Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is helping organizations improve operational efficiency and quality of hires while reducing costs. 

But to fully understand RPO, it is vital to first grasp what it is not: contingent staffing. Such agencies are often referred to as contingency firms or temporary placement agencies. Organizations primarily seek out contingent staffing agencies on a requisition-by-requisition basis (i.e., when hiring needs arise) for a supply of temporary or “temp-to-hire” employees. For example, a company needs three forklift drivers stat. In this situation, organizational leaders might look to contingent staffing firms to deliver several candidates willing to take the job tomorrow.

Why Choose an RPO Partner Over a Staffing Agency
One issue with contingent staffing agencies is that there are clones (competitors) at every corner providing the same services. Many businesses will partner with multiple staffing agencies at any given time to expedite the recruitment process. As a result, immediacy is and will always be the name of the game; reimbursement for these firms hinges on their ability to fend off competing firms and place people before competitors swoop in with their own prospective candidates. Although contingent staffing agencies can prove effective, the rapidness often means experience, quality of hire, and hiring manager and candidate satisfaction are not considered.

RPO providers offer strategic services uniquely built around their clients’ needs. That is, they act as an extension of the organization’s internal recruitment function and handle the entire new hire lifecycle from sourcing through onboarding and often exit management. Although handling these functions in a timely fashion is imperative, unlike staffing agencies, qualitative metrics like the previously mentioned quality of hire and hiring manager and candidate satisfaction are also a prominent focus.

Reliable Staffing Long-Term
RPO partnerships are meant to be long-term, so teams can build sustainable talent pipelines, establish and grow talent communities, enable leaders to focus on strategic initiatives, and reduce employee attrition. This is executed through a service delivery structure that dedicates expert recruitment teams to each client. These teams, though technically employed by the RPO provider, become an extension of the client organization. As a result, recruiters are completely immersed in the client’s culture and always accessible. In essence, the RPO provider becomes 100% accountable for the recruitment function to provide a more efficient, less expensive, and customized recruiting solution.

Proactive Versus Reactive
Across the globe, there is always the need for talent. Businesses grow and new positions develop; employees move on and attrition occurs. This creates the need for quality talent in a timely fashion — especially because growth and turnover storm through an organization daily, rarely leaving time to adjust to the swift and sudden changes they cause. The primary difference between contingent staffing and RPO can be found here:

  • Contingent staffing providers are reactive. Organizations react to turnover, growth or hiring needs by seeking the services of contingent staffing firms after the need arises. These agencies will identify and recruit talent based on current needs with the goal of recruiting and filling all positions as quickly as possible. This is talent acquisition.

  • RPO providers are proactive. Conversely, other organizations are proactive by seeking partnerships with RPO providers to bridge the gap between talent acquisition, talent management and talent strategy. As an extension of the organization, RPO offers proactive sourcing and builds talent pipelines and talent communities to ensure organizations are always prepared well in advance of need.

Why HR Leaders Should Care
When recruitment processes are handled internally, HR departments need to post job descriptions wherever possible, including on job boards and social media networks. They must also actively engage candidates on forums day after day. They spend countless time identifying, screening and interviewing candidates. HR teams are required to conduct background and reference checks, skill testing, as well as gauge personality, work style and cultural fit too. Additionally, HR departments need to handle post-employment tasks like evaluating performance and hiring manager satisfaction. With the rise of RPO, many businesses have third-party partners that handle these laborious and cost-hungry tasks by providing comprehensive, transparent services and tailored execution with evidence-based insight to achieve transformational results.

Interested in learning more about the trends leading the global movement to RPO? Check out this complimentary Cielo whitepaper: Get It Right to Get Results: Creating the Business Case for RPO.