Selecting the right RPO partner

A fluid and dynamic talent landscape, intense competition to get to the right-fit talent and a rapidly overwhelming gig economy – talent acquisition has never faced such an intense barrage of challenges. Organisations look to streamline their recruitment processes for efficiency, effectiveness and cost optimisation through recruitment process outsourcing (RPO).

The easier part is the decision to bring a RPO partner on board for the right reasons. The difficult part, however, is the choice of the partner. How does your organisation select the right RPO partner?

A partner for all needs and reasons

First on the requirements checklist is whether your RPO partner has a deep understanding of your industry. Only then will they be able to provide you the right solution that addresses your strategic vision and business goals. Only then can they confidently target the right-fit active and passive candidates to get them on board quickly. This is even more pertinent if you are in a specialised domain or industry. You know you have the ideal RPO partner when they demonstrate knowledge of the technology and function that you need, and the talent communities where such skills and capabilities can be discovered.

The right RPO goes beyond merely filling up of positions. They know recruiting far better than your organisation does. And so they have the capability to streamline the hiring and candidate engagement process to bring in greater efficiency, consistency and cost saving. In doing so, they enhance your employer brand.

Factors to consider in selecting the right RPO partner

In selecting your RPO partner you look for a high proficiency in end-to-end recruitment of the right talent at lesser time and cost. The following attributes are essential when selecting your RPO partner. Do they have the

  • Nimbleness to create a bespoke solution if the need arises?
  • Capabilities and agility for innovative thinking to address your specific issues?
  • Scale and scalability to meet your growth plans or spikes in talent requirements?
  • Market or industry specialist knowledge?
  • Required global footprint and reach?
  • Track record for strong client relationships?
  • The right work ethic that aligns with your values?
  • An effective governance model?

The sweet spots of RPO compatibility

Beyond the ‘must-have’ criteria for selecting the right RPO partner, it pays rich dividends to look at the sweet spots that will differentiate the great from the good.

Like for instance the size of the RPO. Which is more compatible with your organisation culture? A large and somewhat rigid RPO, or a smaller and nimble RPO that is competent and can provide you the personal touch?

Another factor to consider is the extent of specialisation that you are willing to accept. Having clarity on the current and future needs can help find the right balance to make the right selection.

By far the sweetest spot that you can find in your RPO partner is their appetite for value creation. Beyond just recruitment, how effectively can they support your business? Can they step up to provide say, on-boarding? Can they assess existing talent, streamline recruitment processes and synchronise them with talent and business systems? In short, can they go beyond being a KPI-driven provider to a strategic partner?

The decision to go for an RPO is a strategic one and requires careful deliberation. When it comes to selecting the right partner, meticulousness and thoughtfulness are prime considerations. Remember, you will be entrusting your company’s brand reputation to your RPO partner.

It is important to select an RPO partner who shares your commitment to corporate values and culture. At the same time, performance and results are critical too. Finding the right balance is the key to sustained success in talent acquisition.

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