the RPO playbook | a practical guide to recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)

talent acquisition as your business differentiator.

The RPO Playbook - Randstad SourcerightWhat will your organization need from your workforce a year from now? With the global economy less certain than any other time in recent history, you might as well consult a fortune teller. Never mind a year from today, knowing what the markets will demand over the next 30 days is a challenge in itself.

This is the reason why your business needs workforce agility and scalability now. Having emerged from the global pandemic crisis, you must focus on accelerating growth by building a workforce ready for new and unfamiliar market dynamics. Having the resources at hand when opportunities arise will be critical in the months and years ahead.

Acquiring this type of capability calls for strong talent readiness and the ability of business leaders to rapidly realign resources as needed. You might have prepared your workforce for many contingencies, but the scale and breadth of the current disruption require even more agility and flexibility. Perhaps your organization is now seeing a surge in talent demand and struggling to ramp up quickly. Additionally, the rapid speed at which digital transformation is unfolding, the growing need for reskilling, and the impact of AI and automation on how work gets done require a thorough rethinking of talent strategies. So how will you respond to these unprecedented times?

It begins with building talent. With business needs changing rapidly from one day to the next, your workforce must be enabled with the right skills and ready to react to the most dynamic conditions in decades. Ensuring you have access to the highest-quality people wherever the business takes you is essential to winning and staying ahead of the competition. This can only happen with data, a rigorous recruitment approach and a robust set of tools to accelerate human-driven outcomes.

How can you ensure access to best-in-class people, processes and technologies at a time when resources are hard-fought and rationalization dictates many conversations? Our recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) playbook provides an in-depth understanding of how a customized solution can help you achieve the best workforce ready for any challenge ahead.

2 out of 5 talent leaders say they continue to experience talent scarcity, even after the pandemic. 

chapter one.
what is recruitment process outsourcing?

Global economic upheaval has meant more uncertainty when it comes to hiring. While some companies recently experienced steep drops in revenues, others posted record sales and demand for their products and services. Hiring was frozen for many businesses while others couldn’t fill requisitions quickly enough. As a result, workforce planning has become highly difficult to predict and manage.

This may be why recruitment process outsourcing is likely to attract more employers in the months and years ahead. According to Everest Group, with the global RPO market taking a hit in 2020 after a 16% increase the year before, it is expected to strengthen by 7% to 11% in 2021 as the economy recovers.

Uncertainty, along with companies downsizing or eliminating their talent acquisition function during the pandemic, are two major reasons employers are increasingly turning to RPO. As hiring resumes, many companies that no longer have internal resources, need added support to meet their growth goals, according to Everest Group. Many are not in a rush to restore their internal function without assurances that business will return to pre-pandemic levels. An outsourced model provides a buffer against spikes and drops in talent demand through highly scalable programs and technology enablement.

Scalability and flexibility have always been key value propositions attracting RPO adopters, but there are other benefits attracting a variety of employers with different needs. Cost savings, access to talent, enhanced quality of hires, process efficiencies and workforce management support are all benefits that lead buyers to the contract table for the first time — or the second, third and fourth.

what benefits does RPO deliver? 

Under a comprehensive program, an RPO solution may:

  • assess the company's HR technology stack and implement new solutions if feasible

  • create a framework for ensuring a diverse and inclusive approach to recruitment

  • provide workforce planning support

  • advise and execute on employer brand strategy

  • manage the end-to-end requisition process

  • take on strategic sourcing and recruitment marketing activities, including internal mobility

  • integrate talent marketing within the broader attraction strategy

  • create talent pools as part of a direct sourcing strategy

  • manage pre-screening and assessment

  • conduct interviews and selection

  • manage candidate offers and onboarding

  • offer candidate management and hiring manager support

  • conduct HR research

  • manage program performance and talent strategy analytics

  • provide offboarding and career transition services

what RPO models are available?

  • comprehensive RPO.
    This is just what the name implies: a program that spans all processes, roles, business units and activities associated with recruitment of permanent hires for a particular organization. This may include: sourcing, screening, assessment and selection; process management; transactional activities; guidance on and support for a comprehensive workforce diversity strategy; technology deployment and management; employer branding and talent marketing; agency management; internal hiring; and campus recruitment.
  • project RPO.
    When organizations need to quickly scale up their recruitment efforts to support a business initiative, project RPO may be the best solution. Project RPO differs from end-to-end RPO because it has clearly defined timelines and end goals but offers similar benefits. 

  • selective RPO.
    Some organizations may prefer to outsource the recruitment of lower-level, high-volume roles but retain other levels for internal recruiters. They may also implement RPO for some business units but not others, or need support on part or parts of the recruitment process, such as candidate management. Selective RPO programs typically supplement internal recruitment functions.

  • recruiter on demand (ROD).
    When an employer simply needs additional recruiters to fortify its internal capabilities, an ROD solution is the most immediate way to meet this requirement. This model provides: instant access to recruitment resources; flexibility of on-site or virtual resources; complete scalability to any employer's talent needs; no lengthy contracts or a reduction in force; significant cost advantage over third-party agencies; and highly experienced specialists backed by deep experience and methodology.

  • total talent management solution.
    The total talent, or integrated talent management solution is the most transformative model. It extends the talent expertise and management of RPO to the employer’s contingent workforce program for a comprehensive approach.  While implementation takes more time, it also produces benefits beyond those provided by RPO or a managed services program (MSP) alone.

5 questions.
will an RPO address your recruitment challenges?

  1. Do we have difficulties securing internal resources for our recruitment functions?
  2. Are we experiencing longer fill times due to requisitions for more scarce skills?
  3. Have we lost most of our recruiters during the economic downturn?
  4. Are we experiencing high turnover rates shortly after hires are onboarded?
  5. Do we have robust talent marketing and candidate relationship management strategies in place?

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