RPO’s: No Longer Exclusive to Large Corporations

Fifteen years ago, RPO services were a new concept to corporate Human Resource departments because at the time, corporate recruiting was still in its infancy. The primary function of corporate recruiters was to advertise job openings and manage the screening, interviewing and hiring process. It was considered taboo to call into competitor companies for the sole purpose of luring away their top talent.

In 2000, PathFinder Staffing helped pioneer RPO services by offering recruitment solutions to their small to medium sized clients. In addition to marketing and managing the hiring process, our recruiters would also identify and recruit qualified, passive candidates from our clients’ direct competitors. This process soon caught on as companies started saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in agency fees and began to grow their internal recruitment departments.

If you are considering an RPO provider to augment your recruiting process, you’re not alone. The RPO market is rapidly growing as smaller sized companies who don’t have a corporate recruiting infrastructure are discovering how affordable an effective RPO solution can be.

But what is RPO?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a partnership between a company with recruiting needs (RPO buyer) and a company with recruiting services (RPO provider) in which the RPO buyer’s brand is being promoted instead of the provider’s. The RPO provider is an extension of the clients existing HR department and may assume the company’s technology, methodologies and reporting. Most RPO providers will offer a range of services, from payrolling, marketing, background checks and screening. One important, but often overlooked, aspect when selecting an RPO firm is to find a provider that can successfully grasp and sell your employer brand.

What are the benefits of RPO?

The model at PathFinder Staffing is to specialize in small to medium-sized firms that have little or no recruiting infrastructure. There are numerous benefits of using an RPO firm, including saving time and money by obtaining the right candidates more efficiently, streamlining the recruitment and hiring process, improving employment brand and increasing overall engagement levels with the hiring managers. Organizations of all sizes across all industries, from start-ups to enterprise-level organizations can benefit from the services of an RPO firm.

How is RPO different from other recruiting/staffing solutions?

A RPO provider works with you to streamline all aspects of the talent acquisition process for your organization. While other solutions sometimes offer a recruiting “quick fix,” RPO is a systematic approach to talent acquisition. RPO providers focus on the overall long-term picture, not just current open positions.

When should I consider RPO for my company?

Companies experiencing difficulty finding the right employees, organizations in specialized industries, and businesses going through a growth phase can all benefit from RPO.

When considering an RPO solution, you should select a firm with extensive experience in your industry and never be afraid to ask for client references. An experienced RPO provider in your sector will already have a database of qualified candidates that they can access immediately. One of the most important factors when considering an RPO provider is the ability to consistently provide qualified candidates in a timely manner. Other considerations include understanding the needs of the client, value for fees, and general service capabilities.

One last thought: it’s important to keep in mind that RPO is not a one-time fix or offloading of your recruitment problems. It should be used in conjunction with your current hiring standards to enhance your overall recruiting environment.

What to consider when selecting an RPO provider.

• History of providing services.
• Knowledge of the industry.
• Experienced Recruiters.
• Infrastructure provided.
• Flexibility
• Cost
• Expectations
• Duration
• Ability to provide references
• Personality of the team.
• Ownership of candidates.

Tim Cook is the founder and president of PathFinder Staffing, an oil and gas recruiting agency located in Houston, Texas. For more information on our RPO Recruiting solutions, visit our company website at or call one of our Business Development Representatives at 281-858-7325.

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  • 5 Oct, 2015
  • Tim Cook

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