the Business Case for RPO.”