Choosing to outsource some or all of an employer’s recruiting functions to a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company is no easy decision.
But even with the very best recruiters residing in-house, there are select – and sometimes unforeseen – instances when it makes sense to go the RPO route for help with part or all of an employer’s hiring needs.
For example, according to LinkedIn’s “Global Recruiting Trends 2016” report, 59% of employers are investing more in their employer brand compared with last year. There is a recognized need to invest in an outward appearance as an employer, and when internal teams aren’t properly qualified, the employer as a whole suffers.
The biggest obstacle to attracting top talent is not compensation (43%) or competition (39%), but the ability to find candidates in high-demand talent pools (46%).
With those factors in the mix, Richard Dunn, senior director of RPO Operations for Yoh, a Philadelphia-based RPO vendor, offers five examples of when outsourcing recruiting makes sense:
Little or no recruiting strategy in-house
At many employers, Dunn has seen instances where recruiters are going through the motions, and each is marching to the beat of a different drummer. Long cycle times and unresponsive recruiters or hiring managers can turn off even the hungriest candidates.
“On the outside, recruiting may appear to be operating just fine, but inconsistencies in the recruiting process secretly impact the organization's long-term ability to successfully attract and hire quality talent,” says Dunn.
In these instances, an RPO provider can assist by providing industry best practices that are proven to optimize the speed of your existing talent acquisition strategy by identifying and streamlining gaps in the process.
Recruiters are bogged down
This problem often happens when HR and recruiting teams are blended, according to Dunn.
“A common misconception is that RPO programs can reduce an employer’s headcount by supplementing the role of busy staff members, but when set-up properly, an RPO program will do just the opposite,” Dunn explains. By taking on burdensome and repetitive administrative tasks, an employer’s existing internal teams are freed up to focus on other more strategic tasks.
Demand for a cost-effective, scalable recruiting solution
There certainly isn't anything wrong with using temporary staffing agencies, Dun says, but when this happens regularly, employers can expect cost-to-hire to skyrocket. Conversely, if hiring managers know about a large-scale recruiting project coming down the pike, they know they’ll need to staff up or contract out, but do they for how long? And, at what price?
“What many talent acquisition professionals don't realize is the primary benefit of RPO is its cost-effective nature; particularly when dealing within the typical ebbs and flows in hiring,” he says. “It's the responsibility of the RPO provider to determine how to effectively increase and decrease their recruiting resources, not the hiring organization, saving both time and money.”
MIA recruiting metrics
If an employer is considering an RPO, then there's likely some aspect of their talent acquisition strategy that is underperforming. Perhaps hiring numbers are not where they should be, there may be ongoing roles that teams are consistently struggling to fill, or an employer needs to augment efforts to push through a period of high-volume requisitions.
“Think of an RPO provider as a fresh set of eyes on your data, processes, and even recruiting technology. They should be able to identify the gaps and work with a employer to resolve those issues,” Dunn says. He adds that as recruiting experts, RPO providers will often see things that those working only internally may be missing, and won’t hesitate to make suggestions that will help recruiting programs run more efficiently.
Unfamiliar recruiting sector and/or geography
Perhaps the employer needs to increase the quantity and quality of permanent hires quickly in a completely different industry or location, but they either have no industry hiring insight or no time to figure out how to do it.
“RPO recruiters have experience working across various recruiting disciplines in multiple geographies, and while existing recruiting departments may be limited in their experience, RPO recruiters are trained to embody a wealth of best practices and learned strategies,” Dunn says.