A few myths still linger regarding healthcare Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and the value of strategic talent partnerships in this industry. In this article, we aim to quell those myths with facts that reveal why a talent partnership may be in your organization’s best interest.

Myth #1: RPO is a temporary fad in the Healthcare sector.

The global healthcare industry is currently 7.2 million workers short. The World Health Organization expects that number will rise to 12.9 million by 2035.

According to the Aberdeen Group, nearly half of all healthcare organizations are overcoming current and future hiring challenges by investing in strategic RPO partnerships. An Everest Group study revealed the U.S. Healthcare RPO market grew by 50% to approximately $120-140 million in 2013 alone. Significant growth has continued since then, and the market is expected to become even larger.

Engaging an RPO healthcare recruiter will help you find and retain the best talent for your organization. It will also give you the capability to pull from outside the industry for new opportunities. As the healthcare sector continues to experience rapid change and organizations evolve their talent acquisition functions, there will remain a need for strategic RPO partners – particularly those with deep industry experience.

Myth #2: RPO is expensive and defeats the purpose of cost reduction initiatives.

Cielo Healthcare helps organizations reduce their total recruitment costs by 30% on average. RPO partnership brings these costs down in many ways, 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. By nature, a partnership means it is in both parties’ best interests to reduce overall recruitment costs while increasing the quality of hires. This is almost never true for one-off, transactional solutions.

Myth #3: An 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 satisfaction. They also provide frequent and consistent reports on these metrics. Cielo Healthcare regularly helps organizations achieve 96% new-hire satisfaction even while reducing recruitment costs. Organizations with optimized talent selection and management strategies are proven to achieve better HCAHPS scores.

Myth #4: RPO leads to a lack of control and transparency.

Some believe that engaging a recruitment partner leads to a lack of control and transparency – a belief escalated by the fact that team members are often not working at the same physical location. This perspective is outdated. Hundreds of hospitals and health systems worldwide achieve success whether their recruitment partnerships are virtual or onsite. Cielo Healthcare provides fully transparent metrics on your team’s performance. This keeps us accountable and helps you monitor the work being done.

When it comes to control, it is important to understand that while RPO partners drive the talent acquisition process and enable fact-based decision making, final hiring decisions always remain in the hands of the organizations they partner with.

Myth #5: RPO Partnerships require "all or nothing."

Not true. The Aberdeen study revealed only 7% of healthcare organizations leveraging RPO have invested in end-to-end partnerships. 36% of healthcare organizations are strictly investing in job-based RPO, while 34% are investing in selective RPO (i.e., outsourcing certain components of the talent acquisition cycle).

The best RPO providers collaborate with organizations to uncover whether it makes more sense to augment current processes or build from scratch. Experts with deep domain experience evaluate current operations, identify needs and customize solutions to meet the organization’s goals.

Myth #6: RPO providers' solutions are reactionary.

When asked to identify the top strategic activity in human capital management, Aberdeen research showed that 70% of healthcare organizations investing in RPO cited, “Identifying gaps between the supply and the demand for talent.” This is a forward planning activity. RPO partners proactively build talent pipelines and talent communities to ensure organizations are prepared well in advance of hiring need, relieving a great deal of pressure.

Leading RPO providers support the specific needs of each healthcare organization – including quantifying the skills needed for the future, interpreting metrics and creating a talent plan for today but also for the years ahead.

Myth #7: An RPO Partnership dilutes culture and employer brand.

According to Aberdeen Group research, 25% of best-in-class organizations investing in RPO indicate that they are outsourcing employer branding practices to their RPO partner.

Cielo Healthcare’s teams are immersed in our partners’ culture, mission, values and brand before they begin to serve. We are the organization’s talent acquisition team – and therefore fully trained stewards of the company’s employer brand. That is why this myth is especially strange to us, as Cielo’s brand promise of WE BECOME YOU™ has proven to support and strengthen employer brands.

Myth #8: Candidate and applicant experiences are not priorities for RPO providers.

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 82% of applicants expect to be communicated with regarding their application regardless of intent to hire, but only 25% are actually contacted. RPO providers eliminate this proverbial candidate black hole and any potential damages to employer brand, market share and patient perception by ensuring a high-touch candidate experience. Dedicated recruitment teams act as a central point of contact for all candidates, and manage the gap between an accepted offer and the candidate’s first day.

Cielo Healthcare consistently achieves near-perfect candidate and new-hire satisfaction rates. These are two of the many metrics frequently tracked by best-in-class RPO providers to ensure exceptional candidate and applicant experience.

Myth #9: RPO is not for clinical healthcare roles.

Healthcare organizations have historically used agencies to fill clinical roles, but RPO provides that capability while reducing costs, increasing efficiency and improving effectiveness. Everest Group research states increased sourcing by the RPO provider, process efficiency and economies of scale all serve to bring costs down without sacrificing results.

The demand for skilled workers in healthcare vastly outpaces growth of the talent supply chain. RPOs are uniquely positioned to find the nurses, therapists, physicians and other highly skilled individuals you need. So it is not a matter of RPO being wrong for clinical healthcare roles – it is a matter of finding the RPO with the right strategies and industry expertise.

Myth #10: RPO thinly veils recruiting challenges, but never fixes them.

Healthcare providers occasionally engage RPOs with the hope recruiting challenges will magically disappear without any effort on their part. While dedicated teams improve an organization’s ability to source, attract and recruit top talent, RPO is a relationship requiring efforts by both parties to initiate process improvement and rectify problem areas.

Improving talent acquisition begins by working with your RPO partner to uncover the root of recruiting problems, and ultimately making the necessary internal changes backed by the RPO provider’s cutting edge technology, expertise and resources. Together, all challenges can be overcome.

Healthcare RPO Myths Busted

Recruitment Process Outsourcing has demonstrated a strategic competitive advantage for hospitals and health systems worldwide. Full partnership may not be the solution to all healthcare talent acquisition challenges, but by dispelling the myths about RPO, we hope to spark conversations about the transformational results it can help you achieve.

For more information, download the Everest Report entitled, Recruitment Process Outsourcing: Good Medicine for Healthcare Recruiting.


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