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By: Helios on September 15th, 2021

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What is RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing)?

Recruitment outsourcing

The recruitment market is more daunting than ever right now. Around 80% of hiring managers say that they can’t find skilled applicants, which means that there’s an intense feeding frenzy whenever a new candidate starts applying for jobs. Small wonder then that so many companies are turning to RPO, or Recruitment Processing Outsourcing.

RPO is a form of Business Process Outsourcing that focuses on recruitment. Your Recruitment Process Outsourcing consultant works with your talent acquisition team to help you manage your hiring requirements.

Let’s take a look at how this approach can solve some common business problems. But first, let’s talk about the difference between Recruitment Process Outsourcing and working with a traditional recruitment agency.

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What’s the difference between RPO and a recruitment agency?

When you work with an old-fashioned recruitment agency, they’ll listen to your requirements and then get back to you with a stack of resumes. They may perform some candidate screening, but everything else in the process is up to you.

There’s one big problem with this approach: your internal recruitment Team still has to do all of the hard work.

Recruiting is a fine art, especially in a tight hiring market. HR professionals may not have the know-how that allows you to compete with rival employers.

The alternative approach is Recruitment Process Outsourcing. In RPO, a recruitment consultant works with your HR team right from the beginning of the hiring cycle. They’ll help execute each step of your entire recruitment strategy while also helping you to refine your approach.

To summarize:

  • Recruiting agencies connect you with candidates
  • RPO consultants help execute your recruitment process

If your team doesn’t have recruitment expertise, or if they need extra support, RPO is generally the fastest way to fill a vacancy.

What happens when you work with a Recruitment Process Outsourcing consultant?

RPO consultants always start off by getting to know your HR team. They will learn about your business, your culture, and the specific requirements of each open position. This is also a chance for your HR professionals to learn more about recruitment best practices from an expert.

What happens next depends on your agreement with the RPO firm:

  • If you need a limited number of hires: Your consultant will begin by focusing on the requirements for each vacancy and building job descriptions.
  • If you need ongoing support: The RPO consultant will review your hiring process and recommend ways to improve.

Once you’re up and running, an RPO consultant will get to work on expanding your team. The consultant will take you through the following steps:

1. Build out job descriptions

Perfecting the job description is the first step towards hiring a great candidate. In some cases, this may involve elements of job design, as your RPO consultant helps map out a realistic set of responsibilities for each job role.

Having a great job description will make it easier to attract candidates. More importantly, it ensures that your recruitment process runs smoothly. When all stakeholders have signed off on the job description, it’s easier for hiring managers to make rapid decisions about candidate suitability.

2. Submit initial round of candidates

RPO consultants have a whole toolbox of techniques for finding great people. They’ll use their connections to reach out to passive candidates – those who are interested in opportunities but not actively job-seeking. Today’s RPOs also know how to search for remote candidates from other cities, or even from other countries.

Only around 48% of new hires come from advertisements, such as career sites and job board listings. The rest come from diverse channels, such as referrals, agencies, and targeted recruitment campaigns. An RPO consultant knows which tactics are needed to secure each candidate.

3. Fine-tune the job description and requirements

When you review the first round of candidates, you will most likely need to review your job description, including the requirements for skills and background. Common changes at this stage include:

  • Lowering the minimum candidate experience needed
  • Changing requirements for education or certification
  • Adding additional skills, such as soft skills or IT know-how
  • Recalibrating the list of job duties
  • Defining which attributes are must-have and which are nice-to-have

This fine-tuning is a normal part of the process. Each time you finesse your job description, you get closer to finding the right person.

4. Review the final list of candidates

Now that the RPO consultant has a firm idea of who you need, they can start assembling a list of resumes. This longlist of candidates will only include people who meet your must-have requirements.

At this point, it’s up to your hiring manager (or the relevant stakeholder) to make a decision. They’ll work with the RPO to turn the candidate longlist into a shortlist. Once you’ve whittled things down, it’s time to start contacting people.

5. Conduct initial screening

The next step is to contact the candidates and screen out anyone who is unsuitable. Screening generally begins with a short phone interview, which your RPO can conduct. This chat will establish some basic facts, like their salary range and whether they’re interested in the role.

RPO consultants can also help with other forms of screening, such as aptitude tests. They’ll work with your team to develop a consistent screening methodology, so that each candidate is judged on an even playing field.

6. Interview and assessment

Employers often miss out on great candidates because their hiring process takes too long. Your RPO consultant can offer guidance on building an effective interview process. They’ll talk you through things like:

  • How many interviews to schedule
  • What to ask in each interview
  • How to collate and share interview feedback with the hiring team
  • How to demonstrate your culture and make a positive impact on candidates

If you get this part right, you have a much greater chance of landing your dream candidate.

7. Process review

At this stage, you will have filled the open vacancy. But what happens next time?

An RPO consultant will work with you throughout your hiring process, helping identify potential improvements. The goal is to help you develop a recruitment methodology that will consistently deliver the right person at the right time.

If you have an ongoing relationship with your RPO consultant, they’ll develop a deep understanding of your business needs. With your vision and their expertise, you’ll be on your way to building a dream team.

Ready to get started with Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

Helios HR has been helping companies to build their teams for over 20 years. Our consultants don’t just find candidates – they seek out people who can enrich and enhance your culture.

Ready to get started? Book a no-obligation consultation call today and find out how RPO can solve your recruitment headaches

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