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Is the RPO Trend Here to Stay?

As we highlighted in last week’s blog post, 5 Trends to Watch in IT Staffing, one of the recent recruiting developments is the emergence of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). In fact, the Everest Group reports that the 2012 global RPO market continues to see accelerated growth of over 25%, and will reach US $1.4 billion in annualized spending.

As recruiting technologies evolve and contract staffing expands, organizations are increasingly turning to outsourced staffing solutions. Organizations are looking for alternative hiring solutions as layoffs in the HR department (along with budget cuts) have depleted their already limited internal recruiting resources.

According to a recent white paper from the Aberdeen Group, the top 5 drivers that persuaded organizations to use RPO were:

  1. The need to focus on core business competencies
  2. The need to innovate how organizations go about recruiting
  3. Consolidated internal recruiting function
  4. Need to hire quicker
  5. Spike/anticipated spike in talent needs

The Benefits (and Hesitations) of RPO

The benefits of securing an RPO solutions provider are numerous.

First, companies benefit from the expertise of a specialist who has access to a large, qualified network of candidates and referral contacts.

Next, because RPO firms handle all aspects from recruiting through hiring and almost everything in between, it creates a seamless process for the candidates.

Finally, RPO can simplify the tedious, drawn out process that internal recruiting often causes. With RPO many of those challenges and roadblocks are inherently eliminated.

Despite the benefits, many organizations are still wary of handing over the recruiting reins completely. The top concerns listed in the Aberdeen Group report included cost and “the ability of the RPO provider to represent the brand well.”

In a recent Twitter chat, #TChat, the question was asked, “Does RPO damage or enhance a company’s recruiting practice? Why or why not?” A few of the responses included:

  • “If you’re Microsoft, your brand is established, and going through a recruiter doesn’t tarnish it nearly as much.”
  • “Some execs view ID’ing talent as 1 of their top priorities. Challenge is training managers & others to develop this competency.”
  • “As with everything, it depends. Work with a good, reputable RPO, be upfront with candidates, you’ll all do well.”
  • “Outsourcing is the way things get done in all aspects of HR today.”
  • “RPO can definitely damage your employer brand pretty quickly”
  • “Recruiters need to know both the org/ees to find the best talent who will fit & stay. Can that be outsourced?”

To view more about #TChat and the RPO discussion, check out the recap here.

It’s important to remember that even after a candidate has been hired, whether through RPO or internally, the successful recruitment was for naught if the candidate leaves after the first three months. Careful attention needs to be paid by the organization after onboarding to reduce turnover, increase team retention rates, and improve the overall quality of employee fit within the workplace culture.

What do you think: is RPO a good idea for your organization?

Note: To learn more about Agile’s take on RPO services, give us a call at 678.722.8200.

Image by Victor1588 via Flickr.


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