Hiring the right recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider is a major organizational decision, one that will have a transformative impact on your organization’s talent. If you’re not sure exactly how to hire the right RPO provider, you’re not alone. Companies that want to transform the way they hire talent have increasingly looked to RPO as a solution to support their strategies. But there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an RPO provider; how does a company zero in on the most important ones?
Both internal and external challenges are at play when considering an RPO. From an internal perspective, it becomes pressing for an organization to make changes when its recruitment process is seriously flawed. What comes into question are the norms that drive a company’s talent acquisition strategy, as well as the financial impact of potentially changing these norms. From an external perspective, a change to the recruiting process ultimately affects the candidate and client experience — not to mention the stakeholders who have made significant financial contributions to the company.
In my years of involvement in the RPO industry, I’ve been able to identify some key considerations companies should take when hiring an RPO — as well as some considerations you shouldn’t place too much emphasis on.
Before committing to an RPO, think about the following:
1. Price vs. Efficiency
Although price is a significant factor in hiring an RPO provider, it definitely shouldn’t be a deterrent. The RPO experience is based on improving any current hiring weaknesses in the company while playing to the company’s strengths. The price is simply what you pay in order for you to ultimately see greater returns when all is said and done.
What you should consider is how much more effective and efficient an RPO will make your hiring process. It’s no secret that scouting and hiring for the finest of talent can be, and is often times, a scrupulous process. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be such a hot topic. When an RPO provider brings the proper resources and experience to bear on your recruiting process, you should expect overall improvement and a significant return on your investment.
2. Inside vs. Outside the Box Thinking
Deciding to hire an RPO — and any decision that involves organizational change — is usually contingent on a willingness to explore the unknown. Somehow, it’s been ingrained in many of us that thinking outside the box and exploring the unknown is harrowing or dangerous. But when you replay history, no life-changing invention was ever created without taking leaps.
The same concept can be applied to advancing your hiring process by doing things you haven’t done traditionally. Ultimately, an RPO isn’t solely about the hiring process; it’s about an all-encompassing strategy that gives you an edge in attracting and retaining individuals that will allow your company to reach new heights.
3. Process vs. People
At its best, RPO is an especially fluent process for clients, especially when it comes to delivering a praiseworthy candidate experience. In some unfortunate cases, however, a great candidate experience may be sacrificed in order to keep the hiring process moving.
Ask yourself: is what we are doing best for the candidate experience, or is it simply concerned with the process?
The good news is you shouldn’t have to sacrifice people for the process or vice versa. A praiseworthy candidate experience should be in the DNA of any optimized hiring process. All you have to do is find the right RPO provider, one that will consider the recruiting process from both the organizational and candidate perspectives.
4. Stakeholder vs. Overall Impact
You cannot disregard what an RPO means for the stakeholders of your company. An RPO engagement will certainly require buy-in from many players in your company, from the top down.
To ease buy-in, you need to assess the scope of the overall impact to your business. Ask yourself: which factors may come into play from a macroeconomic, regulatory, or even political standpoint? Get a firm understanding of what a successful RPO engagement means to you, how you measure that success, and how easy or hard it will be to implement the change. Determining what’s fixed and what’s variable, and whether or not the commitment to RPO is scalable, will help you understand the feasibility of implementing an RPO.
If you are considering an RPO, it’s likely that your internal hiring process isn’t serving your organization as you would like it to. RPO has demonstrated its value across a number of industries, so don’t shy away from bringing the potential value of RPO to your company. A good RPO experience should leverage a fluent process that is optimized for both candidates and hiring managers. With due diligence and and a clear understanding of the overall impact hiring an RPO will have on your company, getting buy-in from key stakeholders may not be as big of a battle as you might expect.
Approach RPO confidently and with an open mind that this will help make your company much more competitive in the long run.