Five Signs Your Business Would Benefit from Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Eric Mochnacz
May 12, 2023

As a business grows, its workforce needs to grow with it.  The CEO of a growing business may not have the bandwidth or expertise to develop a strategic workforce plan, create the hiring process and manage high-volume recruiting.  The solution for the CEO is to partner with a recruitment process outsourcing firm who can manage the entire workforce growth plan, end to end.  Red Clover has a proven track record with our RPO service offering, saving small and medium-sized businesses time and money while helping them achieve their ambitious growth goals.  If you’re a CEO looking to scale, we discuss the signs indicating it may be time to outsource your recruitment efforts to a trusted HR partner.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing Explained 

Simply put, recruitment process outsourcing, or RPO is when a business contracts with an external partner to manage the end-to-end recruitment process in its entirety.  Generally, companies outsource recruitment for a specific function of the business – sales, for example, or their RPO partner manages recruitment across the entire organization.  The RPO partner owns and executes every aspect of the recruitment process – writing job descriptions, sourcing, resume triage, interview management, and educating hiring managers on interview and hiring best practices. Working with an RPO firm is different than working with a corporate recruiter or recruiting firm. They only provide a pool of candidates, with little involvement in the interview and hiring process itself. They also come with a 20-25% markup based on the candidate’s salary.  If you’re a business owner anticipating the need to rapidly grow your team at a high volume, working with an RPO partner, like Red Clover,  is the more effective solution as they are specialists in strategically managing the hiring process from start to finish.

Five Signs to See If Your Business Would Benefit From RPO

1. High Turnover Rates 

If your business is experiencing high turnover rates, there are two issues your RPO partner can address.  The immediate need is filling your vacancies and establishing a scalable process which allows you to address those high-volume vacancies relatively quickly – without losing candidate quality.  Second, if you’re hiring people but they aren’t staying, there is something wrong with your vetting process.  Hopefully, you have information from exit interviews that provides insight into your high attrition rates.  Your RPO provider takes that information and drives impactful change in your recruitment process, addressing the specific gaps in your hiring process that are leading to employee departures.  If employees cite the work they do isn’t aligned with the job description, then your RPO partner focuses on revising job descriptions for accuracy.  If employees identify their managers had unrealistic expectations of their performance, then it’s a matter of making sure the interview questions are actually identifying the skills you need for your open roles.  If you don’t conduct interviews, your RPO provider strategically analyzes your workforce trends and develops and implements solutions to address the short and long-term implications of high turnover rates.  

2. Business Needs to Be Scaled Quickly 

Clients reach out to us for our RPO services when they anticipate business growth and they need to scale the workforce in order to support rapid growth.  Generally speaking, the CEO focuses on growing the business, and outsourcing recruitment is the best strategy, because they don’t have the time or the expertise to do it themselves.  RPO means the owner now has a skilled professional managing the entire recruitment business function and it’s their sole priority.  Your RPO function ensures your workforce growth keeps pace with the business growth.  And with their expertise in building efficient recruitment and interview processes, you can reduce the time to fill.  Getting skilled, culturally-aligned people on board quickly is essential to making sure you have the headcount to support the business as it scales.  

3. Hiring is Not Being Done Strategically 

Companies often hire based on an immediate need without a long-term strategic plan.  Someone resigns, so they jump to fill that vacancy.  Or they acquire a new customer, so they think they need to grow their headcount to accommodate the customer.  This type of firefighting may work in the near term, but without a strategic approach to recruitment, filling roles just to fill roles may not be sustainable in the long term.  Think about the job market and the constant influx of lay-off announcements bombarding our LinkedIn feeds.  The majority of the CEOs in these situations have cited the fact they overhired and found themselves in a financially unsustainable position with their rapid headcount growth.  If they had approached workforce planning and recruiting strategically, they may have been able to head off the losses by only hiring for roles they knew they would need (and could afford) at the time of hire and in the future.  RPO providers approach hiring strategically and understand the workforce holistically to ensure the roles they are working to fill make sense for the business and its long-term strategic growth plan.

4. No Defined Recruiting Process 

Because time is of the essence when it comes to hiring, companies often meet someone, chat for half an hour, and decide they are a good fit for the role.  Their judgment may be clouded by the fact that the role is mission-critical, and keeping it open means lost revenue, so they decide to hire, despite any nagging concerns about the person’s candidacy.  We also exist in a world where business leaders still think it’s appropriate to hire based on “gut”, claiming they know someone is a fit within five minutes of meeting them.  On the other hand, other companies will make candidates sit through seven rounds of interviews over the course of two or three months, and then request more interviews because they can’t make up their minds.  Then they act surprised and offended when the candidate withdraws or accepts a job elsewhere.  

When we implement our proven RPO  process in companies, we define and communicate the recruitment process to internal stakeholders and candidates.  Generally, we recommend three interviews, with a focus on candidate experience and the goal of filling a role in about a month.  Additionally, we train hiring managers in behavioral interviewing, a candidate-centric interviewing philosophy that also helps reduce bias in the hiring process.  This process is scalable and repeatable and works if you’re trying to fill one vacancy or trying to fill 10.  In companies where we’ve been able to fully execute our RPO strategy, we’ve increased the quality of the candidates who make it to the final interview and have improved employee satisfaction and retention.  

5. Multiple Roles Need to be Filled at Once 

Working with an RPO firm, rather than an internal recruiter or an external recruitment firm, means you have access to a whole team of professionals skilled in talent acquisition who can navigate the ebbs and flows of the hiring plan.  If you find yourself in a position where you need to hire multiple roles across a number of functions, your RPO partner can deploy resources appropriately to get the job done.  This also guarantees a consistent candidate experience and similar execution of the recruitment strategy throughout the entire business.  You’re also saving money, as RPO firms don’t traditionally charge a fee for each role they fill, whereas external recruiters do.  The measure of success for an RPO firm isn’t about the amount of commissions they earn, but their ability to grow your team with the right people and leave the business better than they found it with recruitment processes and solutions.

If You’re in Need of an RPO Consultant – Red Clover Can Help! 

It’s an exciting time for business owners when they are ready to scale!  It’s also overwhelming to think about building a workforce who can support those growth goals.  Outsourcing to a trusted RPO partner with a proven track record may be the solution you need.  Check out our case study here and reach out if you’re ready to partner with us to strategically grow your workforce.

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