People Science as a lead member of the RPO Association Tools Committee, together with its members, created the following definition of RPO as stated on Wikipedia.com:

Recruitment Process Outsourcing is a form of (BPO) business process outsourcing where an employer outsources or transfers all or part of its recruitment activities to an external service provider.

“Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external service provider.  An RPO provider can provide its own or may assume the company’s staff, technology, methodologies and reporting.  In all cases, RPO differs greatly from providers such as staffing companies and contingent/retained search providers in that it assumes at least a portion of the ownership of the design and management of the recruitment process and the responsibility of results.”

Recruitment Processing Outsourcing (RPO) is a little known but quickly growing avenue for sourcing and retaining top talent. Like HRO (total Human Resources Outsourcing) RPO’s assume the responsibility of the HR function, but specifically as it relates to Recruitment. Typically an RPO will have a definitive scope of project varying from becoming the full Recruiting department to assuming the responsibility for meeting the hiring objectives of a specific department, location, or segment of employment.

RPO may include all or a portion of the following:

  • Recruiting analysis, recommendation and planning
  • Full cycle job description creation
  • Recruiting campaign reviews and recommendations
  • Branding reviews and recommendations
  • Full cycle applicant processing including:
    • Recruiting
    • Sourcing
    • Screening
    • Interviewing
    • Employment offers
    • Decline of offers

RPO has proven effective in:

  • Large scale recruitment initiatives such as call centers and retail chains which can result in thousands of hires
  • Sourcing for the more specific and difficult to find talent sectors such as 50 to hundreds of Network Engineers in multiple locations
  • The management of a company’s entire recruiting department

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