Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): How Does It Work?

RPO : What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

RPO : What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

March 29, 2022


Picture of INS Global



Picture of INS Global



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Key Takeaways


Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a service provided by a company that acts as your recruitment team or department and cares for the entire recruitment process from candidate mapping to onboarding on your behalf.

Some companies may not have the budget or space to retain adequate recruitment staff. Others may lack the networks and resources required to source the best candidates. Many companies may be looking to hire overseas and lack the local knowledge necessary to safely and securely hire local talent in their target market.


How does RPO work?

Recruiting requires time and effort to ensure quality, regardless of company size or hiring needs. Sourcing, mapping, screening, interviewing, negotiating, and onboarding are all steps that can take anywhere from hours to weeks to complete and take your staff away from other tasks.

RPO takes this process and outsources the most time-consuming or challenging steps:

RPO : What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing? | INS Global

Typically, an RPO agreement is made by first meeting with a provider’s recruitment specialists to discuss your needs. A good RPO provider will take the time at this stage to learn more about your company’s situation and goals. This allows them to better narrow down potential candidates to those that will align with your company culture.


What are the Benefits of RPO for Recruitment and Selection?

Employee Turnover

According to studies by the research group Aberdeen, each 1% increase in RPO spending meant a 47% chance of decreasing employee turnover rates. This is a huge benefit for companies who want to retain talent long-term and benefit from experienced, loyal employees.


Scalability of RPO

Outsourcing recruitment functions allows you to hire as few or as many staff at once as you desire, without needing to hire more staff or pay redundant salaries in the downtime.


Professional Expertise

According to RPO Association, 35% of hiring managers surveyed were currently dissatisfied with their current recruitment processes. RPO providers give you access to a range of specialists, from global mobility experts to teams of legal specialists, to improve recruitment process efficiency.


A Wider Range of Potential Candidates

A good RPO provider can draw from a multitude of different sources which may not be accessible otherwise. Industry-specific networks and tools allow them to search through more significant numbers of applicants faster and organize the best talent into a shortlist.


Cost of RPO

By partnering with an RPO provider, you pay a single fee based on successful recruitment, rather than continually paying salary to full-time HR or recruitment staff.



An RPO has the experience and systems that can take your staff years to build up, especially if you want to hire overseas in a new market. An RPO provider can also utilize global tracking tools and experience to adapt to trends over time.


RPO Speed

An RPO provider can focus all of their attention on the recruitment process, meaning a quicker success rate by as much as 40%. Your in-house hiring processes are also bound by the amount of time your current staff can take away from other, potentially critical tasks.


What are the Key Differences Between RPO and a Traditional Recruitment Agency?


The main difference between RPO and other recruiting services is that an RPO provider can effectively become your recruitment or HR department. Rather than simply sending you a list of names or CVs, an RPO provider can perform the supportive functions of an in-house HR team, like interviews, contract formation, or onboarding.



An RPO provider formulates and carries out an entire recruitment strategy on your behalf, meaning their services will cater far more to your individual needs.


Compliance Assurance

By taking a role in the support functions related to recruitment, an RPO provider can provide a higher level of legal expertise and regulatory assurance. This advantage over traditional recruitment providers is beneficial for companies looking to hire overseas in places with unfamiliar labor regulations.


RPO Quality Assurance

RPO agreements are, by their nature, more built towards long-term or in-depth partnerships. Rather than focussing on turnover speed like a recruitment agency, an RPO provider takes the time to screen and vet candidates to ensure lasting success.



RPO services can save up to 65-70% of the total final costs of a traditional recruitment agency.



The Various Types of RPO Agreement

RPO By Demand

This kind of RPO takes place over a short-term timeframe. When a company needs to fill a gap, they form an agreement with an RPO provider for those specific needs.


Functional RPO

This kind of RPO is usually used by companies or departments with specific requirements due to their industry or required candidate profiles. In this case, the entire range of recruitment functions of a particular team or department is outsourced to an RPO provider with specific knowledge or experience for hiring in that area.


Project-Based RPO

This kind of RPO may be seen as more mid-to-long-term and revolves around the project’s ongoing needs. The RPO provider is on hand to ensure a project, whether an overseas expansion or a particular product drive, remains fully staffed for the duration.


End-to-End RPO

Here, the entire recruitment process from candidate mapping to onboarding is handled by the RPO provider. This is particularly useful for companies who want to save on hiring or managing their own recruitment staff.

Additionally, these different models of RPO services are subject to various forms of payment models. The most common forms of RPO payment are Cost per:

  • Hire- Where a fee is paid per candidate hired
  • Slate- Where a fee is hired per candidate sourced
  • Transaction- Where a fee is paid per specific action taken
  • Arrangement – Where a fee is paid, typically monthly, for overseeing in-house recruitment processes


How INS Global Can Boost Your Recruitment Process at Home or Overseas With RPO 

INS Global is an RPO and PEO/EOR company with over 15 years of experience helping businesses in more than 80 countries to meet their global recruitment and expansion goals.

Our specialists are on-hand around the clock thanks to our offices worldwide, meaning you’ll never be without the support and advice you need to succeed.

INS Global can also offer a range of other HR outsourcing services like payroll outsourcing or global EOR and PEO solutions to boost your output and maximize your company’s structural efficiency.

Contact our team of recruitment professionals today to learn more about our RPO and recruitment services and see how you can make the most of the global hiring market.





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