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How to enhance your hiring process with Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Outsourcing

Assembling a team of sharp, qualified and dedicated individuals is no small feat — especially when you have a few hundred positions to fill. The resources and costs associated with making that happen can quickly become overwhelming.

But, what if you could transfer all or part of your recruitment process to a third-party service provider with the infrastructure and expertise to cost-effectively manage your hiring? You can, and it's called Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). This approach optimizes the recruitment process, produces better-qualified candidates with staying power and helps to reduce the costs associated with traditional talent acquisition.

If you haven't yet embraced RPO, it's time to familiarize yourself with this valuable business strategy. Knowing how you can benefit from this approach, along with what to look for in the right RPO partner, can transform your talent acquisition process to set your business up for success.

What companies stand to gain from RPO

Today, an extremely competitive hiring landscape means companies are oftentimes hiring from the same talent pools. Attractive candidates may have certain skills and/or certifications, speak certain languages or have prior industry experience, just to name a few of the many sought-after qualifications. The struggle to attract, and then retain, top talent elevates the significance and relevance of RPO now more than ever.

PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that while 52% of CEOs are planning on increasing their headcount in the coming months, 77% say they have trouble finding new employees with the right creativity and innovation skills. Considering that 60% are "rethinking their HR function," a more progressive hiring solution that produces a steady stream of qualified candidates makes perfect sense.

From accounting and advertising to IT and customer support, companies have always outsourced various aspects of their businesses to specialized organizations with niche expertise. RPO is similar. By transferring part or all of the recruitment process to a third-party with existing technology and a proven methodology, companies stand to expand their talent pool and speed up the hiring process, while maintaining focus on their core competencies.

Here's a quick snapshot of some of the top RPO benefits:

  • Higher-quality hires. RPO technology, coupled with your RPO partner's hiring expertise, delivers more skilled and experienced job candidates.
  • Reduced costs. Because RPO typically fills roles faster than the traditional hiring process, companies can reduce their average cost-per-hire.
  • The ability to scale recruitment efforts. RPO can handle multiple hires across numerous regions and global markets at once, making it easier for you to scale your talent acquisition efforts.
  • An enhanced employment brand. Your RPO partner knows what desirable candidates are seeking in a company and are accomplished at positioning your brand to be as attractive as possible.
  • Optimization through analytics and reports. Leveraging data related to the hiring process not only allows you to optimize your current talent acquisition approach, but also informs future hiring decisions.

"While recruitment process outsourcing is intended to help you find and recruit the best possible candidates for the job, the secondary benefits are equally impressive," says Pamela Rodas, director of global talent acquisition with TELUS International. "Traditional staffing solutions have focused solely on filling positions, and organizations can suffer from this type of myopic approach. RPO is multi-faceted - you get top-notch talent, lower turnover rates, greater efficiency, more flexibility and ultimately a more sustainable business strategy over the long run."

All of this affects a business's bottom line. Since RPO uses a recruitment process that's already tried-and-tested, teams won't be shorthanded for months on end. As a result of extensive on-boarding training, new employees can be integrated across departments more quickly. "Scalability is a big factor," Rodas says. "Talent acquisition solutions provides businesses with more agility and flexibility when it comes to ramping up after an economic downturn, or staffing to support expansion into a new market."

What to look for in a recruitment process outsourcing partner

Recruitment is one of those business activities that requires a significant expenditure of time and resources, but that won't immediately increase your profit. You must approach RPO as an investment in your company's overall health. With the optimal employees — which a talent acquisition partner can help you locate and secure — you can lay the groundwork for a more powerful workforce that will positively impact your revenue.

"When hiring, brands are usually quick to ask themselves what skills they're looking for in a candidate. But they don't always consider the traits that are best suited to their business, or the long-term implications of a hiring decision," Rodas says. "Effective talent acquisition isn't just about filling a role fast, but also includes a cultural alignment component."

The right RPO partner will achieve this by supplying onsite support and immersing themselves in your company, from its mission and values to its corporate culture. This knowledge becomes the foundation on which a hiring strategy is built.

A good talent acquisition partner will also work with your marketing team to determine how best to position your employer brand. It's one thing to build a strong talent pool, but unless you communicate to prospective employees what to expect from their role within your organization, what you represent and what your business hopes to achieve, you risk losing them to a competitor that does.

Finally, look for a partner with global knowledge and cross-functional experience. Expertise in other hiring markets, industries and disciplines translates into more streamlined operations, the benefits of which are reaped by your brand.

Companies today, regardless of size or industry, have no choice but to go to war in the battle for talent. RPO serves as the secret weapon by transforming the hiring process into a more efficient, effective and business-forward model.

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