Recruitment Process Outsourcing

RPO Defined

Whats Covered on this page:

  • What is rpo
  • What an RPO Company Does
  • Why would I use RPO
  • How is RPO Different from using a Staffing Firm
  • RPO Costs & Fees
  • What to Look For in an RPO

What is RPO?

RPO is an abbreviation for Recruitment Process Outsourcing, a rapidly growing segment of the Human Resources Outsourcing industry (HRO), which in turn is a subset of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

RPO partners become a virtual extension of the client’s Human Resources department. The RPO provider offers high volume, end-to-end recruitment services. The RPO is often involved in the full lifecycle of recruitment, from when the requisition first opens through post-hire activities, ultimately impacting employee retention. To drive interest and attract quality talent, the RPO provider brands all recruitment activities as the client company. An RPO provider takes ownership of the entire recruitment process, generating savings for the client in time, efficiency, and resources.

What an RPO Company Does

RPO Flowchart


Why Would I use an RPO?

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High Level Benefit: Reduce the Cost of Hiring

High Level Benefit: Reduce Turnover

High Level Benefit: Reduce the Cost of Hiring

High Level Benefit: Reduce Turnover

High Level Benefit: Reduce the Cost of Hiring

Bottom Line on Why Companies Use an RPO

How is RPO Different from Using a Staffing Firm

While staffing firms source, qualify, and fill open positions, they do not provide the scope of service that an RPO might, because they typically do not fill a high volume of open positions. Executive search firms, similarly, do not focus on high volume roles. Instead, an executive search partner is better suited to strategic positions at the management level and above.

RPO Vs. Staffing Firms

Killer Matrix

CTA: See How an RPO could impact your cost of hiring

RPO Costs & Fee Structures

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Example RPO Cost Structures


What to Look for in an RPO

Before engaging an RPO provider, consider the following questions:

  • Why is your company hiring? Are positions open due to expansion, turnover, or other factors?
  • How many positions are you looking to fill?
  • What are your current metrics for recruitment success? What are your goals for improvement?
  • Will hiring increase, decrease, or remain the same over the course of the year?
  • Is hiring affected by seasonality?
  • What does your recruitment process currently look like? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your timeline for hiring?
  • How are you currently finding talent? What’s working and not working?
  • What are the costs associated with recruitment, including job boards, traditional media advertising, search firms, and special events? What are your soft costs, such as job vacancy, turnover, and training?
  • How does technology integrate with your recruitment process? Can it assist with maintaining legal compliance?
  • How is your company measuring success?

Further RPO Resources

Three Key Ways RPO Services Improve the Candidate Experience

In today’s highly competitive hiring market, the human touch is essential to executing a successful recruitment process.

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Find the Right RPO Recruitment Model for Your Company

The right RPO model can strongly influence the overall reach and success of your recruitment program. For that reason, designing an optimal recruitment program can ease the transition into your RPO partnership and allow you to see results from implementation and beyond.

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How to Measure the Performance of Your RPO Services

For companies implementing RPO services, continuous improvement within talent acquisition and recruitment is the goal. In our experience, the best way to improve is to set appropriate benchmarks and measure results.

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