“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
With Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) becoming more and more the talk of the town, it’s a good time to reflect on something a certain business magnate and billionaire said. Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of Virgin Group once said, “Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions, and a healthy dose of curiosity.” This is probably the best representation of the current situation of the job market. It’s quite the juggling act that employers have to maintain these days. They have to worry about recruiting the right candidate, deliver the right assessments, and also supporting candidates through the process. It has become blatantly evident that there is a need for a balance between efficiency and a certain degree of hands-free autonomy where needed.
While the goal itself is quite obvious, the path of the metaphorical ‘pot of gold is rather obscured. Often it is the case that companies don’t have the right level of expertise or manpower to help sift through the modern talent market. For example, just identifying a set of skills in the context of a job role is hard. This is usually due to the lack of standardization in the job market. However, this is just one among a tidal wave of issues that employers have to face. This is where recruitment process outsourcing agencies come into play. More and more, over the last couple of years, RPO firms have begun to play a more centralized role. They do this by enabling companies to close the aforementioned gaps. RPOs act as a bridge of sorts between their expectations and the ground reality.
What was once considered a niche service has permeated the modern job market. Back in the day, when RPO services were first starting, it was aimed at companies as a model used for cost reduction. It was also a tool for emergency hires for short-term positions. Nowadays, RPO has evolved into a different beast. It’s steadily morphed into a high-level recruitment service. It arguably does the job better than most internal recruitment teams of most companies!
RPO firms can take your employer brand to the next level, while simultaneously providing companies with access to top talent pools. They have extensive database analytics that helps companies far beyond just the basic hiring process.
According to research done by the Everest Group, there is a clear path of growth from RPO 1.0 to RPO 3.0, which is the modern-era model. The first iteration of the RPO has used a cheap alternative for immediate hires. The second version, RPO 2.0, took things to the next level. This was done by giving organizations access to those in-demand candidates that you won’t typically find on your run-of-the-mill job platforms. Vendors began adapting their technological capabilities to match up the services they were offering.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol, American Artist
Then came RPO 3.0, which was a re-imaging of what RPO was. This is where RPO began building its talent technology ecosystems to support the services that were coming into demand. These recruitment firms started using things like artificial intelligence, in-depth database algorithms, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology, and many other tools. Employers either couldn’t afford to have these technologies in-house or didn’t have the skill sets to operate them at an effective capacity.
In a research report titled, ‘Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) in Europe: Decoding a Heterogeneous Market’, the Everest Group said, “Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is one of the fastest-growing outsourcing sectors globally, with a growth rate of 16% and a market size of US$4.6 billion in 2019. However, the market is characterized by stark differences among different geographical regions in terms of maturity and market attributes. EMEA is the second-largest market after North America but is highly heterogeneous even within the region, with different countries showing different market characteristics. Even the region’s service provider landscape is very different from the global landscape, as there are few providers with a truly global presence.”
We first need a better understanding of how RPO evolved over the years and the role that it has been playing in the industry in recent times.
Only then can we can dive into how you can benefit from leveraging RPO services. In the past, it was mostly larger organizations that hired RPO services.
Now, even small-scale businesses can make use of these facilities. In a competitive business world, you need every advantage you can get, so let’s get into it!
As we talked about previously, RPO agencies have an extensive database. These databases give you access to the most elite of talent out there in the market- the cream of the crop if you will. This is a huge plus, as only businesses that have dedicated and highly talented individuals can progress in any meaningful way.
The problem with trying to incorporate new technologies or management systems for your in-house team is that it’s a strenuous process. The HR or talent acquisition team has to learn it from scratch or you have to hire an expert to train them. For the time and effort that goes into that, you might as well get an RPO agency to do the leg work. They have highly trained experts who know exactly how to use it in context to the needs of a particular business. RPO agencies will make sure that these technologies are used for the betterment of the employer.
The HR team has many other responsibilities within the company, but unfortunately, they are often bogged down with the additional responsibilities of conducting recruitment as well. By hiring an RPO agency you take that weight off their shoulders and allow them to focus on the things that are a core part of their job. This means that things like payroll, employee coordination, and problem resolution become more streamlined. In a way, the RPO becomes an extension of the HR department and the company, and to be fair, they are good at it.
“Change is inevitable. Evolution, however, is optional.” – Tony Robbins, American Author
On the surface, hiring an RPO agency might seem like an expensive endeavor, but in reality, it’s the exact opposite. Think about it, with all the money a company spends on job boards, and advertising, the bill tends to run high. Once you chalk up all these expenses, it becomes evident that RPO agencies are the way to go. It’s more of an all-in-one package. Another important factor to consider is that the benefits far outweigh the costs.
It’s an inherently difficult task to accurately predict seasonal hiring demands for employers. Sometimes you might need a more hands-on deck. If for some reason you find yourself understaffed, it could prove potentially fatal for the business operations. This is another pain point that RPO agencies are effective at addressing. Thanks to their network of candidates, you never have to worry about being short-staffed. RPOs can quickly find candidates on short notice.
Employer branding is the company’s image in the eyes of the candidate. They seriously consider this before applying for a position. If you have poor branding, that will affect the turnout of candidates and ultimately the final quality of the recruits you do hire. RPO companies boost your employer brand. They do this by making sure that candidates feel the values of the company shine through in every step of the hiring process.
They make sure there is a clear line of communication, understanding, and efficient handling of matters. So, even if candidates are not selected, they will still walk away with a relatively positive image of your organization.
One thing you need to keep in mind in the face of global expansion is that the hiring process in your country is far different from that of a foreign nation. An under-trained or ill-equipped talent acquisition team could have a whole bunch of unnecessary issues. This could, in turn, affect your image as a company. Another hurdle is that each country and even states or districts for that matter have different labor laws. These need to be taken into consideration when hiring candidates from said country.
It’s for this reason that an RPO agency is the right solution. They have experts who are familiar with the company’s needs as well as international labor laws, making the whole process that much more seamless and efficient.
In the end, it comes down to the simple fact of taking advantage of every opportunity as a business. You can’t afford to give up any edge! Given how far recruitment process outsourcing has come over the last few years and the continuous advancements that are being made in the field, this is a solution that is well worth considering to take your company and the operations therein, to the next level.