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To Outsource (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) or Optimize (Recruitment Process Optimization)? That is the question. First let’s look at what these terminologies mean: Which fork should you take?

What exactly is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

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 ownership of the design and management of the recruitment process and the responsibility of results.

There is also some great information in Wikipedia on RPO.

What exactly is Recruitment Process Optimization?

Recruitment Process Optimization (RPOptimization) is, in its simplest form, aligning an organization’s recruitment and hiring processes with its core business strategy and mission. In order to achieve this, Recruitment Process Optimization focuses on the core values of the President, CEO and executive management team and then creates a recruiting and hiring process that implements those values so they permeate through every aspect of the process, from search through on-boarding. As with anything that is new and ultimately successful, the entire organization needs to be bought in to achieve the desired goals and this ultimately begins with the organization’s leader.

The message of RPOptimization is that by optimizing your process from the top to the bottom the company is left with a process that works, improves their ROI, and is managed by the company (rather than a 3rd party).

If you visit the websites of Outsourcing companies you’ll read things like:

  • We have the ability to become transparently embedded in your business, operations, and success.
  • Developing a world-class recruiting operation requires an investment of time and money that are simply beyond the means of most organizations.
  • From the RPO provider community, the desire to own the entire recruitment function is very understandable. Recurring revenue is good. Client dependency is good. Ownership of the entire process places the RPO provider in a powerful position and that is good.
  • Clarifies the current state of recruitment operations, including a thorough review of demand planning and fulfillment capabilities, current processes, service delivery practices, sourcing practices, hiring manager satisfaction, candidate management, cost and budget management, performance metrics, and technology utilization.

These are just a few examples. There is one consistent message, however, among outsourcing companies. “If you let us manage your recruiting process we’ll save you time and money.” This is NOT about reducing cost per hire. It’s about increasing ROI per hire. If you solve the ROI issue all the others will fall in line. Outsourcers don’t truly solve your problems. They are like putting a bandage on a lethal wound. It may stop the bleeding in the near term. In the long term, you’ll still die. This is the way they create perpetual revenue for themselves.

Not sure about this logic? Answer this question: Would you outsource your sales organization to a company that had no real investment in your success, goals, and objectives? Then why outsource your single most important function to someone else? Recruiting is broken and must be fixed through optimization within your organization. It’s time that recruiting be looked upon and treated like what it truly is: the most important function in your organization. If you’re not recruiting, hiring, and retaining exceptional employees you won’t survive in the long term.

Creator and Host,

Carol Schultz

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