The Varying Degrees of RPO

Understanding the 3 distinct levels of Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

Having a solid understanding of RPO is important so you can set the right expectations, better identify the right type or types of RPO providers, and effectively choose the right partner(s). Here is a way to define RPO by breaking it into three distinct levels. Please understand that there is no right or wrong answer here, just definition.

1st Level RPO

You have a hiring project and need a list of candidates based on specific hiring criteria.  1st Level providers are often technology companies, with many located offshore. They rely on technology such as internet search and resume parsing tools to deliver candidates based on specific content included in the candidate resumes. The approach is more rigid, but it works.

2nd Level RPO

Your hiring initiative requires a list of qualified candidates for each position, not just a stack of resumes. 2nd Level includes everything from the 1st Level and adds a screening component. 2nd Level providers will find the candidates, and then conduct a live or technology-based interview to qualify them and confirm some degree of interest. Your organization then chooses the best candidate(s) and starts the onboarding process. This approach is less rigid, but still requires only minimal deviation from the standard model.

3rd Level RPO

Your hiring initiative requires assistance with more of the recruitment process, from candidate search through hiring and onboarding, to deliver employees ready to hit the ground running. Also called RPO 3.0, this includes everything from the two levels above, plus some degree of outsourcing across the complete recruiting continuum. RPO 3.0 providers must form a more strategic partnership to align their results with organizational objectives. Reporting also tends to be more strategic, based on factors such as the cost of vacancy, competitive influence, and employee lifetime value.