‘A new decade for RPO’

The RPO market is thriving. More industries are taking to Recruitment Process Outsourcing than ever before, but how has it grown so rapidly? A recent white paper by Intelligence Group, a leading job market data specialist, provides insight into the recent success of RPO. 

Jasper Spanjaart on March 25, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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‘A new decade for RPO’

For years Intelligence Group has provided some of the most resourceful job market datasets around. The Rotterdam-based outfit has collected, stored and enriched job market-related data to improve the entire recruitment experience through its reports, dashboards and API’s. Now the company has explored recent RPO trends ‘to get a better understanding of where the market is at the start of a new decade’. 

“From a revenue perspective, the big growth is happening in Europe right now”, Tim Proehm, VP of Digital Product Development at Kelly OCG, says. “When you look at Europe, you see a growth of 15 to 20 percent. The US market is still very mature and will grow somewhere between 3 and 5 percent.” 

Where governments used to work with brokers, the question has turned into: ‘How do I organise my talent strategy?’

This rapid growth can be attested to the notion that many new industries, like the manufacturing industries and public sectors, are adopting RPO in their process. “Where governments used to work with brokers, the question has turned into: ‘How do I organise my talent strategy?’”, Dennis Ender, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions, adds. 

Blended solutions

Traditionally, companies would have either an RPO program or an MSP program (managed services programs), the paper states. Now though, this is shifting towards a blend of both. “We see an increasing trend of blended solutions, in line with a growing appetite towards total talent management”, Jurgen Jaarsma, Head France & Benelux of ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions, says. 

“We see an increasing trend of blended solutions, in line with a growing appetite towards total talent management.”

A reason for this, as the paper states, is twofold. Firstly: it states that ‘the distinction between permanent and temporary labour is disappearing’. Secondly: due to talent shortage, organisations have to rethink their approach to talent management. Mijntje Nooij, managing director at Randstad Sourceright, sees an inherent connection between RPO’s growth and the notion that ‘everyone, ranging from freelancers to second-ranked candidates, could be of value’. 

No jack-of-all-trades 

The increasing complexity of recruitment is where RPO has proven to be another valuable solution. “The increasing complexity is an important rationale for RPO”, Frank Roders of Compagnon says. “The puzzle has many different parts, including tooling, reporting and automation. There is no recruiter that can do all of these things, particularly in-house.” That’s where RPO comes in and subsequently asks recruiters to raise the proverbial bar. They have to be consultants of sorts, while at the same time having to specialise. 

What you’re doing today could be very different tomorrow.

“There are fewer full-cycle or end-to-end recruiters. There is much more specialisation in different parts of the process”, Adam Godson, HR Technology Leader at Cielo, says. “Our people have to continuously keep learning to stay up-to-date. What you’re doing today could be very different tomorrow.”

Flexibility is key

Talent shortage also plays a role in another phase for RPO customers and its subsequent success. “All companies need experience, market insight and a process rigour”, Jaarsma says. “The talent shortage is pushing companies to demand innovative technologies and specialised solutions.” Erik Hollander, commercial director at Sterksen, notes that talent shortage directly leads to an increase in RPO. “It’s not easy to find recruitment talent”, he says. “This makes it difficult for companies to form their own recruitment teams and thereby reinforces the flexibility RPO offers as a sales argument.”

You need data

As RPO moves into a new decade, all interviewees view data as being central to a company’s strategy. “Not considering data as the part of the decision-making process or operations is like holding a guaranteed ticket to failure”, Jaarsma says. “Through data we can decrease the loss of time, talent and budget.” At the same time, Jaarsma issues a warning about the use of data. “Missing the level of expertise to interpret and embed relevant findings and put these into practice, is also a failing scenario.” 

“Not considering data as the part of the decision-making process or operations is like holding a guaranteed ticket to failure.”

“The next step in the data process, is broadening the sources of data that is being analyzed”, Proehm says. “In the past, you would only look at what’s happening inside the hiring funnel. People applied and then you could check how many people you did an interview with, how many went on to a second interview, et cetera. This was all focused on what was happening inside an organisation. Now you can pull data from your career site, Google Analytics or job boards – so you have a much broader dataset.”

The full Intelligence Group white paper ‘The Start of a New Decade for the RPO Market 2020-2021’ is available for download here.

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Writer and editor at ToTalent

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