Ten Steps to Selecting an RPO Services Partner

Recruiting is often at the top of the list for companies who are actively growing, and it’s no surprise that these companies often turn to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). Whether your headcount is increasing or attrition is becoming a challenge, you need a partner who is living and breathing your organization’s recruitment strategy. Partnering with RPO companies can simplify complex recruitment processes, refine candidate profiles, extend your reach, and augment talent pools, among many other benefits.Β 

Of course, selecting RPO services can be a complex, lengthy process with many areas of consideration. Below, we’ve outlined ten steps to help guide your decision-making.

1. Why Outsource:

Companies choose to outsource for many different reasons, whether they need help managing the entire hiring cycle or building stronger candidate pipelines. To help crystallize your goals, begin by having open discussions with your talent acquisition partners and internal stakeholders. Some key questions include:

  • What positions are you outsourcing? Are these specialty roles within a niche industry?
  • Are you seeking a partner to handle all open positions across the enterprise, or a few functional areas?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish with the help of an RPO partner?

Once you have an idea of your goals, you can begin seeking the right RPO provider.

2. Connect Cost to Value:

RPO services can be expensive, but the benefits to your organization can far outweigh the costs. Besides hard costs, such as job board expenses or recruiter salaries, consider how a dedicated RPO firm can improve soft costs, such as the cost of vacancy. How much is it costing your organization to have positions open too long, especially in a sales-focused environment? By implementing an RPO partner driven by efficiency, you can compress these expenses significantly and add to your company’s bottom line.

3. Selection Criteria:

Establish an RFP or similar mechanism that allows you to compare and connect with different firms. Define your criteria for this early screening approach and don’t underestimate the importance of experience, service, and responsiveness when it comes time to choose the right company.

4. Get to the Core:

Cultural alignment is one of the secrets to a successful RPO partnership. These intangibles can also have an impact on the candidate experience throughout the recruitment lifecycle and your RPO partner’s ability to correctly interpret a candidate’s cultural fit.

5. Hiring Timelines:

Before diving into different recruitment and technology options, take a hard look at your hiring goals and timelines. Examine your current recruitment process and cycle time metrics, such as how long it takes to schedule interviews or how quickly candidates clear your background check process. Compounded over thousands of hires, these cycle times may determine success. After analyzing these timeframes, work with your RPO services provider to set milestones and build a solid strategy to achieve them.

6. Specialty Recruiting:

Not all RPO firms are created equal, and some providers may possess deeper experience in specific industry segments or functions, such as security or sales. Consider again the positions you are outsourcing and the scope of your recruitment efforts. You may also choose to work with multiple firms to harness their strengths with regards to specific areas of your business, such as executive search needs or high volume recruiting.

7. Internal Stakeholders:

The most valuable RPO partnerships are predicated on collaboration, which is only possible with clearly defined stakeholders on both the client and vendor side. Understand how a potential RPO defines their governance model. You’ll want to know who speaks to whom, how often, and the topics they discuss. These relationships and conversations can form the backbone of an effective partnership, shore up challenges, and build strategies.

8. Benchmarks and Goals:

Achievable, measurable metrics help facilitate continuous improvement and drive success throughout your RPO partnership. These include time-sensitive milestones, as well as hiring cycle times (e.g., how long it takes to extend an offer) and conversion ratios (e.g., how many candidates a hiring manager needs to see before extending an offer). Providing a clear picture of these expectations can help your potential partner build a realistic program and stand up a team to deliver results.

9. Change Management:

When internal functions are outsourced, there is bound to be a period of transition and adjustment to change. A clear plan and open communication will make it much easier. Outline the steps for training, onboarding, off boarding, and dividing responsibilities so you can understand how and when essential activities will be altered and handed off to the firm.

10. RPO Implementation:

This is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to initiating your relationship with an RPO services provider. Before selecting a partner, you’ll want a careful walkthrough of your RPO partner’s implementation strategy. This includes how your partner collects information about your recruitment process, how that process is mapped out, how the delivery team is assembled, and the timeline to achieve these objectives.

Find RPO Services that are Human-Centered and Results-Driven

Do your research and keep in mind that the quality of your RPO provider will have a direct correlation with the quality of the talent introduced to your company. Look for a partner that isn’t solely driven by technology. While automation is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception, humanized conversations can yield strong insights into a candidate’s experience and unique skill sets, and how you can grow your company with the right talent in place.

 

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Key Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing

How do you know whether outsourcing is the best fit for your company? This useful workbook will help you evaluate your recruitment process and understand the business impact RPO may have on your company.

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