Questions to Ask Before Engaging an RPO Provider

by Sabrina Balmick, Marketing Manager, ACA Talent

What You Should Know About Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Since the economic downturn of 2009, companies with limited recruiting resources have looked to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) as a solution to support their talent acquisition strategies. According to the Everest Group, RPO companies helped employers make over one million hires in 2010 and 2011, and the industry is valued at $1.4 billion.

Not only is the industry large and continuously growing, but the array of choices can be dizzying. Employers can choose to outsource all jobs, or just a select subsection (like sales or technology). They may also opt to outsource the entire recruiting process, from open requisition through retention activities. Other companies with internal hiring resources may choose to outsource just a portion of the process, like sourcing or background checks.

There are a few key considerations before taking the plunge into RPO:

1. Who are you hiring? Do your job descriptions encompass these characteristics? Think about how intangibles, like being a team player, might translate into tangible achievements.

2. Who is doing all of your hiring? Are you relying on an internal team, external partners, or a combination of the two? Regardless of who is hiring your candidates, it’s important that they are an expert at identifying and recruiting highly desired candidates.

3. What are your hiring volumes? Are you ramping up for a large project, backfilling for turnover, or experiencing growth? Depending on the number of hires, each scenario requires a distinct recruiting strategy to attract the right talent within a reasonable timeframe.

4. What is your rate of turnover and why are employees leaving? By uncovering how your employees feel about working for your company, you can tailor your recruitment approach and make internal adjustments to decrease attrition.

5. What is your time to fill? By studying how long it takes candidates to move through the process, from the moment they become a match, you can pinpoint why they might be dropping out. Times to fill can also illuminate whether you’re finding the right talent.

6. How are you finding candidates? It’s easy to use your “go to” sources to find candidates, but you may be seeing the same candidates all the time. Some organizations may miss out on quality candidates because of limited internal sourcing capabilities.

7. How are you measuring success? If you aren’t using an Applicant Tracking System, it may be difficult to capture information about the hiring process, and without this information, it’s almost impossible to quantify your recruitment success.

With your answers to these questions, you’ll gain an understanding of whether your company can benefit from working with an RPO provider, as well as the type of recruitment program that might work best.

Remember, a well-developed recruitment solution can help improve any current hiring weaknesses, while playing to the company’s strengths.

Above all, your RPO provider should be a partner throughout the process, consulting with you on your unique hiring challenges and making recommendations for overall process improvement.

Additional Recruitment Process Outsourcing Resources

HRO Today Magazine

RPO Association

Everest Group RPO Annual Report (2012)


2014 Global RPO Directory (Staffing Industry Analysts)


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