Everything you need to know about Recruitment Process Outsourcing

What is RPO and how could it strengthen your business?

Why use an RPO model?

You don’t need to be an expert to know that right now, the UK job market is more competitive than it has ever been. That's why having a robust recruitment process is a necessity if you are going to attract the best candidates. Deciding to use an RPO model to enhance your resourcing can provide a good return on your investment.

Here are some of the reasons why.

Stronger quality of hires

An RPO team will pre-screen all candidates in line with your requirements, and will often have built existing talent pools of suitable candidates speeding up the attraction and selection process for you.

Access to a wider labour pool

The RPO team will conduct a large amount of outbound activity, to reach a labour pool that isn’t typically interested in temporary work (as they are usually already in work), therefore expanding your reach to applicants.

Cost reduction

An RPO provider can scale their activity up or down to match your hiring needs. This means you can keep your hiring teams lean and save them time spent tied up in the recruitment process.

Reduced time to hire

The RPO team aims to develop a model in line with your required timelines and fill positions efficiently.  As experts in recruitment, they will already have established time-to-hire models which can be applied to your business.


An RPO expert will track every stage of the recruitment process and provide you with regular insights, so adjustments can be made easily based on real-time information.

What’s an RPO model?

RPO stands for Recruitment Process Outsourcing and, as the name suggests, is the outsourcing of a company’s recruitment process to an external service provider. That might seem a straightforward definition, but there is a little more to it than that. If you're considering an RPO model for your business, it's useful to know what’s included.

Below is a list of recruitment activities typically covered by RPO:

  • Developing a recruitment strategy
  • Talent attraction and candidate sourcing
  • Candidate screening, assessment and selection
  • Workforce planning
  • Market forecasting
  • Interview co-ordination
  • Offer management
  • Compliance and background checks
  • Metrics and reporting
  • Management of the onboarding process

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for RPO models. After all, every company is different and has different needs. This is why an RPO solution should be flexible to meet the changing needs of your business. There are also various delivery models, which we will look at in more detail below. Again, the best type of delivery model for you will depend on your business needs.

How does RPO work?

Before choosing RPO, it’s important to know the various delivery models that can be used, depending on your business needs. Because of their flexibility, RPO solutions can be used for the entire recruitment process or just part of it. For example, you might only need help with attraction and selection with the rest of the process completed in house.

Below are the delivery models and what they include.

End-to-end RPO

This solution involves taking on responsibility for the full life cycle of recruitment across all areas of your business, or within a certain location, department or talent area. Typically, it's a long-term or ongoing solution that evolves and improves over time.

This model is fully comprehensive and allows for a strategic, customised solution to your permanent recruitment. Working in partnership with you, an RPO provider will use your employer brand and values to build a talent acquisition strategy.  

Project RPO

Similar to an end-to-end solution, but within a set timeframe. Typically they are used for a specific need and will have a start and end date. The specifics of what the RPO will cover are agreed upon before the project start date.

This type of delivery model is useful for the opening of a new location or department, where there will be recruitment needs for a specific number of hires or over a set time.

Hybrid RPO

This involves outsourcing specific parts of the recruitment process. With hybrid RPO, the recruitment process seamlessly flows between the RPO provider and the client.

This model can be used to provide your in house teams with support filling niche roles they may not have experience with, or when there is an increased demand in hiring requirements. This model can be customised to your needs. For example, companies typically use this model to outsource the attraction and selection processes.

On-demand RPO

An on-demand model is used to handle spikes in your hiring needs. It's designed to provide the same benefits of an end-to-end RPO but on a short-term basis. On-demand RPOs are best used when you have an immediate need for resourcing support. Expert recruitment teams should be able to quickly provide an embedded solution to your in house teams.  

RPO Misconceptions

When looking at outsourcing any part of your business processes it's natural to have concerns about how it will work. It can feel risky to entrust such an important, integral part of your business to someone else. After all, your people and their talent are your biggest asset.

Below are some of the common misconceptions.

An RPO model will mean loss of control of my business

Loss of control in your business can be a daunting prospect. However, a good RPO provider will pursue a partnership approach to reach one common goal. By using RPO you can gain increased control of your recruitment processes as you can actively monitor the process and adapt strategically.

RPO eliminates the in-house team

An RPO team aims to work closely with the in-house team, providing support in areas where more expertise is needed. In some cases, this would mean taking on areas of the process the in-house team aren’t able to cover. Working with a partnership approach is key.

RPO requires companies to outsource all recruitment

A flexible RPO solution should provide you with the option to decide the level of support you receive. You are in control of deciding what area, department or location is covered within the RPO.

So how can we help?

At People Solutions, we take recruitment personally. We know each new member of the team will affect your culture, so the thought of handing us control of this part of your business might be daunting.

But don’t worry! We do more than just push CVs. We're people consultants. Our RPO solutions will give you the support you need to find people who fit your business perfectly. We get to know our clients and create real connections to provide better recruitment and make your business stronger.

Take the worry out of your recruitment today by allowing us to develop an RPO strategy tailor-made for your business.

Get in touch now to find out how.    

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