Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) as a business discipline was founded about ten years ago. Since then, a lot has changed and evolved in the industry including services offered, delivery methods, buyer-provider relationships, and the players in the market. RPOA has recently partnered with the Outsourcing Institute (OI) on a webinar that covered RPO history and evolution over the past 10 years. Moderated by OI founder and CEO, Frank Casale, the dynamic discussion included representative from both the RPO customer and provider community. RPO providers represented by Mike Mayeux, Novotus CEO and RPOA President, and John Younger, Accolo Inc., CEO and RPOA Past President. RPO customers represented by Mark Baudler, Sr. Manager, HR Services and Processing Improvement, Panduit, and Kipp Sassaman, Vice President Human Resources, Fikes Wholesale, Inc. In this 3-part series, we cover the 3 chapters of the discussion: RPO past, present, and future. View webinar.
RPO in the Beginning
In the beginning, there were two types of RPO provider: those that did high volume, low complexity work and those that did low volume, high complexity work. Many HR leaders weren't comfortable with the idea of outsourcing their recruiting, although a few major companies were willing to take the chance and give the idea a try. In fact, a large majority of leaders would have cautiously considered the idea at best. Some would have rejected the idea outright, while a small number would have been openly supportive of the idea of outsourced recruitment.
"In those early days, it was a very interesting marketplace being an evangelical marketplace," said Mike Mayeux, CEO of Novotus. "You had to educate every buyer as they came along."
John Younger, CEO of Accolo, explained that in the early days of RPO many of the projects were projects that the recruiting agencies and contract recruiters failed on, or were the projects that no one wanted. One of Younger's first projects was to find a parasitic engineer for Texas Instruments, but specifically someone who was born in India, educated and trained in the United States, and who wanted to return to India. Younger found this person, pointing out an accomplishment that RPO is uniquely capable of achieiving.