Could an RPO accelerate our transition?

There’s often confusion surrounding RPOs. What do they do? What don’t they do? Is an RPO the right fit for your specific business? Is your business too small to use an RPO? In this section, we’ll answer all your RPO-related questions.


What’s an RPO and what do they do?

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is a model in which an organisation transfers the responsibility for permanent recruitment, both internal and external, to a partner. An RPO provider will be responsible for the end-to-end management of the recruitment workflow, from planning to onboarding.

This model is often implemented in a bid to take a more strategic approach to hiring. An effective 21st century RPO program installs a client-branded on-site talent acquisition team, along with the latest software and tools. Furthermore, it will develop your employer brand to boost talent attraction. 

A 21st century RPO is different from a traditional recruitment strategy or generalist HR model because it doesn’t just fill vacancies reactively, it embeds itself within an organisation and fundamentally changes the way a company attracts, engages, and hires talent. It uses the latest techniques across branding and sourcing to build thriving talent pipelines ahead of business demand. These talent pipelines are deliberately created to align with the organisation’s wider HR and business goals.   

COLLABZ founder Louis Cross says: “The 21st Century RPO model has an enormous impact on an organisation, which is why we’ve seen the electrifying growth of the RPO/Direct sourcing market.” 

The business cases are wide-reaching but typically you can expect:

  • Better access to higher quality talent
  • HR freed up to focus on strategic goals
  • Cost efficiencies (Louis: “Although I always say, even though you will, you don’t buy an RPO to save money”) through reduction in recruitment agency and advertising spend 
  • Agility and scalability 
  • Transparency and improved recruitment metrics (empty chair time, conversion ratios, cost per hire, quality of hire, time to productivity)  
  • An accelerated vision for a future-fit resourcing/recruitment model
  • 100% compliance 
  • Improved insights surrounding your competition 
  • A better-positioned employer brand within your target market 

Of course, RPO differs from vendor to vendor, each with their own specialisms. Although no two programs are the same, you should expect a good provider to be strategic. The RPO should design and manage a hiring process fit for today’s challenges, position your brand to attract the right talent, ensure maximum efficiency through technology, provide regular data analysis, and measure the effectiveness of the relationship through dashboards and reports.    

What isn’t an RPO?

As with many new ideas and evolving propositions, there is some noise that cloaks RPO. However, this is mainly because many vendors are simply jumping on the bandwagon and failing to properly deliver RPO. Indeed, many recruitment agencies will claim to offer genuine RPO models without actually having the expertise or technology within their offerings. Simply installing a recruiter onsite with a LinkedIn license to recruit external talent is not an RPO solution, it’s an onsite recruitment agency solution.    

Louis says: “Though the industry is a lot more mature than it was ten years ago when I started, there are still agencies seeking to grow their sales revenue by following trends.”


What technology/software are you talking about?

Like any industry, technology is advancing at an electric pace in the HR/talent space. From analytics to machine learning and candidate screening to automated screening and scheduling, RPO providers tend to make big investments in technology. By harnessing the latest tech, they are able to provide an efficient and cost-effective hiring process that delivers great experiences for both candidates and hiring managers. 

Louis strongly advises your RPO provider has the following; 

  • A Demand planning tool: To encourage managers to forward plan 
  • An applicant management system (ATS): To manage the recruitment process workflow
  • A candidate relationship management system (CRM): To develop and nurture relationships with talent and house pipelines. 
  • A content management system (CMS): To manage your careers website and your library of employer brand assets 
  • A Referral Capability: To support the organisation by generating referrals from their employees.   

Louis says: “Most RPOs I’ve spoken with are also seeking to implement artificial intelligence in some form within their model – and to do this asap! I see this as an incredible breakthrough for big, global organisations with large data sets to optimise their solutions but it’s unlikely to play a huge role in smaller niche solutions for the time being. However, AI will likely comprise a significant part of RPOs in the next 5 to 10 years.”


Is RPO a good fit for you?

In a word, yes. For almost all organizations nowadays, RPO can be that edge that you’ve been looking for in the employment market. This may be surprising to some smaller businesses which believe that RPO is the domain of larger employers. 


Louis explains: “Historically speaking, you are right to think that only large organisations have used RPO and that RPOs only work with large companies. And this is still true for most. But in recent years, given the rise of tech and the accessibility of global resources, small and mid-sized companies are now able to take advantage of the undeniable benefits of RPO. For organisations that hire external talent on a regular basis – which we consider to be over three hires per month – RPO makes a lot of financial, structural, and strategic sense.
Collabz have got you covered. Take a look at our Masterplan or get in touch with Collabz here to book your free consultation.

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