RPO Services: 4 Big Disruptions This Year

by Allison Reilly

RPO services disruption resized 600A disruption in RPO services, let alone four, sounds like a horrible thing for both you and the RPO industry. However, don’t let this scare you away from considering recruitment process outsourcing. Instead, the four big RPO service disruptions we’re discussing only highlight the changes you need to know when considering RPO services and the changes firms need to be aware of when providing RPO services. Here are the four big disruptions for 2013:

RPO Service Segmentation

Recruitment process outsourcing is no longer just one type of service, or a bundle of several different services. RPO services are now a variety of recruitment services, segmented depending on the customer and their needs. This is also another way of saying that RPO firms will become much more specialized, offering niche or highly technical RPO hiring, something potential customers need to think about. These segments now include:

  • Full Life Cycle RPO - Traditional RPO of the entire recruitment and hiring process.
  • Project RPO - RPO that is concentrated on a targeted, outsourced effort over a specific time frame or number of hires, typically aligned with a specific time-based project or event.
  • On Demand RPO - RPO engagement that delivers a specified amount of recruiting hours per period.
  • Non-RPO RPO  - This includes relabeling contingency, contract, traditional sourcing and other traditional recruiting offerings

Candidate Pipelines and Sourcing

We’ve previously discussed candidate pipelines, sourcing, and talent acquisition before. However, it’s becoming such a huge issue with RPO customers and providers alike that one of the big disruptions for this year is candidate pipelines becoming its own RPO service or market segment. Sourcing is already a key element to a successful RPO program. For the rest of the year, markets will demand more aggressive talent community development and a greater focus on sourcing and pipelining.


This disruption is an interesting one, considering how competitive RPO providers used to be against each other. Co-sourcing is an approach that clients are taking to invite more than one RPO provider into the organization to work collaboratively and to satisfy end-to-end needs. Since this is an approach that clients are taking, it’s important for providers to be open to working with another firm and to perhaps consider partnerships so that those who do want co-sourcing can have the two or more providers necessary to fulfill their end-to-end needs best.

RPO Services for Smaller Organizations

Recruitment process outsourcing has never been something that’s only for large enterprises, but it previously might have been harder for smaller organizations to find solutions to fit their needs and their budget. Only now are small and medium-sized businesses finding RPO services that fit both and they are catching on to RPO fast. This means that RPO providers will need to demonstrate ROI much more regularly, as these clients will ask the tough questions and will want the assurance that money isn’t wasted.

Considering these big disruptions in RPO services, it’s important for the clients and potential clients of RPO firms to ensure that they take time to understand intimately and decisively their requirements before engaging a provider. RPO providers also must remain nimble enough to respond to the rapidly evolving landscape and to the intimate and decisive needs of various client and potential clients. Otherwise, the industry is going to lose both customers and providers.

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