RPO – What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

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Peer behind the curtain of Recruitment Process Outsourcing with Amberjack, as we explore the frequently asked questions and all you need to know about hiring graduates, apprentices, and future talent, with external assistance. 

What is RPO? 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is the process by which an organisation utilises an external provider (such as Amberjack) to help run internal recruitment. 

Outsourcing can occur across the recruitment spectrum. Here at Amberjack, we can assist with individual recruitment stages or the full hiring process. The flexibility and breadth associated with using a third-party is a motivating factor for a lot of recruiters looking to fill their vacancies. 

Stages we can help with include: 

  • Attracting candidates 
  • Screening 
  • Video and telephone interviews 
  • Facilitating assessment centres 
  • Candidate management 
  •  Offer management and onboarding 
  • Recruitment analytics 
  • Compliance and risk management 

Why should employers consider outsourcing their Future Talent/Early Career recruitment? 

Students use social media to share their recruitment experiences with organisations and openly enquire if other applicants are aware of the status of their application.  Therefore, outsourcing to an EC provider ensures that your applicants are moved quickly, consistently and accurately through your recruitment process so that you secure high quality hires. 

  • Quickly – because a client agrees a bespoke statement of work and service level agreement with their outsourced partner, which includes the maximum time that a candidate will spend on each stage in the process, how frequently, and by which media, candidates will be chased if the candidate is not progressing and how quickly candidate queries will be resolved 
  • Consistently – because an outsourced early careers provider will recommend use of unbiased and fair selection materials to minimise adverse impact on any specific ethnic groups.  But importantly, as a client, you get peace of mind that all your candidates are being marked consistently by a diverse mix of trained assessors, using positive and negative indicators to arrive at an evidence-based outcome score. Some outsourced providers go one step further by having a quality assurance team to randomly sample a proportion of each client’s video interview assessments to ensure that the marking is consistent throughout the campaign duration. This is critical, so that you get to see the very best quality candidates at the most expensive part of the selection process the assessment centre. 
  • Accurately – When dealing with large volumes of candidates, applying to different streams, it is critical to update each candidate record accurately within the applicant tracking system to ensure that reporting on your overall campaign is accurate. Campaign reporting enables managers to make accurate decisions about media spend and optimisation and ensure that sufficient candidates are in process to ultimately fulfil demand.   

Other benefits of outsourcing your hiring process include: 

  • Scalability: RPO providers can scale their services to meet the demands of your business, ensuring that you always have access to a flexible resource when and where you need it. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: RPO can often provide a cost-effective solution to your hiring needs. By taking on the burden of recruitment, RPO frees up your in-house team to focus on other important tasks, while still providing you with access to top recruits and employment results. 
  • Access to technology: RPO providers invest in the latest tools and technologies to help their clients find and engage top talent. This means that you can benefit from the latest advances in recruiting and have a strategic approach to hiring procedures without having to make a significant investment yourself. 
  • Expertise: RPO providers like Amberjack have access to an extensive network of contacts and resources, which we use to help clients find the best talents. At Amberjack, we’ve delivered over 450 volume campaigns, across multiple sectors which means we can offer the best advice and share insight and knowledge. 
  • Efficiency: Outsourcing your recruitment activities can help to drive huge efficiencies across the hiring process. By accessing expert teams and the best technology, they can help you to streamline your recruiting process, putting recruitment on hyperdrive and getting you the results, you need in a fraction of the time. 

For a more in-depth look at the benefits of RPO, read our blog: Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Early Talent Recruitment. 

What are some of the common misconceptions about outsourcing recruitment? 

  • ‘We will lose control around quality of the candidates attending assessment centre’: Outsourced providers hold weekly review calls with the client to ensure that they are aware of the campaigns overall progress. Within the calls the provider will flag potential issues to the client together with potential solutions. The quality of the candidates is in fact likely to be better because of the robust training and monitoring of assessors from outsourced providers versus in-house who have a large degree of autonomy and may be prone to influence from specific members of the hiring community.
  • ‘Our employer brand will be weakened’: Outsourced providers are an extension of the clients in house team, adopting your tone of voice and importantly understanding the nuances of your business. 
  • ‘We can do it cheaper in-house’: Often, budgets are spread across multiple departments and when combined, plus the direct costs of recruiting an in-house team, can be significantly higher than the cost of outsourcing. Given the cyclical nature of early careers recruitment, the in-house team can be relatively quiet for four months of the year and can often experience challenges during peak periods of activity due to annual leave, sickness, attrition and internal moves.  Outsourcing providers operate flexible resource models enabling us to deliver a consistent service throughout the entire campaign. 

How does the on-boarding and implementation process work? 

Step 1  

To agree a detailed statement of work, mutually agreeable commercials and a bespoke service level agreement 

Step 2  

The outsourced provider will initiate an implementation kick off workshop (prior to this you need to form an internal project team with a project sponsor, hiring demand by location and discipline, and consider potential risks). During the implementation workshop, the provider will share a high-level implementation timeline with key milestone dates. Supporting this, will be a detailed project plan.  You will agree the frequency of meeting, create a RAID log and allocate key owners to each of the deliverables. 

Step 3 

The Selection tool design will begin – the client will need to identify key stakeholders around the business who can attend a short job analysis meeting with a member of the outsourced providers assessment team. Once the tools are designed the client will need to reengage the stakeholders to take part in an SME trial and after this an incumbent trial using existing graduates or apprentices who are already in post. 

Step 4 

Technology build – your provider will ask you to join a number of requirements gathering workshops, so that the provider accurately captures all your recruitment process. Once built the client will need to complete two rounds of user acceptance testing. 

Step 5 

Working with the outsourced provider’s marketing team to provide collateral and agree the attraction strategy. 

Step 6 

Assessor briefing – providers welcome members of the client’s organisation joining the assessor briefing prior to go live. This gives the client an opportunity to submerse the provider’s team with knowledge about the organisation. 

What results can employers expect to get from outsourcing their Future Talent/Early Career recruitment? 

  • 100% fulfilment of hiring demand 
  • Year on year enhancements to client and candidate satisfaction  
  • Delivery within an agreed campaign budget 
  • Detailed recommendations to enable continuous improvement of the selection process 
  • Benefit from latest marketing, tech and assessment innovations 

Examples of Amberjack’s RPO Work with Clients 

We have provided RPO services to a number of organisations across industries. Below you can find a brief outline of the work we completed, along with a link to request the full case study if you’d like further information. 

  • Virgin Media O2 – Building on the success of the past couple of years, Virgin Media O2 wanted to raise the bar even higher. We have supported them to continually improve their approach to attraction, assessment and candidate engagement and achieve outstanding results against their original objectives.
  • Morrisons – The new digital recruitment programme featured cutting-edge technology, without sacrificing a human experience for candidates.
  • Mars – Mars needed an early talent recruitment process that would improve candidate experience, deliver future-proof talent that stands out from the crowd, and raise overall efficiency.
  • Atkins – By drawing on insight and feedback and utilising our in-house expertise, Amberjack designed a customised and interactive process.

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