By Stephanie Sparks, Content Marketing Manager

When examining whether recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is right for you, one key area to consider is how well an RPO provider delivers an exceptional candidate experience. As a quick refresh, RPO is when an organization outsources or transfers some or all of its recruitment process to an external partner. This can include end-to-end recruitment, project recruitment, front-end recruitment, or recruiter augmentation solutions.

Leading RPO providers, like NXTThing RPO, act as an extension of an organization’s brand and provide scalable resources to fill open roles quickly and efficiently. As a result, each candidate receives an on-brand experience, without any indication they are working with an outside firm.

The candidate experience is crucial in delivering high quality talent — it sets you apart from the competition and helps to personalize the recruiting process. Simply, candidate experience is a measurement of how your candidates feel about their interactions with your employer brand. These interactions typically begin with the candidate’s first experience in the talent journey, whether it’s seeing a job posting, receiving a message from a recruiter, or visiting your career site. It ends typically when onboarding a new hire is complete. A positive candidate experience can involve:

  • Tailored or personalized job recommendations
  • A fast, user-friendly application process
  • Ongoing communication and feedback during the interview process
  • A smooth onboarding process
  • Feeling engaged and respected throughout the experience

An exceptional candidate experience can lead to better quality talent, improvement in your company’s hiring reputation, and, ultimately, the likelihood of more accepted offers from your top applicants. A poor candidate experience can cause damage to your employer brand and harm your chances to attract skilled talent in the future. It can even leave a lasting effect when it comes to wanting to spend money at your organization, too.

Where Can RPO Improve Your Candidate Experience?

There are numerous ways RPO can positively impact your organization. One of the areas where you can see the most value is within your candidate experience. Below are three key ways that RPO will take your candidate experience from okay to out-of-this-world.

Transparency and Communication

Transparency into your hiring process is vital for improving your candidate experience because the alternative is a candidate feeling isolated or misled. RPO providers rely on their dedicated team of recruiting experts to convey your company culture honestly and consistently, and to highlight the types of skills, expectations, and requirements of the role. SHRM reports when you effectively communicate with candidates throughout each step of the hiring process, they’re far more likely to report a positive experience with your company.

Recruitment process outsourcing provides the space and time to build relationships with candidates, and that comes through upfront, honest communication. It also ensures that when candidates turn into new hires, they will enter the organization knowing the healthy candidate-recruiter relationship they have built is based on candor and trust. If a candidate decides that the role isn’t the best fit, the rapport the RPO team has created may lead them to consider other prospects with your organization in the future.

Seamless, Responsive, Quality Feedback

The best RPO providers leverage a mix of technology, innovation, and personal connection. And they realize there is tremendous value in good, old-fashioned human conversation. RPO teams work alongside you and can dedicate the time to ensure candidates receive the follow-up and feedback they deserve. They can provide seamless transitions to next steps and act as a bridge between the candidate and hiring manager.

With up to one-third of in-house recruiter time spent on sourcing, little time is left for responsive, quality feedback to candidates. Yet according to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 47 percent of job seekers expect great communication, including prompt feedback and follow-ups, as part of a great candidate experience.

Demonstrating respect for the candidate’s time is a necessary component of a positive candidate experience. But it is often one of the first areas to go because in-house recruiting teams are so strapped for time. Remember, candidates aren’t going to wait around for one position forever. Not only is speed critical in today’s hiring market, but it also shows your candidates that you value them and respect their time.

Enhance Your Employer Brand Reputation

Providing a great candidate experience is not that difficult. But it does take a dedicated team to deliver it. When job seekers have a bad experience, they are likely to tell others. According to research from Talent Board, 33 percent of job seekers who have a bad candidate experience will post about it online, where it may come up in search results.

RPO providers like NXTThing are well-versed in your company’s employer brand and messaging. RPO teams interact with candidates under your brand to deliver a seamless, on-brand experience every time, without any confusion or disconnect. And because RPO providers partner with your company on a strategic level, they can help to optimize your employer brand positioning and ensure that every candidate receives a positive, consistent experience.

How Can RPO Maximize the Candidate Experience?

In addition to helping improve your candidate experience, RPO can also help you maximize your efforts to attract and engage top talent. Recruitment process outsourcing supports your overall hiring process by strengthening your talent acquisition strategies in a number of areas. When you partner with a leading RPO provider, you’ll see value in the ability to help you:

Adapt to the Candidate’s Experience

Whether entry level or executive positions, candidate-centric hiring is tailored for each individual applicant. A refined RPO can help provide insight into candidate expectations and offer guidance into the industry to improve the experience for all parties and secure top talent for your enterprise.

Refine Your Candidate Hiring Technology

Talent acquisition technology provides recruiting automation tools required for delivering a better candidate experience. RPO providers leverage a wide range of this technology to not only increase efficiency for recruiters, but also enhance experiences for candidates that help set your brand apart. With the right technology, candidates can easily apply for open roles, schedule interviews quickly, receive timely feedback, interact through intelligent messaging, and even get answers to questions with interactive AI.

Meeting DE&I Goals

Offering a positive candidate experience simply can’t happen without prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). DEI is an essential initiative that RPO teams can help you prioritize to attract diverse candidates who will drive results and bolster the performance of the organization. Not only is prioritizing diversity and inclusion the right thing to do, but it’s better for business. Organizations with above-average employee diversity levels outperform companies with below-average diversity and engagement by 46% to 58%.

Assessing an RPO Provider’s Candidate Experience Solutions

The truth is that not all RPO providers are made equally. When considering which RPO to work with, you need to focus on your evaluation and selection to ensure you make a thoughtful decision. Here are five questions to ask when assessing an RPO in regard to candidate experience:

  • How will the RPO provider create positive candidate experiences?
  • In what ways does the RPO team address and respect individual candidate needs?
  • What facets of the RPO service will be customized to reflect the organization’s culture and values?
  • How does the RPO team balance the efficiency of technology with personalization provided by personal touch?
  • Can the RPO provider help eliminate hiring bias and address the company’s DEI goals?

If you’re eager to improve your hiring outcomes and provide a more positive candidate experience, NXTThing has a customizable solution to adapt to your unique needs. Learn more about our recruitment process outsourcing by speaking with our experts today.