Business process outsourcers (BPOs) have been around for decades and provide many different services. In today’s world, few are more critical than recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a BPO is a company that partners with you to perform critical business functions. Some business functions are more common to outsource than others, such as customer service, data entry, and IT development. There are also a variety of less common outsourcing options out there, including recruitment process outsourcing.
Have you ever thought about outsourcing your recruitment process?
What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?
Recruitment Process Outsourcing is a form of outsourcing in which a company outsources all or parts of its recruitment processes. Outsourced tasks can include:
- Analyzing and planning the types of positions to hire for.
- Defining new roles and writing job descriptions.
- Sourcing applicants and advertising on job boards.
- Screening applicants to filter out unsuitable candidates.
Some companies engaging in RPO choose to outsource select tasks, while others outsource the entire candidate experience.
You might be thinking that using an RPO sounds just like using a recruitment agency. While there is some overlap between the two, there are some key differences that are worth noting. A recruitment agency’s primary task is often limited to sourcing candidates and screening applications. The client retains full control over the rest of the recruitment processes.
Recruitment outsourcing, on the other hand, is an opportunity to work with a strategic partner who dives deep to understand your company, brand, and goals. A good RPO translates all this into a recruitment strategy that is tailored to your company. They can then take over major parts of the candidate experience, designing an end-to-end recruitment process that’s customized to your needs.
Who can benefit from Recruitment Process Outsourcing?
This reality typically holds true for recruitment process outsourcing as well. RPO is very scalable, and large companies frequently realize the benefits of outsourcing quickly. If your company wants to hire many people at a fast pace, RPO is a great alternative to having in-house staff manage the recruitment process.
That said, interest in outsourcing is growing amongst small and medium-sized businesses as well, with as many as 29% of them outsourcing a business function. Outsourcing usually works well for companies that want to execute quickly. If you see a hiring need in your business but don’t have the resources, expertise, or staff available to develop a solid talent acquisition strategy on short notice, outsourcing your recruiting might be a good solution for you.
The bottom line? Looking into RPO as a solution to your recruitment needs is a good idea, no matter what size your company is.
Why should you consider RPO?
The main benefits of RPO are vast:
- Reduced costs
- Robust analytics
- Faster time-to-hire
- Improved candidate quality
Cost reduction is often a key factor in all types of outsourcing. 59% of companies who do any kind of outsourcing aim to reduce their expenses. If you’re a company based in a country with a high cost of living, the potential to save money is even higher if you opt for offshore outsourcing.
There’s a balance to be achieved here. You can cultivate all of the skills that you need to run your business in-house. It’s totally possible. But it often takes more money, more time, and more effort.
Working with a BPO means you can capitalize on their expertise without having to invest quite as much time, money, and effort. If you’re unsure where to start with outsourcing, analyzing which business functions are the most expensive for you to maintain is a good way to start. Outsourcing can bring quick savings in those areas, freeing up resources for investment in other areas of your business.
The second most common reason for outsourcing is scalability. If you want to grow your team very fast or if you’re hiring for many different types of positions with different hiring processes, an RPO recruiter can help.
The capacity of an in-house hiring team is limited by the number of talent acquisition staff you have available. In addition to actively working on hiring, most talent and acquisition professionals are also responsible for other projects and tasks. Good things like team meetings and culture initiatives take your in-house employees away from hiring.
When you use an RPO, they can set you up with a full team that’s solely focused on hiring great talent, requiring less overhead and bringing faster results.
Many companies struggle with capturing and leveraging data.
Every business function has a unique set of KPIs that you can use to evaluate how successful you are. But in-house data teams serve many internal customers, making it hard to prioritize requests and deliver results. As a recruiting manager, this means it takes a lot of time to get comprehensive, useful, and reliable reports. If that pain point resonates with you, an RPO vendor might be the solution you need.
A good outsourcing partner will already have the infrastructure ready to report on their performance. They’ll already know the KPIs that are standard in recruitment outsourcing. RPOs typically have their own in-house data teams, and they’ll be able to quickly build or customize reports specific to your needs.
Time-to-hire is the amount of time it takes to fill a position once the role has been published. This is the main KPI that most companies use to measure how successful their recruitment process is. It’s very helpful to look at how this KPI develops before and after you start working with an RPO vendor.
Having positions open for a long time is taxing for your employees. They often have to bear the burden of the additional workload that you’re looking to fill. It can also be damaging to your company because you don’t have the capacity you need to achieve the goals you’ve set.
An efficient hiring process means a faster time-to hire. Because RPO vendors are laser-focused on filling your open positions, they can often be a key lever in helping you fill open roles faster.
Higher candidate quality
A recruiting RPO can achieve a faster time-to-hire by sourcing higher-quality candidates. If you find a partner that’s well-versed in your industry, they should already know where the best job boards, communities, and networks to advertise your open roles are. They can also take over a lot of the screening effort, ensuring that your internal team only interacts with the best candidates.
RPO recruitment can save you time and give you higher confidence in the quality of your new hires.
What are some risks of RPO?
The benefits of RPO are compelling. It’s a great solution for many different kinds of businesses, especially in a climate where many companies are dealing with high turnover and high inflation.
But just like everything else in business, using a recruitment process outsourcers also involves some risks. Here are some things to keep in mind before you decide to outsource your recruitment process (or any other business function):
- Low-quality service
- Lack of control
There’s a huge number of outsourcing vendors out there. Finding one that matches your needs and performs at the quality level that you expect is hard and can take some trial and error. Credit Monkey reports that 50% of companies say that the quality of the service is one of the biggest drawbacks of outsourcing.
You should start out with a deep understanding of why you’re outsourcing, what you hope to gain from it, and exactly what your success criteria are. Make sure your prospective outsourcing partners understand these things, and then use these criteria to measure your success and catch quality issues early on.
Poor communication is another risk of outsourcing. It’s good to have RPO vendors that react quickly and are responsive to issues, but the best outsourcing partners are also proactive. They try to solve problems on their own. They communicate issues with you before you even know they exist.
Communication is something you can try to assess when you’re considering different vendors. You can ask them how they identify and solve problems, at which point they involve their clients, and what kinds of reports they provide. Try to get specific examples that highlight their proactive approach (or lack of one) to help you make a sound decision.
Lack of control
The best outsourcing companies are the ones that you can trust to take on a lot of responsibility. The more you can trust them, the less control you’ll need over the recruitment process. This can actually be one of the big benefits of outsourcing.
But it can also feel unnerving. It may make it harder for you to notice if there are problems.
The best way to mitigate this risk is to establish a good rhythm with your partners. Set up regular reports and performance reviews from the beginning, as these will help you understand where there might be problems.
Finding the right partner
Outsourcing your recruiting process can unlock a new level of growth for your company. But you should always do your due diligence when searching for a good outsourcing partner to work with.
Peak Support has been outsourcing with high-growth companies since 2016. If you’re ready to talk about potentially outsourcing your recruitment process—or any other business function—then contact us today!