How Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Works?​

Published: Apr 13, 2022 | Category: Business

How Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Works?

The recruitment of specialist staff remains a tough challenge for companies and high demand for qualified workers can be expected in the future. At the same time, there is a shortage of candidates, especially in the highly qualified segment. Hence, decision-makers are spoiled for choice when it comes to a multitude of recruiting strategies, channels, and tools. As various vacancies need to be filled, different recruiting approaches become necessary. While for some positions publication on the homepage or posting a widely distributed job advertisement is sufficient, other vacancies can only be filled with targeted active sourcing measures.

Against this background, the question arises for companies as to how they can set up their HR most successfully. Establishing a large, internal recruiting department does not make sense for every company. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) offers an alternative.

What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a sub-area of ​​Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in which internal recruiting is partially or wholly assigned to a specialized service provider. The aim here is to support the hiring company in the implementation of measures in the long term and to ensure that there is an adequate supply of specialist staff.

How does RPO differ from classic personnel services?

In contrast to personnel consulting and similar service models, the RPO partnership between the client company and the service provider is usually not designed as a project. It is not about individual appointments, but about permanent cooperation in which the service provider takes on an important corporate function and implements this on behalf of the company in the medium to long term.

Companies can take advantage of all partial services in the context of personnel recruitment or the entire recruitment process.  This may include the creation and placement of job advertisements, the evaluation of applications received, the implementation of active sourcing measures, the organization and implementation of job interviews, assessment centers, employer branding, and onboarding activities.

Advantages of RPO

Advantages from the RPO partnership for companies include:

  • A lack of specialist know-how in the company is compensated for by external recruiting experts;
  • Active recruiting measures increase candidate quality;
  • More efficient recruiting and hiring processes improve the “time to hire”:
  • Cost-per-hire has been reduced thanks to more cost-effective internal structures and savings in headhunter fees;
  • Fluctuating recruiting volumes can be balanced out;
  • The departments are better integrated;
  • Technological innovations in recruiting need not be implemented internally;
  • There is more security when it comes to data protection issues.


RPO is particularly suitable for companies that do not want to build up larger HR structures, but at the same time rely on a constantly filled pipeline of good candidates. The ability to leverage the latest recruiting methods, combined with cost savings and flexibility, makes RPO attractive.