3 Basic Models for RPO Engagements

by Carrie Kolar

Fotolia_50310840_XS.jpgThere are a lot of companies out there that claim to be RPO providers. When RPO started to grow in popularity, just about every company that had anything to do with recruiting or recruiting functions added recruitment process outsourcing to their list of services. This can make it difficult for buyers to understand what RPO is, and what an RPO engagement really looks like. In this article, based on a Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association webinar entitled “Time to Consider Recruitment with Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)” with speaker John Younger, RPOA co-founder and CEO of Accolo, we take a look at what RPO really looks like and the three basic models for RPO engagement.

According to Younger, "the number one reason that companies succeed, struggle or fail is who they hire". Recruiting is an essential piece of business growth and success, and RPO, by putting recruiting in the hands of experts and releasing internal resources to focus on the company’s specialties, can give a company a tremendous advantage.

So what does RPO looks like? There are three basic kinds of engagement models for RPO:

On-demand RPO

The changing volatility of hiring needs introducing inherited changes to organizations. One quarter you may get a huge contract and need to staff up; the next quarter you may not hit your goals and need to decrease your staff size. On-demand RPO is an answer to this kind of rapid change. In an on-demand RPO engagement, companies have a contract-based engagement with a qualified RPO provider that knows the company, the company’s messaging, their processes and the results they need. The RPO providers is ready to step in whenever the company needs them. On-demand RPO engagements mean that if hiring needs suddenly increase, a hiring manager can pick up the phone and have the RPO company’s recruiters on the job, as if they were simply an extension of the hiring manager’s own team.

Function-based RPO

In function-based RPO, the RPO provider takes a piece of the company’s recruiting needs entirely off the company’s plate. For example, a company’s internal resources may be meeting the company’s recruiting needs, but have one specific division that requires more aggressive and complicated hiring. In that case, a company may contact an RPO provider and say, “you’re on that division’s recruiting,” which, when properly executed, ensures that the division will get the hires it needs and the in-house recruiters can focus on the rest of the company.

Full Recuitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) 

The third type of RPO is “full RPO,” when the RPO provider provides a company’s entire internal recruiting function. This is the “soup to nuts” version of RPO engagement, where every piece of the company’s recruiting process, such as sourcing, marketing, interviewing, etc. is included in the RPO contract. This ensures that each element of the company’s recruiting is executed by a company that specializes in recruiting and recruitment process outsourcing. In the event that a company’s hiring manager or HR leader wants to recruit or take a piece of the process on their own, full RPO also means that the RPO provider will give the organization access to the provider’s full breadth of resources, giving the organization a huge advantage in execution.

The three basic types of RPO engagements can be flexible based on the needs of the client, and RPO engagements can exist anywhere in the spectrum between the three. While the implementation of RPO solutions can be flexible, RPO do significantly more than piecemeal contingency or retained search, staff augmentation, and candidate research. Recruitment process outsourcing providers specialize in the entire range of the recruiting process, giving their clients a breadth of resources and expertise that they cannot have on their own.   

Learn more about recruitment process outsoucing as a viable solution to your talent acquisition needs in this informative and engaging 25-minute webinar: "time to consider recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)"

time to consider RPO

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