What Is RPO?

Published on 10/1/2022 by David Webb

Categories: RPO Software

Tags: recruitmentrpo


Recruitment Process Outsourcing

RPO stands for Recruitment Process Outsourcing.  It is the outsourcing of all or part of an employer’s recruitment process to a third-party specialist. This business model allows organizations to scale resources as requisitions fluctuate so they can meet hiring demands without increasing budgets to pay for in-house recruiters or recruitment agencies.

Why do companies use RPO?

For some companies, it makes financial sense to scale their recruitment processes using a third-party specialist.  RPO companies provide subject matter expertise, proven best practices, tools and other resources as a service to their clients.  If a company is anticipating significant growth, it may want to consider using a RPO company to enable their recruitment of new talent during the growth period, in order to quickly achieve their growth goals.  At the end of the period of growth, the relationship with the RPO can shrink its recruitment staff back down elastically.  In some cases, companies will chose to strategically align with a RPO company in a more long term relationship.  In this scenario, the company typically sees the RPO company as an extension of their overall human capital management team and enables them to execute on their human capital strategy.  In both scenarios, the driving factor that defines why a company would use RPO is on the basis of realizing greater value through the outsourcing.

What are RPO companies?

RPO companies are organizations that deliver talent acquisition & onboarding services at scale to other companies.  This allows their customers to focus on their core business, while the RPO companies can bring value through the economies of scale.  RPO companies deliver their services within a two-sided market, operating in between job applicants and hiring managers.  RPO companies provide best-of-breed recruitment solutions through dedicated resources, tools & processes. 

What Is RPO Software?

RPO software is used by RPO companies to manage their customers' outsourced recruitment needs.  For example, RPO software is used to centrally manage all of the candidates, jobs and job applications that a RPO company is working on behalf of its clients.  See the simple infographic below.  RPO software will organize communication between recruiters, applicants and hiring managers.  Additionally, with robust RPO software, an RPO company can configure their clients' specific recruitment workflow and customize it to the clients' requirements.  By leveraging RPO software, an RPO company can benefit from efficiency of scale through automation, reuse, etc.

What are the top 5 features of RPO software?

For companies that are looking for RPO software, there are certain features that exist within the market.  These are the top 5 features and should be seen as table stakes for RPO software.  

1. Single Sign-on: As a RPO recruiter, you must be able to sign-on one time to one instance of your RPO software platform, and manage all of your RPO child accounts (customers).  Without SSO, you'll waste time & money switching between different accounts that you must pay licenses for.

2. Search: As a RPO recruiter, you must be able to search and refine results for applicants, jobs, companies and contacts by key word, skill set and location.  Once you have searched, your RPO software should provide you the ability to save the results and search criteria.

3. Resume Parsing: This feature provides RPO recruiters with the ability to scan resume documents for contact information, skill set, etc.  Resume parsing can save a huge amount of time for RPO recruiters.

4. Integration: Website integration enables you to drop a snippet of code onto your company's website and have your published jobs displayed.  Additional features within website integration, like the ability to apply, create a profile, or capture your profile from a website like LinkedIn are all features to be considered.  Integration with your calendar is also critical.  When you create an appointment or meeting with a candidate or hiring manager, calendar integration enables these events to sync with your RPO software.  This enables your RPO software to be the single source of truth & system of record for correspondence with candidates & hiring managers.

5. Reporting & Analytics: Insights & analytics into the efficiency of the RPO organization should be available for the product, marketing & financial domains.  Being able to measure KPIs like the most cost-effective sources for candidate acquisition & time to hire by customer is critical for the success of RPO companies.

What are AI & Automated RPO Software Solutions?

Artificial Intelligence within RPO allows you to use algorithms and technology like machine learning to automate the execution of a business process based on previous historical examples.  For example, RPO software with AI/ML can be configured to create predictive models that simulate the likelihood of a candidate being placed against a job based on submittal outcomes of candidates with similar attributes historically.  RPO software can use the training data set of your historical submittal outcomes to create a predictive model of the likelihood of being placed, and when this prediction meets a certain threshold, and business process (like a send-out or other submittal activity) can be invoked.


About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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