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The RPO Marketplace: Insights for Branding and Growth in 2022

RPO marketplace

“The most reliable way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

An Overview of the RPO Marketplace

When the RPO marketplace was still in its infancy many companies pursued it as a means of reducing cost. What started out as an unstable, disorganized market rapidly grew into a go-to solution for corporate leaders. This was especially the case amidst the global economic crises of the early 2000s.

Following the dot-com boom, the budget for recruitment tightened and RPO agencies really began taking shape. Companies sought strategic and scalable partnerships with RPO agencies in hope of overcoming costly in-house recruitment solutions. By the time of the 2008 economic recession, RPO providers played a highly centralized role in the market and the adoption of their services gained plenty of popularity.

The Present State of the RPO Marketplace

With more and more companies moving towards the digital space post the pandemic and the availability of better technology, the RPO industry is primed for exponential growth. According to a market research report by Technavio, it was reported that the RPO marketplace would see an incremental growth of USD 3.2 billion from 2017 to 2022. In other words, the global market was expected to grow at an accelerated CAGR of 14% between 2018 and 2022. Interestingly enough, 41% of the overall growth is expected to be a contribution from the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region.

Keep in mind that when the market was still young, the relationship between clients and RPO partners was on thin ice at best. However, nowadays, due to better processes, advanced technology and more methodical approaches, clients are looking for more long-term partnerships within the RPO marketplace.

This bodes well for the growth of the industry and the businesses within. Having said that, let’s go over some trends in the RPO marketplace that you should probably watch out for in 2022 and the years to come.

Data and technology play a big role in the success that the RPO industry has seen in recent years.

RPO marketplace data

1. Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The use of data analytics and artificial intelligence is one of the rapidly rising trends in the global RPO market. These agencies analyze large quantities of data to fast-track the application procedure and help companies make more fluid recruitment decisions. 

Things like analytical tools, people analytics, as well as recruitment analytics, play a crucial role in helping recruiters translate raw data into usable information. This information is used to recruit the best candidates. This is one such capability that is boosting the growth of the RPO marketplace.

2. Cost Reduction and Its Contribution to Growth of the RPO Marketplace

It’s just logical reasoning as to why companies seek out RPO firms and their services. They seek more cost-effective solutions that still retain a certain level of quality. Imbalances in the market can have a huge impact on the company’s financials. RPO agencies can help mitigate this by streamlining the hiring process and reducing these imbalances. This ability to effectively address these imbalances makes an RPO solution a desirable one.

“The future depends on what we do in the present. – Mahatma Gandhi, Freedom Fighter

3. The Growth of the APAC Region

As mentioned earlier, the APAC or Asia-Pacific region was touted to be one of the biggest contributors to the overall growth of the RPO industry in the years to come. We mentioned how it contributes a massive 41% to that.

It should also be noted that another report by Technavio stated that the RPO industry in this region is expected to reach a valuation of USD 1.08 billion between 2021 and 2025. This is an exceptional growth at a CAGR of around 14%. Fair to say, the RPO marketplace in the APAC region has a more than positive outlook in 2022.

4. The Fragmented Nature of the RPO Marketplace

The RPO market is a very fragmented one. This also makes it a highly competitive industry, be it global, national or regional. The presence of so many players in the market shows us that there is a high level of demand in the market that needs to be met, as evidenced by the growth projections. However, as good a sign as this is, you should keep a close eye on it and evaluate how to best overcome the growing rates of competition down the line.

5. Merit-based Recruitment Will Take a Front Seat in the Hiring Process

Now we come to the last item on the list of things contributing to the growth and demand of the RPO industry. When we consider RPO agency solutions, there is a clear diversion from traditional hiring processes. Instead of relying on heavily resume-based recruitment, the process focuses on the applicant’s skills, practical assessments and performance.

This eliminates a lot of bias and gives you a more fair assessment. This in turn gives you better outcomes in terms of candidate selection. Since this process is so unique to the RPO marketplace, it would explain why it is a contributing factor to the growth of the industry.

RPO marketplace balance

RPO agencies need to strike a balance of satisfying both clients and candidates in order to boost their brand.

How Is RPO Branding Strengthened?

Now, let’s have a look at some strengths that service providers can bank on going forward to boost their RPO brand. As the name suggests, the biggest weapon that the RPO service provider has is, well, their ability to recruit. Given the orientation of the industry demands, and the processes within RPO agencies, recruiters can focus on polishing their skills more and develop more organized approaches. This builds that RPO brand for the company. Quality, not quantity as they say.

Another thing that you have to consider is that this is partly due to the investment in the right recruitment tools and technology. It’s a self-feeding cycle. RPO agencies can invest in specific recruitment technology, training and tools as it will be an investment in their core competency as a service provider.

Keep in mind that even with all the most cutting-edge tech in the field, RPO agencies still need to produce results. This is what shows clients they are worth partnering with. This brings in a strong factor of accountability that clients can rely on. Another reason with which branding is built in the realm of outsourced recruitment is candidate experience. RPO agencies prioritize the candidate’s experience, ensuring that they have a good recruitment process experience. This ultimately reflects well on the client’s employer brand, which in turn boosts the RPO agency’s brand.

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