It is a cliché to state that this is the age of the war for talent. Organizations find it tough to find and attract talent. This is also the age to great change (also known as VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambigous)  , so forecasting the talent needed is becoming more and more hard for organizations and their Talent Acquisition teams. Organizations in every industry are discovering that they have to be agile and data driven and invest in technology to survive and thrive as machine learning, blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence are poised to change every kind of industry from Healthcare, to Insurance, to Banking , to Automotive.

For organizations to become agile, their TA function also needs to transform to become agile and responsive. This explains the growth of the Recruitment Process Outsourcing industry over the last decade across the globe.

“Across the globe, the key challenge in today’s recruitment landscape is the need to find and engage the required talent, especially for high-skilled roles, and buyers are expecting greater proactiveness and innovation from service providers in that regard,” said Arkadev Basak, practice director, Business Process Services, at Everest Group. “Providers are responding to this opportunity by developing niche areas of expertise, adding talent advisory capabilities, and improving their internal efficiencies, by leveraging technology, providing targeted training, and addressing division of labor fundamentals.”[1]

What is RPO

RPO is designed to mimic the internal TA function and appear to candidates as the internal recruitment process. In an RPO model, recruitment is provided by third party recruitment agencies, off site or on site. RPO recruiters use internal emails, phone numbers and advertising materials, approved by the hiring organization. The RPO provider appears as an extension of the HR department for the candidates

Today RPO has evolved into an end to end solution covering

  • Database Management
    • Internal Database
    • Client ATS
  • Sourcing
    • Requsition Management
    • Career Portal
    • Jobsite
    • Social Media Sourcing
  • Screening
    • Automated Pre-screening
    • Categorization of candidates
  • Recruitment
    • Assessment
    • Testing
    • Interview
    • Employer Branding
  • On-boarding support
    • Background Check
    • Offer Management
    • Joining Formalities

Benefits of Offshore RPO

Two main factors – high quality and low costs – are what make offshore RPO service providers attractive to US businesses that are actively involved in the recruitment business.

The biggest benefit this gives the clients is time to focus on value building strategic activities within the company instead of focusing on the management of the TA function that can be outsourced efficiently and effectively.

A competent RPO provider has the necessary infrastructure, work-force and expertise that can handle various needs for their clients. These would include the designing and managing of a customized job board for profiling, easier CV database hunting, posting and monitoring various vacancies, researching timely sourcing and screening solutions as well as conducting interviews and online assessments. They can often provide customised MIS reports on an on-going basis better

Since these RPO providers work with various clients across various industries they often have better knowledge and expertise in the whole recruitment process than an individual client.

Offshore RPO providers also provide a “follow the sun” advantage when they can work with the clients in a seamless manner in a 24×7 way – working when the clients are closed for the evening and having results ready when clients come to office the next day. They also work along with the client’s daytime shift for any immediate query resolution.

Points to evaluate an offshore RPO Provider

  • Determine based on your business strategy whether you as a client would like to outsource certain parts of the recruitment process or outsource it end-to-end. If your organization is going for a TA transformation, then outsourcing it end –to-end makes much more sense. Looking at the capability and load on your TA function can lead to determine discrete parts of the process to be outsourced
  • Based on the point above, evaluate the capabilities of your RPO vendors
    • Some points to remember for evaluating are:
      • Global presence to provide “follow the sun” coverage
      • Quality of Leadership – Are the leaders veterans in the Talent Acquisition space, do they understand the business and TA needs of clients
      • They should have done at least four middle to long term RPO engagements for different clients
      • Technology – What is the investment they have made in Recruitment technology and do they have their own candidate database to supplement jobsites. What ATS systems do they have expertise in?
      • Industry expertise – what is their knowledge and expertise in your industry and the kind of roles you hire for.
      • Client Testimonials – What do their current clients say about their service levels and satisfaction
      • Value Added Services – according to Everest Group 2016 research “inclusion of value-added services, such as employer branding, talent communities, workforce planning, etc., has almost become table-stakes in RPO, especially among second- and third-generation buyers”[1]

In conclusion

Offshore RPO can help your organization achieve more with less if the partner you choose has the requisite capability to meet your business needs. That leaves your HR team to concentrate on strategic priorities like employee engagement , talent management, leadership development.

About the Author

Rajesh Khanna is President of VBeyond Corporation a global Talent Acquisition and RPO firm with offices in the USA and India. Rajesh has more than 22 years of Talent Acquisition experience in the global market including USA, Singapore and India. He is an Engineer from NIT-Trichy and an MBA in HR from XLRI.