Finding the Best RPO Companies

by Lamees Abourahma

Employer holding a lighted lightbulb in his right hand to light his path to find the best rpo companies.

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) companies are revolutionizing talent acquisition. This strategic form of business process outsourcing (BPO) emerged after the economic disruption in 2000 and matured during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few years, the talent market faced complex disruptions with the Great Resignation, increased gig work, and job candidates seeking flexibility and higher pay. Remote work allowed employers to expand their recruiting geographies but also brought challenges with different cultures, languages, and employment laws. In addition, employers needed to hire a diverse workforce and manage HR technology. Amidst these disruptions, RPO emerged as a groundbreaking talent solution. This post highlights the importance of RPO and how to find the best RPO company for your organization.

What is RPO?

The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) was the first to define the term RPO, and industry leaders use this definition today. It states that an RPO is a type of BPO where employers willingly transfer their recruitment processes to an external talent solutions provider. An RPO provider can bring their staff, technology, and methodologies to manage the recruitment process and deliver results. Unlike staffing companies, RPO takes ownership of the process design, implementation, and results.

Why is RPO Important?

Talent acquisition is complex, but with the right approach, your organization can effectively attract top talent. That's where RPO companies come in. These subject-matter experts specialize in talent acquisition and have the know-how to navigate the recruiting environment, use the latest talent technology, and scale capacity to meet hiring demands.  Our 2022 RPO Value Insight Study revealed the benefits of employers partnering with an RPO provider.   Some of those benefits are the following:

  • 96 percent improved hiring metrics

  • 58 percent increased time to hire 

  • 51 percent increased hiring consistency

  • 43 percent generated higher quality hires, and

  • 42 percent reduced the cost of hiring. 

How to Find the Best RPO Companies

Traditionally, the most common approaches for employers to find the best RPO companies are through:

  • Referrals 

  • HRO Today’s Bakers Dozen companies

  • Google searches

  • RPO consultants

Alternatively, you can use the iCoCo Marketplace supported by the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) to discover RPO companies and technology platforms that specifically meet your requirements. The iCoCo Marketplace focuses exclusively on RPOs and supporting vendors in the RPO market. It's a free and easily accessible tool that ensures exceptional user experience. With this platform, you can search for providers based on various recruiting services, engagement types, technology categories, global hiring capabilities, and overall hiring strategy and business alignment.

iCoCo Marketplace: Search and connect with best-in-class talent solutions and technology providers

How to Select the Best RPO Company for Your Recruitment Needs

Once you find a list of RPO companies, you will need to find the best option for your hiring challenges. RPO companies differ in terms of recruitment services, engagement types, technologies and market intelligence capabilities, geographic scope, among other differentiators.  Here is a brief explanation of some of the selection criteria of an RPO partner.

  • Recruiting Services: Modern RPO companies have expanded their recruiting services to adapt to the current talent market's challenges. They now offer recruitment marketing services and related services such as diversity recruitment and internal mobility. In today’s hiring environment, candidates seek information on an organization's culture and work environment before considering a job offer. Therefore, recruitment marketing has become vital in bolstering the employer brand and attracting candidates. 
  • Engagement Types: Depending on your organization’s needs, you have different engagement options with an RPO company.
    • Enterprise/full Talent Lifecycle: In this case, the RPO company replaces all internal client recruitment resources for all skill sets, all business units, and all locations. Delivery staff can be onsite, virtual, at the provider’s recruitment center, or a blend of these.

    • Hybrid/Select Process/Staff Augmentation RPO: The RPO company augments internal client recruitment resources. The RPO engagement is typically for specific open jobs, business units, locations, and recruitment processes. The delivery staff can be virtual at the provider recruitment center. 

    • On-demand/Project RPO: This type of RPO is typically for a defined number of openings, a designated location, and a defined timeline. The delivery staff can be virtual at a provider recruitment center.

    • Contingent RPO: This is a newer RPO model that first emerged in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) and is currently gaining momentum because of the expansion in the GIG economy. In a contingent RPO model, the RPO company provides direct sourcing of temporary and contract labor hires. Contingent RPO may be offered with a permanent placement RPO solution or independently. 

  • Talent Technology and Market Intelligence: Building a tech stack and keeping up with new technologies can be draining for internal recruiting teams. Organizations can optimize existing technology or introduce new solutions by partnering with an RPO provider, ensuring they remain highly competitive. Furthermore, access to market data empowers organizations to make informed hiring decisions. Insights on the best locations and demographics for specific roles can improve recruitment outcomes. Salary benchmark data also helps employers stay competitive. Everest Group found that RPO providers invest significantly in data and analytics capabilities, offering skill gap analysis, industry benchmarks, compensation information, and other talent market intelligence. Therefore, RPO companies have the resources to complement your current tech stack. 

  • Global Hiring: RPO supports global hiring by providing employers with a larger talent pool across different regions. Global RPO providers have decades of experience navigating the complexities of international hiring, ensuring compliance with local regulations, and offering valuable talent market intelligence. Overall, RPO is a valuable solution for organizations looking to expand their global hiring efforts and access top talent worldwide.  Global RPO companies help organizations build vibrant talent communities, preparing them for future skills gaps. Global RPOs can also provide scalability to organizations depending on their recruitment needs and offer best-in-class in-house recruiters training and development.

  • Overall Hiring Strategy and Business Alignment: The RPOA  2022 RPO Value Insight Study also showed that as RPO relationships mature over time, they evolve into more strategic partnerships. RPO providers become trusted advisors to their clients, helping them align their business and hiring objectives. Other research supports this finding. The Everest Group also found that strategic talent acquisition services increased in demand globally, and North America leads the way.  There is an increased demand for strategic talent acquisition services across the market, with North America at the forefront of the global trend.


RPO companies provide valuable hiring solutions for diversity, internal mobility, employer branding, technology optimization, talent market intelligence, and business advisory. Employers highly appreciate the subject matter expertise and strategic guidance their RPO partner offers.

In this article, we summarized why RPO can be a viable option for your hiring strategy and provided resources for finding the best recruitment process outsourcing companies for your organization. 

Start your journey of finding the best RPO companies for your business: Explore the iCoCo Marketplace. 


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