How to Implement a World-Class RPO Program

Guest Blogger
How to Implement a World-Class RPO Program

Sometimes an Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) model doesn’t drive the talent acquisition results an organization is looking to achieve. In other words, an organization might feel their RPO provider failed them. Having spent many years in the RPO world, I have seen the same underlying theme in every case where this happens. The problem stems from an absence of true partnership, trust and joint ownership.

Many organizations today outsource multiple functions within their corporate structure — including talent acquisition. Companies with limited recruitment resources look to RPO as a solution to their recruitment challenges. An RPO program often yields many benefits that might not be attainable through other types of recruitment models.  


How to Implement a World-Class RPO Program

Once you decide that RPO is the right talent acquisition strategy for your organization's hiring needs, you'll want to focus your efforts on a smooth implementation process. Your RPO provider should help you map this out, but if you are outlining future milestones and challenges in your RPO business case, consider the following three areas to ensure a seamless transition.

1. Create an Effective Working Partnership

We often hear stakeholders say, “Recruiting is the job of the recruiter. It isn’t my job.”  If you are entering into an RPO partnership with this mindset, it's unlikely that you will achieve a successful outcome. 

Outsourced recruitment is a partnership and one that must be embraced by both parties involved. While the recruiter is the expert on all things “recruitment”, you are the expert on all things in your field. If your recruiter asks you, “Who do you know”, it isn’t because they want you to do their job for them, it’s because you probably have a valuable network they want to tap into. 

If a recruiter asks you to explain an acronym on the job description, it isn’t a sign they don’t know what you need. In fact, it shows a desire to determine EXACTLY what you need.  Additionally, RPO providers operate with consistent and predictable recruit-to-work processes. Your recruiter will outline this process and set expectations and accountabilities for all parties involved.

Your ownership of these responsibilities will lead to a successful partnership, but if you operate outside of that process, then risk is added to the equation which can compromise recruitment results. As the recruiter begins to identify and assess candidates, your immediate feedback is vital to the continued success of their search. Is this a viable candidate in your mind?  Does the search criteria need to be altered based on the pool of candidates available? What next step do you want to take? 

Without partnership and a commitment from your organization's employees to provide prompt communication, a whole slew of things can go wrong. Candidates can be lost in the process or have a bad experience due to lack of feedback, ultimately impacting your employer brand or the focus of the recruiter’s search could be headed in the wrong direction, wasting valuable time and increasing your time-to-fill.  In a nutshell, your commitment to the process and communication is critical to the successful and efficient placement of talent through a strong partnership. 

2. Trust Your RPO Experts

You have hired the RPO provider because they are the experts in the talent acquisition field. They have the tools and skills that are at the core of recruitment success and are utilized, developed and refined on a daily basis.

If your recruiter tells you $50K is not a competitive salary, it is because they have acquired that knowledge through being submersed in the market and have this data at their fingertips.  If your recruiter tells you the super candidate you are looking for is going to extend your search time or doesn’t exist, trust them. And if your recruiter tells you the job title of “Engineer” is too broad and needs to change in order to accurately define the role better, it’s because they know the value of marketing your role to the right audience. 

They are providing this consultation based on historical data and industry expertise. Remember, they are the expert in recruitment. Listening and discussing what the recruiter shares with you about the market and the strategic solutions they offer is critical for an efficient placement.  Failure to heed the advice of your recruiter can be very costly and produce poor talent acquisition results.


3. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Skilled candidates today often have many job options. Losing a candidate during the recruitment process creates rework and adds time. Candidates fall out of a company’s pipeline for many reasons, and it always hurts, but the most common cause is time.

The health of the recruitment process frankly will not be robust if there are delays in the process and momentum is lost. Candidates just won’t stick around when somebody else is knocking on their door with an offer. Your availability to interview quickly and avoid delayed offers with quality candidates will avert letting yourself fall victim to this costly mistake. 

Your RPO partner needs to have a strong employee value proposition (EVP) for them to sell. Have you provided your recruiter with selling points for the role?  Are you outlining the differentiators of your company and your competitors for candidates to see during the interview process?  Or, does your EVP need a serious upgrade? If you can’t answer 'yes' to the first two questions, you have some work to do and your RPO provider can help you with this.

In the end, companies who do recruitment well act with a sense of urgency and sell a strong employee value proposition. 

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