10 signs that it’s time to consider RPO

by | Feb 29, 2024

Research by the British Business Bank found that access to talent is one of the top factors influencing investment decisions for start-ups and high-growth SMEs. Investors often look at the quality of the management team and the talent acquisition strategies in place when assessing the potential for growth.

While many businesses will initially rely on their network to get started, then most often engage with recruitment agencies to fill the gaps, there will come a time when developing a more strategic approach to talent acquisition becomes vital to the success of the business.

Outsourcing your recruitment process is not necessarily the panacea to an organisation’s talent challenges; however, it is worth considering if any of the signs below ring true.

1) You’re spending too much money and time with recruitment agencies

If you’re juggling multiple recruitment agencies and it’s starting to feel like a financial drain, it might be time to consider outsourcing. An outsourced recruitment partner (RPO) can handle all your hiring needs, managing existing agency relationships alongside direct recruitment. A streamlined list of better-engaged preferred suppliers working on negotiated rates, plus the ability to identify, attract and recruit directly from the candidate market will save you both time and money. In addition to cost savings, direct recruitment also provides the opportunity to strengthen your employer brand, reduce time to hire and take greater control of the candidate experience.

2) You’re reacting to hiring requirements without a recruitment strategy

You’re not alone if your recruitment strategy feels more reactive than strategic. Reacting to immediate needs rather than planning for the future can lead to wasted resources and missed opportunities. Reactive hiring isn’t sustainable for a growing business. A strategic approach to planning current and future talent requirements will enable you to design the shape of your workforce and ensure hiring plans are fully aligned with the broader business goals. An outsourced recruitment partner could support you in adopting this approach by utilising their market expertise and best practice methodology.

3) HR is busy managing recruitment, not where they are needed most

As your business grows, so do the demands on your HR team. It’s easy for them to get bogged down with the day-to-day recruitment tasks rather than focus on more strategic activities such as workforce planning. Rather than considering it a threat to their role, many HR Managers consider outsourcing the physical recruitment process to a specialist partner as an opportunity to focus on the strategic activities supporting the company’s growth. An outsourced partner will provide the HR team with expertise, technology solutions, and flexibility.

4) Your recruitment process is inconsistent, at best

A poorly defined and inconsistent recruitment process can be costly to your company. Recruitment can become very hit-and-miss, and it can be frustrating for both hiring managers and candidates. A sense of disorganisation can seep in that best appears unprofessional, gives a poor first impression and can have a damaging impact on your external employer brand. As a result, you risk missing out on the top talent needed to build your business.  Outsourcing can ensure that your recruitment processes are robust and professional, giving candidates and hiring managers a positive experience from start to finish.

5) You have a backlog of unfilled vacancies

Whether you’re struggling to find suitable candidates or to receive enough applications in the first place, you’re probably missing opportunities and feeling the pressure to make decisions too quickly. Both will be costing you time and money. A backlog of unfilled vacancies can slow down your business and put a strain on your existing staff. An outsourced recruitment partner will utilise specialist sourcing techniques, implement efficient processes and help streamline your hiring process. Filling the vacancies will be their number one priority.

6) You don’t have a talent pipeline

With a talent pipeline, you’ve got a pool of pre-screened candidates at your fingertips. You can swiftly reach out to your pre-selected candidates, reducing the time of the recruitment process. Candidates who know you’ve already earmarked them as a potential fit for your company get a boost of confidence, and it improves their overall experience with your brand. It also showcases your organisation as proactive and forward-thinking by prioritising candidate experience and engagement. As well as taking care of your day-to-day recruitment, an experienced recruitment outsource partner will also build and nurture future talent pipelines on your behalf – a service that will prove invaluable when you have short lead times or need to make multiple hires quickly.

7) You’re concerned about the diversity and inclusivity of your recruitment process

An inclusive and diverse work culture leads to a collaborative work environment, a more attractive employer brand, a greater sense of belonging, and stronger employee engagement. An outsourced recruitment partner can guide clients through an inclusive and diverse hiring strategy to help them be more thoughtful when assessing candidates. A diverse team will tend to attract more diverse hires, which will continue to reinforce an inclusive hiring strategy.  To ensure these diverse candidates have the chance to join your company, an outsourced partner will help identify hiring biases within the recruitment process and adjust the process to be more inclusive.

8) Employees are leaving as quickly as you are hiring them

A high attrition rate is a significant issue for a growing business. It means your organisation is constantly playing catch-up instead of serving customers or being productive. This game of catch-up can lead to lost business and burned-out team members picking up the slack. It can result from several issues, but often, the problem lies within the recruitment process, mainly if new recruits are leaving. Using their expertise, data and market insights, an experienced outsourced recruitment partner will work with you to address and resolve any issues causing a high attrition rate. They’ll also help you to implement the changes needed to turn things around, so your hiring is ‘right first time’.

9) You have no recruitment data or market insights to help evaluate your performance

Not having access to recruitment data remains a common issue. Without a consistent recruitment process, it can be difficult to track recruitment activity, and it’s often left to HR to capture the essential information when a job offer is made to a candidate. However, recruitment data is vital for optimising processes, making evidence-based decisions, identifying trends, measuring ROI, improving candidate experience, ensuring compliance and diversity, forecasting talent needs, and benchmarking performance.

Outsourced providers often leverage advanced technology solutions, data analytics, and industry expertise to optimise the hiring process and deliver a higher quality of candidates. This enables an organisation to fine-tune its recruitment strategies, attract top talent, and drive business success.

10) You struggle to cope with significant fluctuations in hiring volumes

Whether your company is experiencing rapid growth, hiring for short-term projects, saving money or reducing turnover, recruitment activity is rarely consistent for long periods of time. This inevitably leads to pressure being put on HR and Talent Acquisition teams.  An outsourced recruitment partner can support when an organisation is growing and needs to ramp up hires quickly. However, what is also vital is for the outsourced model to scale down when hiring needs are slow. This means a flexible approach is key.An outsourced partner can better control the fluctuating recruiting demands of, and impact on, businesses. With dedicated staff, experienced recruiters, and social recruiting methods, RPOs are well-equipped to deal with scalable hiring needs.

An outsourced partner presents companies with a means of handling these changes cost-effectively and largely stress-free. The flexibility of scalable modern RPO services is an effective recruitment solution for SMEs especially, who benefit from the economies of scale that an RPO offers, as well as the outsourcing partner’s knowledge and expertise.

Additionally, RPO partners can provide modern recruiting tools for smaller companies without the financial resources to bring them in-house. This means that even single-person hiring departments or small teams can find scalable solutions to manage the many facets of recruiting.

The RPO Consultancy was set up to help companies better understand the Talent Solutions available to them. We work with HR and Procurement teams to ensure they engage with the best-fit outsourced recruitment partners, delivering the optimum recruitment model that aligns with their companies’ organisational goals.