How to select an RPO provider

The business world loves an acronym, and during your recent “BAU” you may have come across the term “RPO.” But what is it?   

Once you wrap your head around the lingo, you’ll discover that Recruitment Process Outsourcing is  having somewhat of a resurgence and has become one of the hottest topics in the recruitment world right now.

RPO providers offer their services as a solution for talent acquisition, allowing companies to outsource the management of their recruitment function. It has been a constantly growing industry segment year on year for the past 15 years or so, and why wouldn’t it be? When managed well, a quality RPO provider can drive down cost, improve quality of hire, lift overall service levels and scalability thus reducing hire times by up to 40 percent while delivering cost savings of more than 50 percent. Sounds compelling, right? 

We all know that recruitment is a gateway to building a strong team so it makes sense to outsource it to the experts, but what should you consider when selecting a service provider for your company’s hiring needs?


Does size matter?

The partner you select should reflect the size and hiring requirements of your business. Company-wide, large scale hiring calls for the services of a large-scale generalist RPO provider who has the ability to pull out all the stops to recruit the talent you need across all job families and functions. 

However, these larger RPO providers reactively solve broad issues. Smaller-scale specialists, on the other hand, can grow your brand presence in the relevant specialist ecosystems and solve problems directly. So, although smaller providers may not have the scale and capacity of larger providers, they do have a strength in the specialised service they can offer. In our experience it’s the smaller, more nimble service providers that can be just as, or even more, effective in securing the perfect candidates through designing a solution specific to the client need, location, the hiring demand, volume, and brand positioning. It’s all about finding a fit that’s just right. This is a simple concept, but not easy. 


Do they get you? 

You may know your business inside and out, but that’s not to say that your RPO provider does. 

Your provider will be recruiting talent on your behalf, taking your brand to market, so they should essentially act as an extension of your organisation. They should have a strong understanding of your business, its culture, your ambitions and objectives and be able to recruit candidates who will strengthen your company brand and internal community. 

Advancements in technology have made it easier for candidates to apply for positions, resulting in hiring managers being overwhelmed with the task of sifting through hundreds of resumes to find the right person for the job.  According to recruitment automation software company, Ideal, 75%-88% of these applicants are simply not qualified or relevant. Talk about a time-consuming activity that delivers no results! RPO providers offer a solution to this challenge. 

A great specialist solution partner with a strong understanding of your company and its hiring needs will be able to scale and grow your talent pool, and surface those quality candidates who are sure to bring your company to new heights. 


Are they reputable? 

The reputation of your RPO partner is a critical consideration in selecting the best one for your organisation. Consider the success rate of your provider and their experience in delivering recruitment solutions. Be sure to ask for case studies and tangible examples of how the provider has been able to help companies like yours hire the candidates and skills you are looking to attract. At Talent, we have 25 years’ experience in tech and digital recruitment, working with major employers such as Mastercard, Spotify, NAB and Optus, as well as some interesting scale-ups that you may never even have heard of (yet). We are proud of our reputation as a trusted source of quality candidates that are in high demand and low supply. We are always working to deliver high quality, people, tech and data driven solution to our clients.  


Time to chat? 

Communication is arguably one of the most important considerations in selecting a partner. It is the means through which expectations about the recruitment process are shared and progress can be tracked. A great RPO provider will understand the importance of open communication and working with you to develop a hiring plan tailored to your organisation and its needs while being agile in the approach, flexible around commercials all while understanding that business has ebbs and flows.
Do they match your values? 

Your RPO provider directly communicates with candidates in the open market and therefore is an extension of your brand. They should share similar values with your company. A partner that mirrors your own values and corporate culture will be a good representation of you in the market and will be more likely to locate appropriate candidates for your business. Using the services of a provider with a similar EVP coupled with a strong employer brand themselves will provide you with the assurance that your brand image and reputation will be protected and amplified in market. 


Do they have the experience? 

Experience in, and knowledge of, your industry is essential. If your RPO provider doesn’t know the difference between C++ and an RSVP, how can they find someone to fill your most important positions? If it’s tech roles you need, your RPO provider should know their Python from their Java to make sure you have the best of the best in your company. 


Next steps? 

Consider what it is within your recruitment operating model that is working well or needs some attention, or what you would like support or advice on. This may be a total outsource or an unbundling of a number of elements, no two companies are the same and we approach each and every engagement that way. This is all done with you, not to you. A specialist RPO provider will listen and design something to fit around you.  At Talent, we offer flexible talent acquisition solutions, whether you need assistance in recruiting permanent hires or contractors, or you want to outsource an element of the recruitment process, understand best practice, review processes, implement sourcing tech or assess, develop and amplify your employer brand,  we’ve got you covered. With unbundled options for all your talent needs, we should talk. Let’s get in touch