If you were to ask 10 different people their thoughts on recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), you are likely to get 10 different answers, but everyone can agree on at least one thing: RPO is constantly changing. For companies considering RPO as part of their talent acquisition strategy, an understanding of these changes is essential to the buying decision. So, with the complex array of advances in strategies, techniques, technology innovations and many other variables at play, what is the fundamental driver of change in RPO today? In most high-caliber RPO engagements, there is one central factor: the growth of the RPO provider-client partnership.
In recent years, RPO has evolved to be a highly consultative process, with high-touch interaction throughout the entire recruiting continuum.The performance of the RPO provider is no longer judged solely on the number of employees it brings in or the cost and time-to-hire metrics (though they are still very important). At a higher level, organizations want to see the positive overall impact that RPO is having on the company’s business strategies.Along these lines, the role of the RPO provider has changed, with many providers now serving as an extension of their clients’ companies, deeply intertwined with their unique business models, brands, locations and industries. To accomplish that, there needs to be a deeper level of understanding and trust between buyer and provider.
This shift has made the entire RPO function a much more mature practice, and buyers now expect more from their providers than just supplying them with talent. Consider the variety of niche providers and large-scale providers whose services go beyond traditional outsourcing to include all aspects of talent acquisition. Further impacting the RPO industry is the influence of merger and acquisition activity. Larger talent management organizations are acquiring pure-play RPO providers, building new capabilities and expanding resources to offer a wider range of services and provide flexible solutions for each client’s needs.
However, the success of an RPO engagement will depend on much more than the number of services provided and the technology used; the provider must be able to deliver on the main function for which companies turn to an RPO provider – to help them find the right people at the right time at the right cost. While staying at the forefront of emerging technology is certainly important, the RPO provider must fulfill immediate client needs and show their value in terms of quality of hire and strategic impact, as well as speed and cost-effectiveness.
As the war for talent shows no signs of letting up, qualified individuals will be in short supply. In light of this, companies will seek to work with RPO providers that offer innovative solutions that enable growth and flexibility in the midst of constant change, while still improving the bottom line.The RPO industry and the hiring needs of employers will continue to evolve,and there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the providers that develop processes and solutions that can be adapted to meet the needs of each client will see the most success.