There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. That's because RPO should always be customised to your business needs and requirements at that moment in time, and it should evolve with your business. However, there should be some standard stages that you think about along the way, utilising the very best recruitment methods and techniques we have learned over the years:

Relationship Building

RPO isn’t outsourcing in the traditional sense, where every aspect of a task is overseen by an outside agency. Instead, it is a partnership where two organisations come together in unison – like a good wine and a good cheese – to find the best talent. That’s why it’s essential to build a strong, solid relationship with your chosen resourcing partner. Think about questions to ask an RPO provider to ensure they’re a great fit for your company and culture now and in the future. A short, sharp fix based on price alone is shortsighted thinking for a business with long-term aspirations.

Job Scoping

Once you’ve selected an RPO partner, it’s time to engage with the Recruitment Business Partner. They work for you now as a trusted adviser and talent acquisition expert. Discuss the core skills required for the vacant position, and the necessary qualifications of potential candidates. They need to know what good looks like from within, and they will give their view on what good looks like from the outside. This stage isn’t just about the job but about your organisation, too. You don’t just need someone who can do the job — you need someone who can do the job within your specific environment, and possibly grow with the organisation. An increasing number of employees are unhappy at work, something that the RPO process aims to address directly through the hiring process. As they say in the IT world, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).

Candidate Relationship Building

This part of the process is about nurturing new relationships (building the talent pipeline), and providing a great candidate experience. According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 75% of candidates never receive feedback after applying for a new job, and a good RPO partner should be able to eradicate this “candidate black hole.” They should have a track record of building an extensive network of candidates with a wide range of skills and experience – not just those roles you recruit for frequently, but those that require a search for scarce talent. They should also present an opportunity for you to target a wider audience and increase the awareness of your brand through email, phone and social media platforms.

Interviews & Assessments

Ultimately, the interview and assessment stage will be based upon your own internal hiring processes, but you still should gain constructive feedback on it. Many organisations also ask their RPO partner to undertake a “behavioural interview” or “psychometric test,” which looks at general skills, motivation and personality. This can help ensure your hire is a good cultural fit. This assists in reducing the workload of hiring managers. 82% of employers surveyed believe cultural fit is important (Deloitte Human Capital Management Trends), and they’re right! A culture is your company’s personality, encompassing your values and beliefs, and it also helps to drive talent to your business. Feedback, pre-interview assessments, and scheduling can all be taken care of by the partner, reducing the workload of your managers and admin staff.

Making an Offer

The offer stage should never be underestimated as part of the candidate experience. During the process, the RPO provider should be checking other processes the candidate is involved in and ensuring they have the correct, package details and that the business understands their expectations. As a partner, your RPO provider should present the offer, handle negotiations, along with checks and references. This will save your business time, especially with HR managers claiming that checking references is one of the most time-consuming aspects of recruitment. Our approach at Cielo is to make the transition as smooth as possible, collating information from all relevant departments, and acting as a single point of contact for the new hire. We have The Bridge Pre-employment team that is dedicated to shepherding the candidate through the process, from their start date up to the end of their third month on the job.

These recommendations may appear simple and straightforward, but research suggests that organisations are finding the process challenging to follow, due to time constraints and a lack of available resources. Only 45% of employers make use of digital recruitment technologies, such as video interviewing or online assessments. They know it exists, but like the parent who used to ask the child to program the VCR, they simply don’t know how to use it. That’s where proven, experienced talent acquisition specialists can help. By using the most effective and efficient practices, an RPO provider can significantly transform your HR department for the better and have a significant impact on your bottom line.


Post contributed by David Tully, New Business Development Director. Follow him on Twitter and connect with David on LinkedIn.