Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has become a crucial strategy for leading organisations across the UK.

Forming an integrated partnership with an external specialist provider allows companies to optimise the quality, speed, cost and candidate experience of their talent acquisition functions.

In a traditional RPO model, some or all recruiting responsibilities are transferred to a specialised firm that provides the dedicated resources, expertise and technologies needed to amplify results and align with business goals.

RPO partners aim to lift key talent metrics so businesses are focused on core competencies instead of everyday hiring logistics. As a result, the recruitment process contributes to the overall success of the business.

Traditional recruitment services


Many companies are familiar with recruitment agencies, however RPO partnerships are founded on a deeper strategic alignment. RPO integrates directly into a company’s HR infrastructure, offering end-to-end, customised services that address current objectives and future needs.

Traditional recruitment methods include essential vacancy filling processes, however, RPOs manage everything. From employer branding and sourcing right through to screening, compliance, interviewing, assessments, supplies, onboarding and reporting.


Why companies choose Recruitment Process Outsourcing


The cumulative advantages of implementing RPO are compelling, with a positive impact across the board.

Enhanced Quality: Superior screening and assessment capabilities help secure top-tier talent.

Faster Hiring: Specialised teams and automation accelerate recruitment workflows.

Reduced Costs: Economies of scale and improved efficiency lower spend per hire. 

With these foundational components elevated, organisations can better deliver for customers. Consequently, employee retention rates also increase as a result of a more refined hiring process that aligns with the company culture.


Enhancing candidate experience


In today’s market, candidate experience is more pivotal than ever before. Online employer reviews and social channels amplify reactions, as a result, recruitment missteps become reputation nightmares.

RPO providers recognise candidate experience as paramount. Using journey mapping, they ensure every touchpoint during screening consistently reinforces the company’s employer brand proposition and values. 

Candidate feedback and satisfaction rates are collected and analysed. Once this information is analysed, the results are utilised to address challenges and improve processes to enhance the candidate experience.

RPOs enable organisations to pre-emptively identify process pain points, by placing candidate relationships on par with business metrics. This allows them to benchmark against competitors and tailor their processes effectively.

In summary, this focus attracts talent that fits the role and resonates with the company culture. As a result, conversion, onboarding and retention are enhanced.


Accessing untapped talent pools


RPOs expand access to talent pools that typically remain out of reach to conventional recruiting methods alone. These are groups of “passive” candidates who are not actively searching but may consider new opportunities. 

RPO providers leverage specific techniques to uncover and engage passive candidates. Methods typically include social media integration, talent pooling campaigns, employee referral programs, and recruitment marketing targeted at desirable profiles.  

Proactively sourcing high-potential passive candidates allows RPOs to significantly widen the funnel and quality of applicants for key roles. 

The expanded access and increased focus on passive candidates can identify individuals who fit the role requirements and organisational culture. As a result, retention rates improve. 


Managing compliance and risk


UK employment legislation is constantly evolving. Compliance poses an increasing challenge for in-house HR teams to stay on top of. Required policy awareness and integration with existing frameworks demands considerable effort.

RPO providers maintain specialist legal and compliance teams who take full ownership by continually monitoring regulatory shifts across all relevant areas of recruitment, employment and data privacy law.

Any necessary policy adjustments, training or process updates are seamlessly integrated based on advisory notifications. Ensuring complete legislative alignment, without an additional workload, safeguards the organisation from potential infractions and risks. 

The RPO partner takes full responsibility for the compliance of recruitment operations. Liaising with in-house legal counsel to ensure compliance allows the focus to remain on strategic initiatives rather than tracking regulatory changes.

Measuring RPO success


Determining the success of an RPO programme, the key metrics that are considered centre around efficiency and hiring quality in the short term. Metrics such as decreased time-to-fill roles, cost per hire, and hiring manager satisfaction ratings are analysed in the initial stages.

However, the true effectiveness is reflected in long-term indicators that map business impact over time beyond core recruiting metrics. Factors such as boosted employee retention and increased revenue and profitability from optimised headcount illustrate the strategic value delivered.

The cumulative insights paint a clear picture of how embedded the RPO has become within the company’s overall operational systems. Successful RPO partners go beyond filling vacancies, they enhance the capability of achieving business goals through talent strategies.

Monitoring such metrics enables the relationship and expectations to be continually modified for sustainability.


Recruitment services


Recruiting interlinks with many vital company functions including, employer brand, culture, workforce planning and more.

As competition for industry-leading talent accelerates, leveraging external expertise through an integrated RPO provides unmatched access and efficiency. For ambitious companies, embedding such partnerships can set the foundation for reinvention, resilience and results.

At Cogent Staffing, we provide a range of client lifecycle services. From ad-hoc and contingent supply through to recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), our client services are 100% tailored to meet the needs of our clients. You can make an enquiry about our client services with our online form.