RPOA Report Preview: How to Maximize Relationships and Revenue

by Tim Plamondon . .


Why are some recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) businesses successful and others are not?  RPO businesses with enduring client partnerships are more likely to grow and maximize profits. Understanding what employers want from RPO will help you strengthen relationships and achieve business success.

A recent report commissioned by the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) helps you understand Why Employers Value Modern Recruitment Process Outsourcing Partnerships and what employers expect from RPO. This article provides a glimpse into some of those expectations. 

Services Employers Expect From RPO Providers

RPO buyers don't take lightly handing over their TA practice to a third party. While more and more employers are turning to the services of RPO providers to get an edge on acquiring top talent. Many organizational leaders like the idea of handing off the hiring function to a third party so that they can focus on other important tasks related to the business. 

Employers partner with RPO providers to solve different hiring challenges and achieve varying business goals. The report stated that the top three areas employers want RPOs to support were the following:

  1. Overall hiring strategy and business alignment
  2. Diversity Recruitment
  3. Labor Market Analysis

Overall, there’s a fairly close alignment between what employers expect and what they receive from their RPO partners. However, the data showed a wide gap in expectations in two areas: 1) overall hiring strategy and 2) benchmarking against industry or similar companies. For example, the report highlights that about 45 percent of employers expect strategic support for their hiring, but less than 10 percent of RPOs provide that type of support. This misalignment is an opportunity for RPO providers to exploit and strengthen their businesses. 

Watch the lead researcher of the report, Ben Eubanks, discuss what employers are getting from RPOs and what they prefer.  

The longevity of the relationship between the employer and the RPO provider is an important variable. The report shows that firms with a longer RPO relationship (more than two years) are more likely to receive support for strategic hiring and business alignment. Over 50 percent of firms receiving diversity recruitment support have partnered with an RPO for two years or less. And only 33 percent of organizations getting assistance with hiring strategy and business alignment have been partnered with an RPO for two years or less. 

The takeaway is that RPOs can give employers immediate value to needed tactical support through internal hiring, diversity recruiting, and employer branding, for example. However, receiving strategic support is a long-term RPO value. Creating strategies takes time and trust. Employers won't automatically trust an RPO's strategic advice. And RPO partners can't, at the drop of a hat, realize the strategic advice the employer needs. The employer -- RPO relationship takes time to mature and evolve. As the relationship matures, the positive effect of investing in strategic solutions becomes visible. 

Managing Director of Operant Consulting, Jenifer Kihm, Ph.D., briefly described the relationship evolution: "An RPO should be seen as a department within the company, not just an outside resource. They aren’t vendors. They are strategic partners. And limiting investment in an RPO is often limiting the reach and impact of the business.”

In summary, RPO businesses must maintain long-lasting relationships with employer partners. By understanding what employers expect, providing quality service, and, most importantly, nurturing the relationship, RPOs can generate more business opportunities. To gain a tremendous impact on your company's success and future growth, download our report today and start building the lasting partnerships your RPO organization needs!

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