RPO – What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

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Peer behind the curtain of Recruitment Process Outsourcing with Amberjack, as we explore the common queries and all you need to know about outsourced processes for hiring graduates, apprentices, and future talent, with external assistance. 

Table of Contents

What is RPO in recruitment?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a strategic business approach where organisations delegate some (or all) of their recruitment processes to external service providers, like Amberjack

RPO providers can manage various aspects (and the entirety) of the hiring cycle. From attracting targeted student populations, posting job openings, and hosting your online assessment, to conducting video interviews with candidates, onboarding them, and helping them grow with our new Learning and Development offering.

RPO offers scalability, allowing companies to adjust their recruitment resources according to fluctuating hiring needs. 

Often RPO contributes to significant cost savings, enhancing recruitment expertise, and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and it can even assist with an organisation’s employer brand and candidate experience

RPO is seeing consistent growth year on year and the global market is estimated to reach approximately £23.7 Billion by 2030, which would be an overall increase of 264.62% from the £6.5 Billion reported in 2022.

Graph of the predicted growth of the global market for RPO

Source: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5139965/recruitment-process-outsourcing-rpo-global

RPO can be tailored to the extent of outsourcing required, with options ranging from partial RPO to full spectrum outsourcing, enabling companies to focus on their core activities while optimising their talent acquisition efforts.

Essentially, RPO represents a strategic collaboration that enables businesses to optimise their recruitment operations, cut expenses, and enhance their hiring procedures’ overall calibre and efficiency.

This is done by harnessing the knowledge and assets of external talent acquisition professionals.

RPO Models

Numerous prevalent RPO models exist, and each one is meticulously designed to align with the distinct requirements and aims of the client organisation, a number of which Amberjack can offer.

These adaptable models can be adjusted to accommodate the organisation’s scale, industry, and recruitment targets.

Common RPO models include:

Full RPO (End-to-End RPO):

  • In an end-to-end RPO model, the RPO provider takes complete responsibility for the client’s recruitment process. This includes everything from job posting and candidate sourcing to onboarding. They act as the organisation’s internal recruitment department.

Project-Based RPO:

  • Project-based RPO is a temporary arrangement where the RPO provider handles a specific recruitment project or set of tasks. This model is often used for high-volume hiring initiatives or unique recruitment campaigns.

On-Demand RPO:

  • On-demand RPO is a flexible model where the client organisation can engage the RPO provider as needed. This model allows clients to scale up or down recruitment services based on their current requirements.

Selective RPO:

  • Selective RPO is a model where the client organisation outsources specific parts of the recruitment process, such as candidate sourcing or screening, while retaining control over other aspects, like interviews and final hiring decisions.

Hybrid RPO:

  • A hybrid RPO model combines in-house and outsourced recruitment processes. In this model, the RPO provider collaborates with the organisation’s internal HR team to optimise and enhance specific aspects of recruitment.

Global RPO:

  • Global RPO is designed for organisations with a worldwide presence. It provides a standardised and consistent approach to recruitment across multiple countries and regions.

How do I choose the right RPO model?

The choice of the RPO model depends on an organisation’s recruitment needs, budget, and strategic goals.

Some organisations opt for a single model, while others may use a combination of models to address different recruitment challenges or phases.

The key features of RPO are customisation and flexibility, allowing organisations to adapt their approach as their needs evolve.

Is RPO right for my Organisation?

Determining whether Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is the right fit for your organisation is a larger conversation our team is happy to have with you, but it depends on various factors and considerations; some of these are:

1. Recruitment Volume

If your organisation experiences fluctuations in hiring needs, particularly high-volume hiring, RPO can be a valuable solution to scale up your recruitment efforts as needed.

2. Complexity of Roles

Consider the complexity of the positions you want to fill. RPO can be beneficial for high-volume roles and specialised technical positions where expert sourcing and screening are crucial.

3. Recruitment Capabilities

Assess your in-house recruitment capabilities. RPO can be particularly advantageous for organisations with limited internal recruitment resources or when you need to enhance your existing recruitment processes.

4. Technology and Tools

If your organisation can benefit from advanced recruitment technology, such as applicant tracking systems or AI-powered tools, an RPO provider may offer access to these resources.

5. Strategic Objectives

Consider how your organisation’s recruitment aligns with broader strategic objectives. RPO can be a strategic partner in helping you achieve your talent acquisition goals.

A comprehensive evaluation of your organisation’s requirements, goals, and limitations is paramount.

Additionally, consult with experts, request proposals, and explore capabilities, track records, and references to decide whether RPO is the right solution for your organisation.

How Does RPO help companies with volume hiring?

Graphic showing some ways that rpo helps with volume hiring

Beyond the exact tools and expertise that accompany them, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) providers can significantly benefit companies facing the challenge of volume hiring, which involves the need to fill a large number of positions within a relatively short period. 

Here’s how RPO helps companies with volume hiring:

Speed and Efficiency

RPO providers are well-equipped to streamline the hiring process. They have dedicated teams, technology, and procedures in place to handle high volumes efficiently, which can result in faster time-to-fill and reduced vacancy periods.

Resource Management

RPO providers can allocate additional resources as needed, sparing the client organisation from the logistical and administrative burden of rapidly expanding their internal HR team.


RPO providers can maintain consistency in the recruitment process, even when dealing with many positions. This consistency helps ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and consistently.


RPO providers can help ensure that the recruitment process complies with relevant labour laws and regulations, which is particularly important when hiring in high volumes across multiple locations.

Reporting and Analytics

RPO providers often offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities, enabling the client organisation to track and measure the effectiveness of their high-volume hiring efforts.

Employer Branding

RPO providers can assist in crafting and promoting a positive employer brand, which is crucial for attracting many quality candidates, even during high-volume hiring campaigns.

There are also many more benefits to outsourcing recruitment beyond these few.

By leveraging the expertise, resources, and efficiency of RPO providers, companies can navigate the challenges of high-volume hiring more effectively, ultimately leading to better hiring outcomes and a more streamlined recruitment process.

How do I choose an RPO provider?

Group of business professionals discussing rpo providers

There are many things you should think about when trying to choose an RPO provider; some of the most important ones are:

1. Define Your Needs

Understand your organisation’s specific recruitment needs, including the types of positions and geographic locations.

2. Assess Expertise

Evaluate the RPO providers’ expertise and track record, focusing on their industry experience and ability to meet your specific needs.

3. Check References

Contact previous or current providers’ clients to get insights into their experiences and the quality of candidates provided.

4. Evaluate Technology

Assess the RPO providers’ technology and tools in their recruitment processes, including advanced tools like applicant tracking systems and AI-driven solutions.

5. Pricing Alignment

Ensure that the pricing models and structures proposed by the providers align with your budget.

6. Review SLAs

Examine the providers’ service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure they meet your expectations and goals.

Ultimately, ensuring you are working with an RPO provider that understands you and your company’s goals is best. 

How does RPO work? - Amberjack’s Onboarding and Implementation

graphic of how amberjack's rpo implementation process works

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 going live. This gives the client an opportunity to submerse the provider’s team with knowledge about the organisation. 

Recruitment Stages Amberjack 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
  • Learning and development

What results can employers expect to get from RPO?

  • 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. 

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.

Still unsure if RPO is right for you?

If you are still unsure about recruitment process outsourcing, then please feel free to contact our experts. We can provide you with an in-depth understanding of our rpo solutions and help you determine the best solution for your business. Get in touch today!

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