Sunday, June 16 2024

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The Move to RPO

Kristie Perrotte of Thrive RMO and Paul Sharpe of NorthStar People explore why outsourced recruitment is so hot right now and how agencies are making the transition

The recruitment industry is changing. Automation, AI, evolving business models, mounting client demands, an uncertain economy – the DNA of a ‘typical recruiter’ is in flux and agency leaders are rising to the challenge and evolving their offerings.

One area that many contingent recruitment agencies are exploring is Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), or some form of embedded or ‘light RPO’ offering. Not only are they lured by the predictability of revenue and cash flow as well as the opportunity to offer more high value consultancy, but recent recruitment M&A activity is proving that businesses with an RPO model are securing higher valuations and multiples when looking for investment. The move to some form of outsourced model doesn’t just present a great opportunity, it’s how agencies are adapting to a rapidly changing landscape.

RPO is so much more than just high-volume recruitment and implementing it successfully requires a fundamental strategic shift that not only seizes new opportunities but drives long-term value for both agencies and clients.

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The Growing Trend of Agency Recruiters in RPO

The global recruitment landscape is changing rapidly, with more and more agencies looking to get away from the volatile contingent hamster wheel to exclusive, retained or outsourced models. For SME recruiters, RPO presents a unique opportunity to diversify service offerings, secure long-term client relationships, and grow long-term enterprise value by establishing recurring revenue streams.

However, transitioning into the RPO space isn’t without its challenges. From aligning internal processes to understanding client needs and establishing a consultative approach to recruitment, there’s a lot to consider. Yet, with the right strategy and support, agencies can leverage RPO to their advantage and stay competitive.

Challenges and Misconceptions

RPO recruitment requires recruiters to shift their mindset from a traditional transactional approach to a more holistic, consultative one. The most common misconception around RPO is that it is only suitable for large-scale enterprises or that it involves outsourcing the entire recruitment process. In reality, RPO can offer a flexible and customisable solution that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each client.

Changing one’s mindset successfully means understanding the end-to-end recruitment process and positioning oneself as a strategic partner. While the transition may seem daunting, especially for agencies accustomed to traditional recruitment models, it’s essential to embrace change and adapt to new realities.

The biggest hurdles for recruiters looking to transition to RPO include:

  • Aligning internal processes
  • Properly segmenting their client base
  • Articulating their unique value proposition
  • Understanding the commercials
  • Implementation know-how
  • Brand awareness
  • Tech integration

But while these can be challenging, they also serve as catalysts for growth, providing a tangible path towards long-term sustainability and competitiveness.

Key Considerations for RPO Success

For agencies considering RPO recruitment, it’s important to take a proactive approach. Strategic planning, client segmentation, and product development are all vital for RPO success.  There are three key questions anyone considering the move into RPO recruitment needs to ask themselves at the outset.

  1. Defining your strategic objectives – what is your goal?
  2. Segmenting the customer base – do you have existing high level customer relationships?
  3. Establishing a minimal viable product – can you articulate your offering?

The answers to these questions will help determine your next steps and provide the basis for understanding client needs, implementing the right technology to support your goals and building a recruitment marketing strategy to differentiate yourselves in the market and deliver value-driven recruitment solutions.

The Role of Marketing in RPO Recruitment

Unsurprisingly developing the EVP and employer brand is a key component when creating a more holistic, value-added RPO offering. Where employers often fall short is in bringing their employer brand to market, devising marketing strategies beyond job boards and LinkedIn sourcing to attract, engage and retain top talent.

From database reactivation and engagement to data-led digital strategies and promotion, savvy businesses today know that it’s about curating and engaging the right talent pools that extend throughout their careers. That involves a shift in mentality from sourcing candidates after a job comes available, to creating an ever-engaged pool of talent who wants to work for your organisation. Baking in marketing in a talent attraction programme, whether internal or outsourced, is an absolute necessity. Businesses expect more from outsourced recruitment than just bums on seats.

Recruitment marketing is more than a landing page and some social content. Partnering with a recruitment marketing expert can ensure you create a compelling employer brand narrative for your client, essential for attracting and retaining top talent. And by leveraging automated database marketing, content and social as well as targeted advertising campaigns, you’re adding appeal to your service offering, creating long-term value for your end client and making your outsourced offering more competitive.

Seizing the Opportunity

RPO recruitment represents a unique opportunity for recruiters of all sizes and sectors to differentiate themselves and drive long-term value for clients and candidates. While the transition may seem daunting, with the right strategy, support, and commitment, it is possible to successfully navigate this shift and emerge as leaders in the new recruitment landscape.

Join Kristie and Paul as well as Katie Mellor who has successfully incorporated RPO into her business model for a two-part LinkedIn Live discussion that will further explore the potential of RPO for the modern recruiter.

Register below for:

Part I: From Contingency to RPO: How Recruitment Agencies Can Successfully Move into Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Part II: Getting Started with RPO: A Practical How-To

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