RPO - Recruitment Process Outsourcing. A world I knew nothing about, even while working for the largest Staffing and Recruitment Agency for nine years. After leaving my prior company, I began contract recruiting myself, not knowing that eventually, the RPO world would be one that I lived every day. After doing a couple of months of contract recruiting with my first client, I started to do some research – the partnership I had with this client was fun, and I was seeing a lot of success from the start, so I wanted to see if there were any others in the industry doing it. I could feel that this model, partnering with HR or recruiting teams to help fill their openings, could be something really great to bridge the gap between teams that don’t want to utilize the traditional contract to hire staffing model, but maybe needed a bit of help to get the job done. There are three things that I think clients could really benefit from with the RPO model.
1 –depending on the amount of hires and skill level, RPO can be much more cost effective
2 – enhanced the candidate experience
3 – flexible structure as your needs change
Let’s dive into a couple of examples to illustrate!
First let’s start with the Cost Effectiveness. Coming from the Staffing industry, I had a pretty good idea of what rates were in the market for different skill sets. If I didn’t, I generally knew someone I could ask. In the RPO model, there are different ways to set up the fee structure, but the most common way is on a flat weekly or monthly retainer. We have tried a few different other structures to fit client needs as well, including doing a lesser retainer with a % of the candidate salary (much like a direct placement) when a candidate starts. With our #1 goal for our RPO contracts being to fill the openings, we get the job done. In multiple scenarios since starting Hire DSM, we have saved our clients upwards of $150,000 or more by not having a per placement fee, such as traditional staffing and using the RPO partnership.
Outside of the per head placement fees, we come with all the necessary tools to get the job done. If your team doesn’t have the structure or tools, partnering with an RPO could be a huge time and cost saver!
Second – let’s look at the candidate experience. This may be my favorite thing to talk about, because it is often overlooked in many companies, honestly because of the lack of time the hiring manager or recruiter have! When you have a lot of positions to fill, it is easy to forget about the recruitment experience with not just candidates, but internal hiring managers as well. When partnering with an RPO firm, you can outsource all or parts of your recruitment process. We have done everything from just sourcing and set the client up with onsite interviews, to full cycle recruiting - sourcing, all the way through the negotiations and candidate signing an acceptance letter. With our full attention being on getting those open spots filled with a great candidate, our focus is to make sure (A) – we are clear on what the manager is looking for (B) – we know how to prepare the candidate (and sometimes managers!) for interviews so they can ease their nerves and bring their A game to the interview. (C)– we can communicate to all parties throughout the process and ensure that they have all of the necessary information. When is the candidate starting? Have they cleared pre-employment? Do they have 1st day details? Especially if your hiring is not centralized through a Talent Acquisition team, Hiring Managers don’t always know what happens or needs to be happening or communicating. This can leave the candidate in the dark on what they should or shouldn’t be doing or expect for the first day. Think of the last time that you started a new job – if you weren’t given all of the details, it can be a source of real anxiety for candidates.
The last piece about an RPO partnership that I think is great for clients is the flexibility. Think through your hiring goals this year and ask yourself a few questions. What do I need to hire, why am I hiring those roles and what is the end goal. If you have a lot of FTE hires to make due to growth, turnover, etc., but you don’t foresee the company continuing to add headcount after this sprint, an RPO is a perfect set up. In this scenario, the RPO firm can come in, help get those positions filled so not to overwhelm your teams (likely already full) plate, and they can exit stage left. There likely wasn’t much of a learning curve to train the RPO team- they can help with the positions and leave when the job is done. Or maybe you find out that you do need someone else on the team dedicated to recruiting (and your boss finally gives you a net add for you to do so!) – you can use the RPO team while your new team member gets up and running, and your time to fill or the candidate experience is not impacted. In some cases, we have even trained our backfills! There are minimum contracts, but once that is fulfilled, you are free to cut ties with the RPO firm.
There is also a lot of flexibility when it comes to what piece of the recruitment process you want the RPO team focused on. With one healthcare company, we met them every week to touch base on what they wanted us to focus on, and we solely sourced RNs, LPNs, CNAs. We completed the initial phone interview and set up the candidates with onsite interviews if they were a fit. We focused on what locations had the direst need. On the flip side, we have also been given whole divisions of the company to do all the recruiting for new adds in that division, sourcing through offer accepts.
I hope this gives you some more insight