What Is an RPO?

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The Benefits of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Recruitment process outsourcing is when a company has decided to outsource all or parts of their recruitment processes to a third-party service provider. Initially only large organizations had access to these providers that provided significant cost savings and reduced time to hire. Over time RPO providers have evolved to specialize in all facets of talent acquisition.

In today's market, you need a partner that aligns with your long-term business strategies (not just instant staffing) and understands your company culture. You need a partner that can assist you with effective employer branding and recruitment marketing. You need a partner that can source diverse candidates and support retention strategies.

As a recruitment partner, RPO providers act as an extension of your company by offering strategic recruitment strategies to achieve specific business outcomes. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses.

Advantages of Using RPO

While staffing agencies can be a quick solution for your hiring woes, they are focused on the short-term and charge a higher cost with their contingency fees. RPO providers partner with companies to focus on long-term business development while reducing costs by optimizing your recruitment strategy and streamlining operations.

Here are the many benefits of partnering with an RPO provider.

In-Depth Analysis and Strategy

An RPO provider will work with you to get a better understanding of your business goals, your company culture, and recruitment needs. This facilitates better planning so you can more accurately forecast future staffing requirements. Strategic solutions is what sets RPO apart from other recruitment services.

They also become an extension of your business by learning about your employer brand and core values. This ensures they source and/or recruit candidates that fit within your company culture and have the requisite skill sets.

Employer Brand

Research shows that 50% of job seekers refuse to work for a company with a bad reputation - even with a pay increase. Companies with bad reputations pay 10% more per hire. Employer branding matters.

RPO providers are keenly aware of this and will evaluate how you communicate your company culture, core values, and employee value proposition. Let them be your resource to strengthen your employer brand so that you can show your key differentiators. You want your narrative to resonate with talented candidates who may ultimately perceive you as an Employer of Choice.

Recruitment Marketing

Some RPO providers offer recruitment marketing services to bolster your employer brand and augment recruiting. Just like customers who need to be enticed to buy a product, talent needs to find value in an employer to apply for a position. Show them why you're A Best Place to Work!

Recruitment marketing handles the stages of awareness, consideration, and interest to drive candidates to your company. This is not about marketing an open role, but instead marketing the company brand. Effective recruitment marketing not only drives qualified interested candidates, but it also self-selects out individuals who are not a good fit.

Advanced Technology Solutions

The competing demands of HR professionals can also make it hard for them to keep up with the latest trends. Companies may also not have the budget to invest in new recruitment technology.

RPO providers can. They continuously look for innovative technology to streamline and automate the recruitment process. This results in cost-effective efficiencies for their clients. These include data analysis tools, applicant tracking systems, and other market intelligence software.

Enhanced Candidate Engagement

Sixty percent of job candidates abandon online applications that are long or complex. Sixty-four percent will also share negative application experiences with family and friends.

An efficient recruitment process not only benefits your company, but it will also enhance candidate engagement. This increases the likelihood of your company recruiting the best candidates before your competition.

High-Quality Talent

Recruitment often competes with other HR responsibilities when handled internally. This isn't the case for an RPO provider, whose sole purpose is to help you attract diversity and hire the best candidate for each role.

Some may have an existing talent pool to draw from because they offer resources or services to candidates. Others may assist with pipelining because they have a deep understanding of the specific industry. This is particularly beneficial to small and medium-sized businesses in skilled trades industries.


Keeping on top of compliance requirements and employment laws can be exhausting. Great RPO providers are on top of relevant regulatory changes and ensure your hiring process remains compliant. This mitigates risk and protects your company legally and financially.


Depending on your business development objectives, you might need to hire aggressively one month and then have no hiring needs for a couple of months in a row. RPO gives you the ability to scale both up and down without added costs.

Greater Cost Efficiency

Keep in mind that the average cost per hire is $4700, with some industries spending upwards of $5,500 for every new hire. RPO pricing can be based on an hourly rate, a monthly management fee, cost per hire or transaction, and/or a project fee. You will find the different types of RPO models below, but in all cases, costs tend to be lower than those of a standard recruitment agency.

A small business doesn't need a full-time in-house recruitment team, and its budget cannot afford the cost given its smaller volume of hires. RPO gives small businesses a more cost-effective option to leverage strategic recruitment solutions that's focused on their unique talent needs.

Types of RPO Models

RPO models have been built on a customizable approach where you're in the driver's seat. Whether you need a single hire or multiple teams for a scalable project, RPO providers adapt to your organization's needs. Here are four main types commonly offered:

End-to-End RPO

Also known as Full Cycle RPO, the entire recruitment process is outsourced to the RPO provider. You can expect candidate sourcing, recruiting, screening, interviews and testing, candidate offer management, and onboarding. Value-added services can include access to innovative recruitment technologies, talent advisory, employer branding, and recruitment marketing. This comprehensive ongoing recruitment solution results in the greatest savings, better efficiencies, skilled hires that fit your company culture, and high client satisfaction.

Project RPO

This model offers an end-to-end or partial approach to help a company scale quickly for a project. It is ideal for short-term hiring needs because there is normally a limited timeline and clearly defined goals such as a target number of hires. Get agile support for seasonal surges, planned expansions, or product launches.

Selective RPO

For companies that don't need Full Cycle RPO, this model allows them to select which recruitment functions they would like to outsource while keeping the ones they want to internally manage. Selective RPO can strengthen components of the recruitment process because you receive best practices for those services when you need them.

On-Demand RPO

This model provides experienced recruiters on-demand. Whether a company has a skinny HR department or needs extra recruiters to supplement their internal recruitment team, On-Demand RPO is best for immediate needs, aggressive growth plans, or new business initiatives. With no fixed contract or extra fees, companies usually have the option to turn on or off at will.

How to Select an RPO Provider

You want to partner with the right RPO provider for your needs. Factors to consider are the ability to provide services that you're seeking in a timely manner, industry experience, pricing, communication and support, and company culture.

Here are some tips to help your selection process:

Custom approach: Choose an RPO provider that can create a tailored recruitment strategy within your budget that's based on your unique requirements.

Strategic solutions: The best RPO providers are the ones that not only get you on track but also train you on how to run your recruitment strategy for the future.

Dedicated support team: You'll want a talented team of advisors to support you every step of the way, whether you scale up or down.

Cultural fit: Since RPO providers are an extension of their client's team, you should find a provider that aligns with your values and culture.

Recruitment That Gets You Ahead of the Competition

Your bottom line is affected every day a vacant position remains unfilled. Unfortunately, recruitment can be tedious and challenging. If you're seeking to get your time back for other critical business matters, consider Hunter Recruitment Advisors as your RPO partner.

Our clients can attest to the quality and effectiveness of our services. We're confident you will, too! Contact us today to get ahead of the competition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q What does RPO stand for in recruitment?


RPO stands for Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Outsourcing the recruitment process involves a business partnering with an external provider to handle all or part of its recruitment function.

Q What are the advantages of using an RPO provider?


Some advantages of partnering with an RPO provider include in-depth analysis and strategy, employer branding, recruitment marketing, advanced technology solutions, enhanced candidate engagement, high-quality talent acquisition, compliance assistance, scalability, and greater cost efficiency.

Q What types of RPO models are commonly offered?


Commonly offered RPO models include End-to-End RPO (Full Cycle RPO), Project RPO, Selective RPO, and On-Demand RPO. Each model offers different levels of outsourcing services based on the company's specific needs.

Q How do I select the right RPO provider for my organization?


When selecting an RPO provider, consider factors such as their ability to provide tailored services, industry experience, pricing, communication and support, and cultural fit with your organization. Look for a provider that can offer strategic solutions and dedicated support to help you achieve your recruitment goals.

Your Hunt for New Talent Begins Here

Allow us to assist you in achieving your recruitment objectives. By entrusting us with your hiring needs, you can save both time and money. Just one phone call is all it takes to begin the process. Our track record includes successfully aiding numerous companies in reaching their recruitment goals by providing top-notch, thoroughly screened candidates. Let us do the same for you.