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According to the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) can be differentiated from its more commonly known cousin which exclusively acts as a staffing firm focusing on earning contingency payments based on a new hires. RPO is more extensive in nature and takes place when a business transfers all or some of its recruiting responsibilities to an outside company that manages and accepts a broad range of placement responsibilities.

RPO services can be customized to meet a variety of needs involving every step in the process from job profiling to on boarding a new hire. These professionals can work with existing staff or bring in their own. RPO professionals provide the campaign designs, methods, necessary technologies, and reporting protocols to enhance a company’s productivity through their expertise.

Services Offered by RPOs

The two biggest advantages offered by RPOs are reducing costs while providing an extensive knowledge base that includes areas such as designing the process, meeting prospective contacts, meeting legal hiring thresholds, and managing the entire operation. Consider the following strategies below as some of the primary benefits these RPO professionals can produce during assignments:

  • Reducing Overhead Costs. For many small to midsize companies the cost of maintaining an ongoing HR staff is prohibitive given swings during business cycles. Often during economic slowdowns these non-essential personal are laid off. When business returns during an upswing, employers need to quickly and efficiently begin hiring. RPO professionals can provide the quality services to replace lost HR infrastructures without the time and expense of hiring a staff to do the hiring.
  • Providing a Strategic Base of Operations. By providing critical, although non-essential HR services, the RPO professionals design a program to manage and acquire human assets while current management can remain attentive to core business operations. By avoiding the time and expense of an in-house HR department, productivity can be enhanced while quality hires can still be produced.
  • Quicker Results. RPO professionals can bring in quality candidates faster than the client company given their expertise and contacts.
  • Metrics Expertise. RPO professionals are able to utilize the best employee hiring metrics that have known success rates.
  • Meeting Legal Standards. RPO professionals are up to speed on the EEO standards involved in the recruitment process and many can assist with current in-house problems as well.
  • Diversity Recruiting. RPO professionals can design and implement Diversity Recruiting programs to help meet company goals.

Hiring an RPO company is a worthy consideration that justifies further exploring. The best results often come with a RPO firm that is as strongly a relational fit as they are a strategic one.

This overview of the recruiting process was written by Julian Hartley, a consultant for