The types of organizations that tap into leading recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services providers to support their distinct recruiting needs and hiring programs at large today are many:

  • Retailers aiming to employ hundreds of hourly workers before the busy holiday season arrives
  • Manufacturers looking for part-time staff to support one or more high-production facilities
  • Fortune 500 companies looking to add top talent to their executive teams in senior roles
  • Tech firms needing to hire the best engineers and developers to augment their software

Whether you have a high-volume hiring strategy and need to fill dozens of openings in a matter of months or only hire a handful of employees each quarter in niche positions across your business, contracting a recruitment agency to find good-fit candidates to join your org might be ideal.

The trick is knowing what to look for in an RPO services provider — and how they differ considerably from staffing agencies that are focused on quantity, not quality, with their candidate sourcing and engagement efforts.

What are RPO services?

An RPO services provider listens to your distinct headcount needs, develops a game plan to hire the right people, and sets that plan in motion to identify and engage qualified individuals who check all of your boxes.

A common use case for hiring a recruitment process outsourcing firm is to aid with difficult recruiting challenges:

  • Let’s say your in-house talent acquisition team struggles to find high-quality candidates for certain roles. This could be technical jobs, C-level positions, or roles for which managers need someone with a specific certification.
  • Instead of wasting their time (and your money) by having them continue to turn over every proverbial rock to find premier prospects, you can turn to an RPO services firm to find leads for the positions in question for you (especially during tough hiring times and labor market conditions).
  • The top RPOs work just like your TA team, in that the processes and technology they have in place (e.g., applicant tracking system). The difference is these firms have RPO recruiters who specialize in sourcing for specific roles.
  • Outsource this work for hard-to-fill roles to your RPO provider, and you open up more time for your internal recruiting staff to focus on other hiring needs — and, in the grand scheme of things, save on hiring costs (i.e., pouring money into in-house recruitment marketing activities that yield little or no results applicant-wise).

Relying on outside help may not always be feasibly for your organization. However, allocating some of your TA resources and annual budget to employ an RPO services firm to bolster your talent pool and help you hire the right folks (and quickly) can also help you appease execs and managers.

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The ROI of RPO services

There are numerous benefits to using a recruitment process outsourcing firm for mid-sized and large-scale businesses alike today. The key to unlocking strong ROI, though, is working with the right RPO services agency.

Consider NXTThing RPO. Our clients have unique hiring needs, but they all essentially experience the same ROI from leveraging our team of experts. Here’s just one example, to give you an idea as to how we help:

  • A collegiate bookstore retail chain had initially let the managers who operate is 1,100 stores nationwide to hire as they saw fit. Then COVID arrived and led the retailer to realize it needed to centralize its hiring strategy to better compete for and convert talent.
  • So, the company’s leadership turned to NXTTHing. Our dedicated staff of experienced recruiting pros help the org develop a more predictable recruiting approach that took the burden off its hiring managers at each of its stores to handle hiring on their won.
  • The results? We sourced 90,000 applicants, conducted 30,000 phone screens, and, ultimately, helped the business hire 6,000-plus seasonal employees in a matter of just eight weeks to ensure they were properly staffed for the busy fall sales season (i.e., when students return to school).

Your business model and/or hiring needs may be the opposite of this retailer. The point is, with a proven and reputable RPO solution at your disposal, you can realize cost savings, prevent wasted energy from your in-house talent team, ensure prospects still have a stellar candidate experience, and employ the necessary individuals to continue to drive your business forward.

Researching RPO services

Whether you require assistance with hiring roles across your org in the long run or have project RPO needs (i.e., urgent headcount demands for one particular location, region, or division of your business), there are RPO services firms with reasonable cost-per-hire models that can help.

To find such a firm, though, you need to look for three specific traits in prospective outsourcing vendors.

1) Proven staff of expert recruiters

The only way you can ensure a prospective RPO provider has a knowledgeable and savvy recruiting staff is to speak with them. When evaluating these services, request to speak with a recruiter who has a history of filling the kinds of roles you’ll need filled for the foreseeable future to get insight into their sourcing, nurturing, and interviewing processes.

What kinds of messaging do you share with passive prospects you source? How quickly do you follow up with applicants after they apply for available openings? How many “opportunities” do you and your team typically work at any given moment? There are countless questions you can (and should) ask RPO recruiters to get a sense of their work style and typical results from their TA efforts.

2) Powerful recruiting technology

Just as your in-house recruiters (hopefully) utilize advanced talent acquisition suites like Jobvite or Lever, any RPO agency you work with should have sophisticated ATS software and connections to other recruitment tools in their tech stack to best connect with, convert, and analyze candidates.

Moreover, this tech should integrate directly with your talent team’s tools. Only then can your team — notably, your TA leader — seamlessly receive data from your RPO’s systems and ensure you have a real-time view of new leads added to your talent pool and active opps currently being engaged.

3) Rave reviews and strong reputation

Your HR team spends its time bolstering your employer brand to ensure the business is positioned well in the public eye and helps you both attract new customers/clients as well as active job seekers on the market.

The best RPO services companies do something similar in that they can share social proof in the form of success stories (notably, ones that relate to the industry and business model of your company) to showcase the kinds of work they’ve completed in the past and how said efforts helped past and present clients grow and scale as desired.

Speak with one of our experienced recruiting experts today to learn all about NXTThing RPO services and how our dedicated team of experts can augment your hourly, seasonal, or salaried hiring needs.

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