RPO: The What, Why & How

October 30th, 2012

RPO: The What, Why & How


The What

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), where a company transfers or outsources its recruitment activities to an external provider, is becoming more popular in today’s staffing environment. RPO is a billion dollar industry and typically done in emerging-market countries, such as India, the Phillipines and Eastern Europe.

An easy way to differentiate RPO from other types of staffing services is to consider the process. In traditional staffing service relationships, the staffing firm is part of the process and ultimately controlled by the organization that hired them. By contrast, an RPO service provider assumes ownership of the process.

There are many benefits an organization can reap by using RPO, including enhancing the job pool, finding qualified candidates quickly, complying with government regulations, and improving the time-to-hire process.

Reducing costs is also an important factor considering the cost of a full-time recruiter is less than one-third of what a full- time recruiter would be in the United States.

However, there are disadvantages, such as language barriers between sourcing staff and applicants and the lack of immediate supervision. Dealing with offshore companies can also present a trust barrier, especially for small and mid-size companies.

The Why

Need help deciding if RPO is right for your organization?

First consider the time spent trying to find a candidate. If employees are juggling many hats, sorting through a large number of applicants can be an additional burden. RPO can help find the “needle in a haystack” applicant, quickly and efficiently.

Next consider cost. RPO solutions allow organizations to pay by transaction, rather than by staff member. This can help alleviate under-utilizing an employee or forcing layoffs of recruitment staff during slow periods.

The How

How will RPO change the landscape of contingency recruiting? Simply put, many contingency recruiters will use RPO to source applicants. Large companies have been using RPO for years, and the numbers are growing. Some companies are even using a blend of offshore and domestic personnel.

Is it good for business or bad? We can remember when temporary staffing was, by far, the little sibling of contingency search – now we would venture to say that role has been reversed. RPO and RPO companies are still emerging but, as they do, what will their role look like 5, 10 or 20 years from now?

Bear Staffing, through its partners, is able to offer RPO on a contingency, monthly, per hire or even temporary staffing basis. As a global marketplace emerges, we feel it is necessary to provide what our clients want – both now and in the future.