outsourced recruitment

RPO costs – what’s the real deal?

Whether this is through full outsourced recruitment (or Recruitment Process Outsourcing -RPO), exit and retention interviews or temporary managed services, we are often asked “well, how much will outsourced recruitment cost my company?” Sometimes, it’s just not that straightforward.

RPO can bring multiple benefits and success if implemented correctly, we understand the importance of assessing long-term advantages against initial investment.


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1. Vacancies and Volume

The cost of RPO will vary considerably and in line with your annual hiring projections. You should also factor in the availability of suitable talent and the complexity of your hiring needs.

Recruiting the same roles across a limited number of locations often means efficiencies can be generated which might drive down costs related to attraction and sourcing strategies.

On the flip side, if your hiring needs are much more complex, the investment is likely to be higher.

outsourced recruitment

2. Design of Outsourced Recruitment and Assessment methods

Recruitment and selection methods are another key element which will define the level of investment required.

Automation of some screening processes such as video interviews can lower costs and drive efficiencies.

The design and introduction of situational judgement tests might require a higher investment up front, but ultimately can lead to less resource being required at later stages of the outsourced recruitment process.

For each layer of assessment you add, be prepared for costs to increase.

3. How much of the process are you outsourcing?

Full outsourced recruitment: from attraction to application to assessment through to post-start retention interviews, will require resource and time.

However, it can be a worthwhile investment to create a consistent and engaging process for the candidate.

There might be options to outsource one or more elements of the process, but bear the candidate experience in mind as this might have negative implications later on if processes and communications are dis-jointed.

4. Technology

Do you need applicant tracking technology? Do you already have it? Does your RPO provider bring their own to the table? Each has cost implications which are worth taking into account.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

5. Overall service levels required

How much time are you expecting from your Outsourced Recruitment provider?

What account management levels do you need?

Do they need to be onsite, offsite or are they expected to travel to multiple sites on a regular basis?

6. Reporting levels and management information

What level of reporting and analysis do you require?

Can you self-generate reports or do you need your RPO to provide a detailed analysis suitable for your Board or Executive Team?

To make the right choice for your business, it is important to assess the advantages of investing in Outsourced Recruitment but also to understand what outcomes you are expecting and what price you are prepared to pay to achieve them.

Are you thinking about RPO and want to know more? Click here to find out what Cohesion can do for you.