/ RPO / Talent Consultancy

RPO or In-House? The Right Route for You

It’s commonplace for HR to centralise recruitment in order to standardise fees, limit supplier numbers, create consistent processes and reduce the risk of rogue behaviour from hiring managers. 

However, when internal HR resources are spread too thin (HR professionals can spend as much as 50% of their week on recruitment during growth periods), and agency spend continues to remain high, with key positions unfilled, HR reaches a fork in the road: dedicated RPO or dedicated internal recruitment.

Undoubtedly, internal recruitment teams bring certain benefits. Suppliers become more motivated as they receive greater levels of communication. Candidates experience a greater level of focus. There may also be investment in a recruitment system, although invariably this will be an applicant tracking system bolted on to the existing HRIS. Cookie cutter roles begin to be filled directly, making a dent in the agency spend. Over time, the business will see the difference between a HR generalist and a recruitment business partner. But what if none of this happens? Your recruitment strategy is running to stand still and the journey becomes longer.

A 2017 study by Aberdeen Research found that 79% of organisations today admit they have a skills gap. The same 79% admit they don’t know how to resolve it – and 75% can’t successfully build candidate pipelines because they lack a strong employer brand. The study also revealed that companies not partnered with an RPO provider are 59% less likely to establish a candidate pipeline for open positions than those who are. The results demonstrate a space that RPO can fill, and here’s why.

RPO reduces time to hire and cost. It brings new quantitative and qualitative metrics into the fold. And where most internal marketing resource focuses on the consumer brand, RPO prioritises your employer brand to enhance the candidate experience.

In essence, RPO drives your recruitment infrastructure forward at a reduced cost, in less time, with less disruption and less resource.

So why are some HR leaders reticent to take this route? Perhaps it’s in the term ‘outsourcing’. Does it convey that you’re not in control? That accountability falls through the cracks?

In fact, it’s more likely to be because the RPO landscape is dominated by providers whose business model, infrastructure and success is predicated on the need for high-volume work. The influence of Procurement teams cannot be ignored either, where demand for greater value without increased cost means the quality and flexibility of the service diminishes. Of course, that’s only one side of the coin.

RPO isn’t like traditional outsourcing, nor does it remove the accountability for talent acquisition from HR. True RPO providers completely immerse their on-site and near-site teams in your culture, values and mission, working with your organisation to approach recruitment in a collaborative manner. They partner with businesses to transform the attraction, selection, onboarding and candidate experience in a strategic and future-proof way. RPO uses smart and scalable technology to track talent pipelines, measure performance and identify future stars. And when matched with real technical expertise, it can build your brand and improve candidate reach.