By Stacey Harrison

A true Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) company knows that good hires are not just a matter of checking off the right boxes on a resume. Great RPO businesses not only fill roles but complete – or even transform – a work culture.

A true RPO company know that good hired are not just a matter of checking off the right boxes on a resume. It not only helps fill roles but completes - or even transforms - a culture.Working with an RPO business comes with the need to explain to people just what it is – and what it is not. But to do that, I wanted to become knowledgeable about it myself. That meant finding the right sources that would allow me to gather information about the talent acquisition industry and how it differs from everything else out there.

The main point to get across about RPO is the depth and immersion involved within specific industries. This goes way beyond filling positions with little to no concern for turnover rate. A true RPO business is not merely a vendor but a strategic partner, helping companies find the best permanent hire candidates who will ensure their business reaches its full potential.

Outsourcing Business Objectives

The term “outsourcing,” which I quickly came to know as “the ‘o’ word,” carries negative connotations of soulless corporate types mercilessly putting good people out of work just to increase the bottom line. The irony is that in the case of RPO, while we have “outsourcing” in the description, people are the focus. We are in the business of giving people jobs and in most cases, careers.

Some of the most rewarding moments from my first week at Cielo came from shadowing our recruiters and Impression Center agents who are on the phone with job seekers every day as they go through the interview process. It could be a gentleman who is not adept at navigating a company’s online application system but would still make a fine truck mechanic. Or it could be that single mom picking up the phone and finally hearing that she got the job.

These are folks who might have fallen through the cracks in a traditional post-and-pray recruitment scenario. But with RPO, we make sure the right jobs go to the right people.

The Basics of RPO Businesses

To learn the basics of RPO – and help me sound like I knew what I was talking about on day one – I needed to do some research.

HRO Today, a magazine for the Human Resource Outsourcing industry, has become essential reading for anyone looking to learn about RPO. You will find basic definitions and explanations about the industry, and you can dive deeper with articles, blogs, videos, webinars, whitepapers and more. It would be easy to spend a whole workday (but please, ask your manager first) just scratching the surface of all that is out there. HRO Today is also the originator of the annual Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings, a list that all reputable RPO companies strive to make.

Relevant Reading for RPO

Organizations like the Aberdeen Group, Everest Group, and NelsonHall regularly feature comprehensive research studies and market analyses relevant to RPO. After reading each one, you will feel like you just had a helpful session with a top-shelf consultant.

It is important to keep up with general business websites as well. Articles about labor markets, hiring practices, workplace cultures, employee engagement, and countless other topics might not directly deal with RPO but are relevant. We need to know about the world our client companies are living in.

It was a crash-course first week on the job, showing me that there is so much involved in the RPO business that goes beyond people’s basic conceptions of recruitment and outsourcing. I have learned a lot and cannot wait to learn more.