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Benefits and Best Practices: Outsourcing Recruitment.

  • 04.20.2023

Today’s recruitment market is ever-changing and challenging for even the most experienced HR and TA Professionals.

As we recover from the pandemic, demand for jobs that offer flexibility — whether in working hours or work location — is still high. Additionally, experts expect an almost 15% increase in the hiring of new college graduates in 2023 compared to 2022. This combination has left many internal HR and recruitment departments stretched, as recent graduates need more HR contact and training, and negotiating more flexible work arrangements requires more back and forth before your new employee signs.

Job seekers are also unhappy with lengthy hiring processes. Whether they’re due to busy schedules or inefficiencies in the hiring process, drawn-out interview processes could be costing you perfect candidates for your open positions. 

As a practical solution to these issues, handing over some or all recruitment responsibilities to a recruitment process outsourcing provider (RPO) streamlines processes, helps avoid candidate loss, and should allow you and your team to concentrate on other parts of the business. 

What Are RPOs?

RPOs are external recruitment service providers who can manage some or all aspects of the recruitment process. Despite common misconceptions, RPO providers aren’t only for huge companies. In fact, they can be a great fit for SMEs where time is often tight and key team members sometimes wear many hats.

There are a few RPO services regularly offered by providers. These include: 

  • Full-Service or fully outsourced RPO: The recruitment professionals you hire essentially become your recruitment department for all of your positions, or all of your recruitment for a specific job type or division of your business.
  • Project-Based RPO: This is a short-term recruitment strategy designed for quick, precise hiring for specific projects, where either part or all of the recruitment process is outsourced. 
  • On-Demand RPO: On-demand services provide recruiting resources when and as you need them, based on your company’s changing needs.

Why Work With an RPO: Benefits of Recruitment Outsourcing

Outsourcing recruitment responsibilities leaves you time and space to work on growing your business in other ways. More efficient and effective recruitment means employing the best possible candidates and the ability to scale up quickly when needed.

Full-service RPOS and some on-demand RPO providers even offer advice about which positions to fill and how to save costs by finding someone for the right role rather than multiple not-quite-right roles. 

Finally, RPOs use their established networks and existing recruitment tools to find great candidates pulled from pools your business might not have access to alone. This means you save time and can sometimes avoid additional  overhead (such as advertising or recruitment software). 

How to Work With an RPO: Best Practices

You should follow a few well-established best practices to get the most out of working with an RPO. 

Start by establishing goals and objectives for the partnership that align with your overall talent acquisition strategy, including: 

  • Scope of services
  • Timelines 
  • Deliverables

Begin with your current recruitment performance statistics as a baseline. From there, you can create realistic goals for improvement within each category. Focus on metrics such as time to fill positions, cost per hire, and candidate quality. You can compare this baseline to the results your RPO delivers after a set period. This might be a hiring push for a project, a set number of months, or a quarter. 

As always, there’s no point in gathering data if you don’t analyze it. Look at changes in your metrics over time to identify areas where you (and your RPO) are succeeding and areas where you need to improve. Together, you can use this information to develop further action plans and adjust recruitment strategies. Remember, you and your RPO should be working as a team rather than as just a service provider and customer. 

The Importance of Partnership

Even with short-term, project-specific use of an RPO, you will see better results if you foster a strong relationship with the recruitment process outsourcing team.

To help you hire effectively, your RPO has to understand your needs, company structure, values, and business model. A truly plugged-in RPO provider will be aware of any gaps in your team makeup and which qualified candidates will fit in at your office specifically rather than just on paper. Recruitment can’t be generic. Rather, it has to be carefully matched to your company’s needs, including long- and short-term goals.

As with any good business relationship, communication is key to working well with an RPO. You should establish easy-to-use channels of communication, such as shared Slack channels, and organize regular check-ins. Just as an RPO needs to know your business well, you need to know theirs. That way, you will have realistic expectations, understand their processes, and never find yourself blindsided by issues that might arise during recruitment.

You can also make your RPO provider’s job easier and improve their results by allowing access to key data such as workforce analytics, recruitment metrics, and niche or company-specific talent acquisition trends. In turn, a good RPO should share their market insights, wider hiring trend information, and any best practices in hiring strategy that might help you stay ahead of the competition.

Outsourcing Recruitment Could Be Your Next Great Move

There’s no doubt we’re in a confusing period for businesses of all sizes. With worries bubbling under the surface about a coming recession, movement of the working population during the pandemic, demand for hybrid work holding strong, and a new generation beginning to dominate the workforce, making hiring decisions is tough right now. Finding time to recruit is hard, and finding the confidence to recruit is even harder. 

Working with an RPO will provide you with that confidence. The RPO team will help you build a hiring plan that works for your business no matter what bumps and scrapes the economy takes over the next year. 

Given the cost savings, efficiency gains, and access to expertise an RPO offers, working with a recruitment process outsourcing provider is a logical business decision across sectors. Follow best practices, such as establishing clear goals, monitoring performance metrics, fostering a true partnership, sharing information, and working as a team. An RPO will likely improve your bottom line and enhance what your business can offer customers.

Work With Bayard 

If you’re interested in RPO services, consider partnering with Bayard. We’ve enjoyed continued success since 1923 by staying ahead of industry trends. Bayard has the expertise and tools to help you find the right talent for your organization. Contact us today to learn more.

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