Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): a definition
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) refers to the process by which a company outsources part or all of its recruitment functions. This can include job postings, sourcing, screening, interview scheduling and logistics, offer execution, system compliance, and HRIS (human resources information systems) data entry.
It is important to note the distinction between RPO and HRO, or Human Resources Outsourcing. While both fall under the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) umbrella, HRO refers to the outsourcing of certain HR functions such as HR system input, paperwork processing, benefits management, compensation, and performance management.
RPO is a viable option for companies that are short on internal recruiting resources, as is recently the case in many organizations that have downsized as a result of the recession. Similarly, by outsourcing recruitment, the company can re-focus HR managers and other internal HR staff members on other initiatives.
Cost is another driving factor of RPO adoption. In many cases, RPO partners can leverage economies of scale to reduce cost per hire. Plus, they can utilize large contracts with job boards that individual companies often cannot afford.
Other business drivers include:
- Quality and Speed of Delivery. Utilizing a team of experienced, professional recruiters can increase the quality of hire and the speed with which you fill open positions.
- Anticipated or Unanticipated High Volume Staffing Needs. An RPO partner can help satisfy seasonal or cyclical hiring needs, and ramp your staff up or down at a fair cost.
- Consistent Tracking and Compliance. An RPO partner can handle and assure adherence to all necessary compliance measures within the sourcing, recruiting, and hiring process.
- Employment Brand. A candidate’s experience applying and interviewing for a job at your organization has a direct impact on its employment brand. Your internal HR department is likely being pulled in myriad directions at any given time. A dedicated RPO partner, however, can focus on ensuring a positive experience for candidates.
Just one warning: If your company’s internal recruiting strategy is failing, it can’t be assumed that outsourcing the function will resolve the issues. It can’t be the mindset that an RPO will “do your mess for less.”
To truly be successful the RPO relationship must be a partnership in every sense of the word. All of a company’s key stakeholders need to be brought and bought into the arrangement and work together to accomplish the organization’s recruitment goals.