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Outsourcing the Recruitment Process

A tough economic environment has raised the stakes for innovation, challenging companies to evolve with the times or die. Talent is front and center in this quest for survival. To acquire and retain the best employees, businesses are taking a novel approach to recruitment: human resource outsourcing.

Outsourcing human resources allows businesses to take advantage of a specialists niche expertise and time-tested best practices. Nowhere is this specialized knowledge more valuable than in the recruitment process. Effective recruiting draws on deep local knowledge and networks to attract the best, broadest candidate pool.

Outsourcing a Critical Human Resource
As competition for a lean, talented workforce heats up, businesses are increasingly relying on external Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services to vet and acquire new employees. Research firm Yankee Group estimates that RPO, a "rapidly emerging and high-demand subset of HRO," accounts for about $30 billion of the HRO market. With HRO valued at over $80 billion in 2008, RPO represents nearly 40 percent of the market.

A Bright Outlook for RPO
Recruitment Process Outsourcing represents a valuable resource for companies struggling to meet their human resources needs in a turbulent economy. Rapid fluctuations in labor supply and demand can overwhelm internal HR staff, leading to lost acquisition opportunities in a down market and an inability to right-size to meet evolving needs.

Outsourcing the human resources recruitment process offers a solution to the volatility of the current market. Richard Crespin, Global Executive Director of industry association HROA, observes: "RPO is a core tool in the talent management toolkit in booms and contractions." RPO offers flexibility, allowing businesses to respond quickly to emerging opportunities. "Now is the time to innovate and embrace recruitment solutions that will drive future growth," explains Rosemary Collins, Partner and Managing Director, CHRO Services. "Businesses must seize opportunities presented during downturns. In order to attract and retain top talent, they must build a recruiting infrastructure that is flexible and scalable." RPO offers instant access to an established recruiting infrastructure.

Outsourcing the Recruitment Infrastructure
Unlike staffing agencies, human resource outsourcing services oversee the entire recruiting process on behalf of the client. As the HROA puts it, RPO "differs greatly from providers such as...retained search providers in that it assumes ownership of the design and management of the recruitment process and the responsibility of results."

The RPO takes responsibility for the entire recruitment cycle, including:

  • Needs assessment
  • Sourcing candidates
  • Screening candidates
  • Interviewing
  • Hiring

Outsourcing this critical human resources function allows businesses to reduce the cost of the recruitment process. But the benefits of outsourcing extend well beyond the bottom line. Top reasons companies outsource recruitment include:

  • Reduced time-to-hire
  • Increased candidate volume
  • Improved candidate quality

Human resource outsourcing offers companies a powerful resource for weathering tough economic times. The flexibility of recruitment process outsourcing allows businesses to boost their talent acquisition capability when they need it most. RPO has gained converts for its value in reducing costs of recruitment. In the current economy, the human resources outsourcing service promises to go a step further, affording clients a competitive advantage in securing talent.

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