So, you are a great agency recruiter with an amazing network of clients and candidates, but you really want to take your career up a notch and move into the dynamic world of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). This post will help point you toward the right company and role.

The best way to start your search is by asking yourself these questions:

  • How will I identify prospective employers?
  • What is my entry strategy?
  • What tools do I need to enter this space?
  • What will be different from my current role?

Let us explore each of these in turn.

Finding Prospective Employers

The quickest way to identify prospective employers is to check out HRO Today’s website and view the recent Baker’s Dozen results. This will list the major players globally and by region. Alternatively, visit a ratings company such as Nelson Hall that provides analysis on the RPO sector. Finally, a good old fashioned Boolean search will bring up a wealth of options for your region.

Entry Strategy

Think about how you would answer the following question: “Why are you interested in joining an RPO company?” Top tip - avoid generic responses such as, “Time for a career change!”

Consider where you can bring specific value with your knowledge and skills, and make sure to show awareness that you will not have the full toolkit just yet. Apply for the right level of role to ensure you are considered, and check that the location would work for you. Finally, get to know the in-house RPO recruiters – as these people will become your new best friends.

Required Toolkit

Technical skills to find the best passive and active candidates are a given. To stand out from your competition, you will also need to demonstrate great stakeholder engagement, autonomy, determination and the ability to be flexible and innovative. Remember, you have to fill all the roles you work on.

RPO vs Agency Life

You will likely be dedicated to one company and representing them in the market, branded as the client itself. You could be based at the client’s site, sitting among their HR team and rubbing shoulders with hiring managers in the cafeteria. If you prefer delivery over business development, then RPO is definitely for you. You will not have a financial target. Instead, you will be measured on aspects such as shortlist quality, time-to-hire, client satisfaction and age of open positions.

A career in RPO opens a world of future possibilities. Getting in at the right time in your career and into a role that plays to your skills is key to ensuring success. Be prepared for change and for challenging yourself to learn new ways of working and interacting with clients. Above all, be ready for the ride and to have a lot of fun doing something you will be great at.

This post was contributed by Cielo’s Phil Smith, Head of Talent Acquisition & Engagement.