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RPO Services: 6 Common Myths Debunked!

Myths About RPO Agencies

“The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock.” – Tony Gaskins, Motivational speaker

No two companies are the same in terms of their needs, scalability, or business operations. Each business has its own needs and sometimes, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) companies can help in certain areas. Whether RPO agencies are helping your company with the entire process itself or if the partnership is one that is more consultative in nature, the fact remains that, RPO services are a good solution. They’re like having a Swiss army tool in your back pocket – you won’t use it for every occasion but it sure does come in handy!

The thing with hiring RPO agencies is that many companies do or don’t hire them based on certain misconceptions that they view RPO services with. In today’s article, we will address some of the more common myths that have been circulated about RPO firms over time. This should give you a more holistic picture of the business behind the veil of misconceptions.


Don't let misconceptions and myths about RPO agencies hold you back from something great!

This is one of the leading concerns and most overstated myths about RPO services. An RPO agency will always aim to work with your existing team and share resources. Think about it, it’s much more efficient to build upon a recruitment process that is already in place than to create one from scratch. RPO companies use their global reach, industry knowledge, and experience to help the internal teams achieve the best possible outcome. This is what you can and should expect from a quality RPO service.

The advantage with RPO is that you have the best of both worlds. On one hand, you have seasoned industry experts helping you identify pain points and overcome them, while on the other, you have your internal team picking up on valuable insights that will only benefit your business processes at the end of the day! It’s a win-win situation however you slice it.

2) Myth: Partnering with an RPO Agency Dilutes the Company's Brand

Absolutely not! These days, one of the primary functions of these agencies is to enhance the employer brand. In fact, it’s becoming so common that it might as well be a given at this point. RPO firms go the extra mile by designing solutions that encompass the brand’s ideology, while also creating a holistic image of the brand to attract the most qualified candidates for the role.

This works wonders not just in the hiring process. It also helps with the employee retention rates as well, because of the massive improvements it brings to the candidate experience. The more the candidate satisfaction is with you as an employer, the better your employer brand image is. The RPO firm then uses these stellar results to boost your marketing and promotional efforts, like a testimonial of sorts, which just further improves the Company’s brand. It’s almost a self-feeding cycle of growth.

“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost, Poet

3) Myth: Candidate Satisfaction Is Not a Priority for RPO Agencies

Anyone who has ever had a job will know this — when you apply to a company, you expect to hear back something from someone on the other side, regardless of their intent to hire you. However, the grim reality is that not many candidates are contacted, most often, it’s only the candidates who are shortlisted who are contacted at all, and even that is often just based on their resumes.

The lack of human contact can severely hurt an organization’s brand as an employer. Letting candidates fall into the proverbial communication black hole is never a good idea. 

Candidate Satisfaction

This is a fact that RPO agencies are very aware of. As a result, they go the extra mile to make sure that the candidate experiences a good level of contact and communication from a dedicated core team. Some RPO services even include taking the reins of the entire recruitment process, from making first contact, to the candidate’s first day at the office. It’s safe to say that this myth is the furthest thing from the ground reality.

4) Myth: Partnering with RPO Agencies Means You Can Be More 'Hands-off'

The fact of the matter is simply entering into an RPO partnership doesn’t mean you can say goodbye to all of your recruitment problems. This isn’t a relay race where you can just pass on the baton. A successful partnership hinges on the cooperative and collaborative instances that exist between the RPO firm and the company itself.

Ideally, with both parties working together, it should be easier and more efficient when it comes to identifying the root of the problem in the recruitment process. Think of it like this, the Therapist can only help you find the problem if you are open with them and work with them in tandem to figure out where it all started. The same principle applies to RPO services, they are the experts with the solutions, but as the employer, only you will be able to help them accurately identify where the problem lies.

“It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.– Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

5) Myth: Hiring an RPO Service Leads to a Lack of Transparency

The whole point of entering into a partnership with an RPO agency is that it should lead to some level of success or improvement in the overall process. Whether they are on-site or not even in the same country as you, it doesn’t mean that there is no accountability. Just like you might have clients who are abroad who expect certain results from you, or employees working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is always accountability in play, especially in long-distance cases.

Your RPO partner should and must provide you with full transparency for the entirety of the process. For one, they need your help understanding the inner workings of the organization and the recruitment process in order to better help you, and at the end of the day, they work for you. While the RPO expert might drive the talent acquisition initiative to better the results, the final decision to hire someone is still yours as the employer. So, no, there is no loss of transparency, and if there is, then you are working with the wrong RPO firm.

(Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels)

With the help of an RPO agency, you have a higher level of control over your recruitment process!

6) Myth: RPO Is Just a Passing Trend

These services have been a growing trend over the past few years, especially in countries like Canada. Now it stands as an industry in and of itself with global demand. It has grown so much that even top multinational companies employ their services. It comes back to the age-old saying: “It’s okay to ask for help.”

In fact, the very concept of outsourcing parts of- or even the entire recruitment process is a strategic advantage for businesses, as it frees them up to go about their daily activities. This is especially useful for smaller companies that are understaffed in the recruitment department as it takes the pressure off their internal team.

“Myths which are believed in, tend to become true. – George Orwell, American Author

With each iteration of the workplace model, so too do the RPO services change to adapt to the environment. This is an especially useful thing to have when considering the distributed nature of the workforce following the pandemic. It’s part of what makes RPO such a popular concept. This all points to the likelihood that it will be around for a long time to come and that we shouldn’t count it out just yet.

At the end of the day, misconceptions and myths aside, RPO may not be for everyone. It depends on your business’s particular needs and gaps. Having said that, it is a worthwhile prospect that, as an employer, you should consider as a legitimate option to smooth out your recruitment process.

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