Are You Ready for RPO? 3 Questions to Ask

Shrinking talent pools, widening skills gaps and high turnover rates are driving companies across industries to look for new ways to boost their global talent acquisition program—including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO).

Whether your organisation is thinking of outsourcing some, most or all parts of your recruitment, an RPO partner can help. It’s not just about outsourcing your recruiting, it’s important to find the best partner to help manage the people, process, technology and strategy behind your talent acquisition function, which touches every employee, team and department within your business.

So, how do you know if RPO is the right choice for your organisation? In this article, we’ll cover three questions to ask to understand how your company can benefit from RPO.

Why RPO?

RPO is a cost-effective and scalable talent acquisition solution. Whether you’re looking for a regional solution or a multi-country partnership, RPO has been proven to boost the ability to hire at speed, manage the employer brand, streamline the candidate experience and maximise economies of scale across geographies.

Here are just a few of the benefits of RPO:

Improved Candidate Quality

Your RPO partner can help you boost your number of qualified candidates and the quality of hires. In fact, according to Aberdeen Group, 81% of best-in-class organisations say RPO helps to fill their skills gaps. This keeps hiring managers happy and helps your organisation achieve its goals while also boosting retention.

Better Candidate Experience

You want your recruitment process to leave every applicant, regardless of whether they get the role, with a positive experience. Your RPO team will provide consistent and honest feedback throughout the recruitment process, so they know exactly where they stand and what comes next.

Improved Hiring Manager Experience

Your RPO team reduces the administrative burden on your hiring managers by taking over résumé and CV screening, candidate assessment administration, initial interview steps, candidate communication and feedback tasks. RPO partners prepare hiring managers for interviews, provide them with feedback and identify any candidates at risk of dropping from the process so managers can make informed decisions.

Reduced Time-to-Fill

The longer a position goes unfilled, the more likely your business is to experience productivity loss—and loss of revenue. RPO teams are able to find candidates and fill roles faster by building and maintaining talent pipeline, providing quick access to qualified talent. By streamlining and optimising recruitment processes, improving the time-to-hire and retention rates, RPO providers can increase your recruiting return on investment and deliver real cost savings to your bottom line.

Improved Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In their global Diversity Wins report, McKinsey revealed organisations in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed laggards by 36% in terms of profitability. So, it’s imperative that recruitment is an element of your DE&I journey. RPO teams are knowledgeable about different talent attraction options and can expand to new job boards, social media groups, online forums and events to engage more diverse candidates. Plus, RPOs understand the regional nuances of DE&I issues. For example, in some countries like Poland, it is not legal to ask candidates their ethnicity, gender, etc.

Is RPO Right for Me?

So, how do you know if RPO is right for your business? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your talent acquisition approach slow and clunky or failing to meet your organization’s talent needs?
  • Do you lack the ability to scale your recruitment efforts up or down quickly as your business needs change?
  • Are you seeing high candidate dropout rates or low offer acceptance rates, which could indicate a bad candidate experience?
  • Are low conversion rates more pronounced for candidates from diverse backgrounds?
  • Are you hearing complaints from hiring managers about the quality of candidates?
  • Are new employees leaving your organization less than a year after joining?
  • Do your assessments and other selection tools need to be updated?
  • Do your in-house teams lack the cultural literacy to support recruitment in all regions?
  • Are your hiring costs going up?
  • Is the time it takes to fill positions getting longer?
  • Is your usage of talent acquisition technology immature or out-of-date?
  • Do you lack access to the right data to make workforce planning decisions?

If you answered “yes” to even a few of these questions, RPO can help you meet your talent acquisition goals.

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Is RPO Right for You?

What Should I Look for in an RPO Partner?

If you’ve decided to that RPO will be a good for your organisation, you may be wondering how you go about choosing the best provider. Below are just three things to consider in order to make RPO a truly transformational model for your business.

Partnership

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 30 years of developing talent acquisition programs, it’s that no two organisations are the same. That’s why it’s important to look for an RPO partner that is collaborative, that will listen to your ideas and take the time to truly understand your business and pain points.

We hear a lot from clients who have worked with other providers who tried to squeeze them into their standard program, and it just doesn’t work. RPO creates efficiencies and improvements to the candidate experience through repeatable processes, but these processes should be adapted to your unique needs and challenges. Look for an RPO partner who understands the balance between consistency and customisation.

Talent Advisory

The success of your recruitment program starts with your employer brand. Many RPO providers offer talent advisory solutions that help you to develop and improve your employer brand, EVP, recruitment marketing approaches, candidate assessments and more.

So often we see companies who have agencies that execute recruitment marketing campaigns separate from their RPO program. However, with this siloed approach, the agency is less likely to be held accountable for their campaigns leading to high quality candidates entering later candidate journey stages like interviews and assessments. On the other side, the RPO partner has limited means to provide feedback on the campaigns and the impact the ads have on recruitment outcomes. By having both functions under one partnership, you get a holistic program that not only attracts candidates—but truly delivers against your hiring goals.

Look for a partner with in-house resources (not one who outsources to an agency) who takes a consultative approach to maximising the effectiveness of your whole talent acquisition program, beyond just filling vacancies.

Technology

Digital transformation has hit HR and recruitment, bringing an influx of new solutions to the market that offer a range of benefits. RPO partners increasingly offer tech consulting and can show you how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics can boost your ability to attract top talent.

Some RPO partners have proprietary technology, like PeopleScout’s Affinix™, while some offer expertise in well-known platforms. Look for a modular approach that can integrate with your existing systems, so you can continue to benefit from existing investments and grow your recruitment tech stack as your needs change. Any technology you implement must comply with data privacy regulations in all regions where you’re recruiting, including any rules about where data can be stored. A SOC 2 certification is a great way to tell that a vendor takes information security seriously.

In this era of tight competition for talent, augmenting your recruiting capacity and ability with an RPO provider could be a crucial step for the future of your business. When it comes to RPO, there is no single best option, only the option that best aligns with your organisational needs. By understanding your current recruitment challenges and requirements, you can find an RPO partner with right capabilities to support your global recruiting goals.

Learn more by downloading our RPO guide.