RPO provider – it’s a big decision, so you should know how to choose.

If you’ve decided that outsourcing recruitment is right for you and your business then you need to know how to go about choosing the right RPO provider. In this post we tackle some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing your RPO partner.

“Choosing to work with an RPO business is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. As with any kind of outsourcing you have to ensure that your chosen partner is able to provide a service that properly aligns with your business and its needs.

Once you’ve identified that need it’s important that you are able to find a partner who will ask questions, listen and report on what works and what doesn’t. Choosing an RPO provider should never just be about time or cost saving- you should look for experts who can deliver an excellent experience to every stakeholder.”

Debbie Edmondson, Talent Director

Read on for our guide on ‘How to Choose an RPO Provider’:

1. Know what it is that you need 

Knowing exactly what your business needs is integral to understanding how to choose an RPO provider.

Think about the last 2 years:

  • How many roles have been recruited?
  • Are these roles specialist?
  • What kind of geographical area is being covered?
  • When are hires occurring ie. are there peaks and troughs?
  • What are the requirements of your Hiring Managers?

Answering these questions strategically will give you an idea of what you’re looking for.

Finding an RPO provider

2. Determine your fundamental requirements

Working with an RPO is largely about the relationship you have with them, they have to be a good fit for your business, or it won’t work.

Think about what’s critical to the success of your prospective partner:

Should they specialise/have experience in a particular industry?

A good provider will work with you to understand your industry, but how important is this to you? If your sector is very specialist then you need to find evidence from prospective partners. It’s a good idea to ask them questions and request case studies that showcase the work they’ve done with businesses similar to yours.

Do they need to be able to cover a wide geographic area? 

Understanding and experience of certain locations can be a significant element of recruitment. Consider how important this is to you.

There may be locations that are particularly difficult to recruit in, should your RPO partner have experience of working in this area? If they have experience of recruiting in certain areas then they may have already built strategic relationships or operate an effective PSL in those locations.

It may also be useful to look at their current client base and figure out what kind of areas your prospective provider already covers.

RPO provider - geographic coverage?

What should they be able to offer you?

Are you looking for a someone who’s offerings are diverse and wide ranging? Do you want to partner with a business who can assist with talent acquisition services, advertising, sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, management of the offer process and more?

Or do you need a partner to take some of the pressure off when it comes to handling queries and screening?

Look for evidence of how your prospective provider has delivered these kind of services previously and ask how they would work to fulfill your requirements if successful.

What are they able to provide in terms of resource?

If there are peaks and troughs in your recruitment needs then consider whether or not a provider will be able to cater for these needs.

Ask whether or not your prospective partner has access to a bigger team should they need to adapt to your requirements.

Should they be low cost?

RPO - low cost provider?

Are you looking specifically for a low-cost provider? If this is your main priority then ensure that you understand how your RPO partner costs things.

Whilst this is some people’s number 1 priority, it’s important to ensure you understand what you’re paying for– quality is very important and shouldn’t be compromised for cost.

Are they a good fit? 

Your RPO provider needs to understand your business, do you get a sense that their values align with yours? This is a great basis for your future relationship and being able to work together as a team.

They should be approachable and trustworthy so that if there are any challenges, you feel that you are facing them together and willing to work in partnership to overcome them.

3. Weigh up your options and choose a provider 

RPO - choose a provider

Choose the right fit for you

By truly understanding your needs and ensuring that you find a great fit for your business, you should have a good idea of which organisation will work best with you and your team.

When looking at how to choose an RPO provider it’s important that you don’t compromise on any of your core criteria and that you always ask plenty of questions. This should ensure that you choose a great partner who delivers what your business needs.