The art of RPO: craft your talent strategy

6 min read | Geoff Fawcett | Article | Workforce management | Workforce planning

talent strategy

Today’s hiring market looks a lot different than in years past. Changing ways of working, rapidly evolving technology, and heightened candidate expectations are just some of the challenges organisations must now contend with. But they don’t have to be faced alone.

What is RPO?

The recruitment space suffers no shortage of acronyms, but RPO is one worth being aware of. It’s not the ‘Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’, although it will likely be music to any hiring manager’s ears.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a business model that involves outsourcing your recruitment processes to an external provider – and it’s a blessing for organisations looking to stay mobile in today’s fast-moving hiring arena.

Being more than just a way to fill vacancies, the best RPO programs act as an extension of your business, allowing you to seize the full gamut of external recruitment advantages a talent leader can offer. From shaping your employer brand and increasing diverse hiring, to leveraging the latest technology and decreasing costs, here are some of the key benefits of outsourcing recruitment to an RPO expert.


Stay agile, not fragile

Hiring isn’t a static process – demand fluctuates throughout the year, influenced by seasonal surges and changing market conditions. One of the greatest advantages of an RPO solution is the flexibility it provides, allowing you to quickly scale your staffing needs based on your short-term and long-term business plans. This agility is a vital safety net in a constantly evolving hiring market, helping to ensure you’re not caught out by unexpected skills shortages, or suddenly find yourself over-staffed.

With your RPO provider shouldering much of the risk associated with high-volume hiring, you’ll have the confidence to focus on key business decisions during uncertain times. Moreover, you’ll still have the autonomy to carry out your own recruitment processes. Looking to develop your internal talent mobility? It’s still possible to explore the advantages of internal recruitment if you so choose.

Keep costs low – and candidate quality high

A comprehensive RPO strategy should be seen as an investment. By outsourcing to a trusted RPO provider, you can optimise your budget to avoid overspending, only paying for the services you need.

Additionally, anyone involved in the hiring process knows how expensive advertising vacancies on job boards can be – especially when filling multiple roles across different platforms. RPO saves on these costs by consolidating your advertising spend, accessing bulk purchasing agreements and building proactive talent pools.

Perhaps the costliest mistake in recruitment though is hiring the wrong person; not only in terms of wasted time and money, but in lost productivity, performance and even reputation. However, RPO specialists can help you find the right fit, using proven methodologies, tools and metrics to assess candidates’ skills and potential, as opposed to just experience or qualifications.

Diversify your teams

Alongside the clear ethical and social considerations, there’s strong evidence that fielding diverse teams can augment your workforce’s performance, creativity, and customer-centricity, potentially outperforming those less widely represented. Moreover, research suggests that three-quarters of job seekers consider a diverse workforce an important factor when considering a job offer. Despite this, our latest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report revealed that just over half (52%) said their organisation was proactively taking action to recruit under-represented talent.

So, how does RPO help? Not only can RPO experts tap into non-traditional talent pipelines, but leverage the latest tools and technology to mitigate unconscious bias – something that can easily creep into traditional hiring methods, even with the best intentions.

Bolster your brand

Is your employer brand working hard enough? The truth is, without a recognisable and trusted company image, you could be missing out on quality talent. Most industries are skills-short and candidate-led, and distinguishing your organisation from competitors is a top priority. An external, professional perspective can prove invaluable in this regard.

An RPO provider can work with you to enhance your employer brand and candidate experience, taking the time to understand and develop your purpose, values, and unique offering. At Hays, we even offer clients the choice of a fully branded microsite: a powerful way of championing your company culture and drawing in the candidates you need.

While your recruitment needs may change over time, the right RPO provider can orchestrate a talent strategy that’s ready for the future. With our RPO solutions, you get more than just talent acquisition – you get a true talent and leadership partner, combining meaningful innovation with our global scale.

Learn more about our RPO services and why we’re the trusted choice for leading organisations, or request a callback today.


About this author

Geoff Fawcett - Head of Customer Growth at Hays

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