RPO, fact vs. fiction

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): Fact vs. Fiction

What You Need to Know About RPO

In recent weeks, our team at Broadleaf has observed a significant rise in recruitment process outsourcing inquiries, proposals, and newly awarded customer contracts. As organizations are quickly looking to replenish their workforces, many talent acquisition leaders are leveraging RPO solutions to augment their talent acquisition teams.

Despite the increasing prevalence of recruitment process outsourcing services in the Fortune 500, many mid-size businesses are unfamiliar with the features, advantages, and that benefits RPO can deliver to an organization needing immediate hiring support. I’m looking to bust a few myths about RPO and give you the facts on how a flexible recruitment process outsourcing solution can bring value to your business.

What is RPO? Recruitment Process Outsourcing: Explained

Fact: RPO programs work as an extension of a company’s talent acquisition team.

If your organization has an established talent acquisition team, you may not think that engaging with an RPO partner is needed. But what if I told you that recruitment process outsourcing can work in parallel with your recruiters? You decide what pieces or all the parts of the recruitment process that they’d like to outsource to a partner. Some companies choose to engage with RPO partners to contract out a select portion of their open positions, while others will determine that fully outsourcing a department or a business unit’s hiring is the best course of action. Whatever your specific case may be, the proper deployment of an RPO program can help solve internal recruiting bandwidth constraints on your TA team—thereby driving more effective recruiting across your organization.

Fiction: RPOs can also be called staffing firms.

Some can mistakenly consider RPOs to be the same as staffing firms. Here’s where they differ: while staffing firms can be brought on to fill an organization’s one-off temporary or direct hires, RPO providers will operate as strategic talent scout assisting with larger-scale hiring spikes that can support a variety of positions from sales professionals to call center reps to general managers to IT developers. In addition to improving top-of-the-funnel candidate sourcing strategies, RPO partners can help to amplify their client’s employer brands.

Fact: RPO can help to decrease cost-per-hire and shorten time-to-hire.

As RPO programs are designed to absorb the majority of internal and external recruiting costs, they offer significant cost savings for organizations. It’s been proven that RPO solutions can reduce overall cost-per-hire by more than 20%. And with access to advanced technology and recruitment platforms, RPO providers can more effectively source, engage, and onboard employees. According to the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association, well-qualified RPO partners can shrink the time it takes to hire a candidate by up to 55%.

Fiction: RPO programs offer a one-size-fits-all approach.

RPO programs should be configured based on the organization’s talent and business needs. Contrary to popular belief, RPO solutions are not rigid in structure. In reality, programs are implemented with your hiring process and agile enough to accommodate spikes in hiring demands by aligning flexible teams to support talent needs. Some companies utilize RPO programs when faced with seasonal labor surges, such as around the holidays. RPOs are also flexible with their cost-effective pricing options. From cost-per-hire and cost-per-transaction models to management fee pricing plans, there are several different cost alternatives for organizations to choose from when aligning with an RPO partner.


No matter the size of your organization, a well-designed RPO program can bring significant value to your overall hiring and talent acquisition processes. Whether you’re looking to outsource some—or all—of your recruiting functions, aligning with the right RPO partner can mean the difference between hiring top talent and missing out on these candidates altogether. And with an emphasis placed on flexibility and agility, RPO programs can be leveraged as a proven turnkey corporate recruiting solution to enhance the power of your workforce.

This blog was written by Broadleaf Senior Vice President Jason Krumwiede.