Engaging the RPO contextual (not best) to your Talent needs?

Sep 21, 2015

The previous edition of our article shed light on what Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is, its inception and the range of services it offers. This edition continues from the earlier edition to highlight the need for RPOs in greater detail. It winds up with a section advising you on what to look for in the RPO you want to engage.

Turnaround in Talent Recruitment in a Manufacturing Organization

Let us delve into the case of a firm that reaped huge dividends by outsourcing its talent requirements. Starting out as a family run business, this manufacturing company had acquired a corporate like identity over the last decade.

To keep pace with its burgeoning business it set about expanding its Sales division. There in lay the difficulty. In spite of its best efforts the right talent subscribing to its requirements were difficult to come by. Not only was much effort and money funneled into the recruitment campaign albeit with limited success, the company HR soon stared at a grim situation of having ill-managed its existing workforce. A casual suggestion by a member of the HR team turned into serious brainstorming and the company was found evaluating an external agency to handle recruitment. Six months down the line, the company not only met its hiring needs but also saved 20% in the hiring costs. The selected RPO came to the table with bespoke solutions to recruit the talent contextual to the company’s needs and also ensured the time lines were adhered to in letter and spirit. So what did the RPO do to turnaround recruitment?

Competitive edge:

  • Expertise and research for in-depth knowledge about the domain for which talent needs to be acquired. This ensures the right candidate was identified from among numerous resumes.

  • Using resources efficiently by purging non-core duties.

  • Due to the above factors the RPO helped the company build sufficient pools of talent for various departments by tapping into passive candidates as well. Passive candidates are those that aren’t actively looking for a job but wouldn’t mind considering a change in employment if a suitable job offer comes their way.

Cost savings:

the company in this case study saved 20% in overall recruitment costs. Bulk hiring at lower levels were helping save 40% on the costs involved in hiring.

Enable focus on core business: Outsourcing freed up the HR to concentrate its policies and operations on the employees of the company. The company didn’t need to hire a full time employee to hire others for the company, thereby freeing up some overheads. With the non-core jobs purged the actual business of human capital management could be performed. In a nutshell, the bespoke solutions implemented by RPOs like this and many other established ones ensured a smooth operation with any spike or trough in recruitments being ably handled.

If you are convinced and about to sign up, good! However all apples don’t taste the same. Ditto with the RPOs as well. Remember to view Recruitment Processing Outsourcer as your partner who gets you the candidates contextual to your needs. After all, talent is the single most harbinger to a company’s fortunes. Here is a check list you can refer to before embarking on the RPO hunt:

Reputation matters:

Start with RPOs who have been in the business for quite long and have a repertoire diverse (size, domain etc.) clients.


RPOs that can source the talent contextual to your needs from among many resumes, local, national or global must receive a tick in your checklist for the sheer diversity of resume pool they possess. To quote a metaphor RPOs must be like an octopus in resume sourcing!

Capacity for Bespoke offerings:

As explained in previous article, RPOs can provide services ranging from just resume sourcing to complete end-to-end recruitment services (barring salary negotiations and offer letters!). Check if the RPO can provide the following:

  • Recruiters on demand

  • RPO on project basis

  • RPO for your process

  • Complete recruitment solutions (encompassing all the three points mentioned above)

RPOs providing a wide range of services, customised to your needs can fetch you a good percentage of savings (remember the case study).

Turn-around time:

Time to on-board is a non-negotiable KPI. So look for RPOs that have delivered right and quality talent for hire in the least possible time.

Exclusive tie-ups:

Give a serious thought to exclusive tie-ups where the RPO would service only your recruitment needs to give you the edge over your competitors. If you are operating in a sector that is the current flavour in the market or fighting for a limited talent pool this venture would help get you assured talent.

Corporate governance:

RPOs that have a good track record of corporate governance bring in transparency and accountability. Such RPOS must be in your radar.

Work and culture fit:

While mapping candidates to your requirements, RPOs must also consider the work culture aspect to decide if the resume owner will fit into the culture (people-peers and superiors, ethics etc.) your company espouses. So in addition to job profile, the company background and people in it (especially the team) will need to be considered which a seasoned RPO will bear in mind while recruiting. Go for such wholesome RPO providers.


Recruitment Service Providers are here to stay. They are here to evolve in tandem with the way the talent market is evolving. They would be a good fit to source and on-board talent. But how will you figure out the good fit even with the checklist documented in previous section? The answer is data. The data in your HR organization will help you evaluate the RPOs and engage with the one you need. Spire specializes in offering solutions to enable you identify and engage with the right RPO using its Contextual Search and Demand-Supply technologies.