With unemployment rates hitting record lows, around 45% of employers globally are struggling to fill positions while recruiters are facing increased competition to find and place top talent.

From learning the strings to be pulled in being a good hiring manager, successfully sourcing talent, conducting interviews, to keeping candidates engaged during your entire hiring process, it is relatively hard to find the time to analyze and scrutinize the recruitment process. 

Committing to talent and recruitment operations means focusing on developing the most effective and suitable recruiting experience. In doing so, recruiting return on investments will be improved, and pain points will be mitigated.

This is very important since human resource functions are currently seen to grow steadily in a very competitive global market. As well, a great HR team often has effective plans that have been calibrated to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. 

What does an RPO do?

The acronym ‘RPO’ has been thrown around several times nowadays. However, many are still neither aware of what it stands for nor of how it works.

The Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) industry is fast-growing because of its unique and more customizable approach compared to the traditional form of recruitment.  Unlike traditional recruitment, RPO providers can act as an extension or part of a company’s HR sourcing function.

A provider can now deliver the needed staff, technology, and methodology that is required by a client in their recruitment requirements.

Simply put, the primary function of traditional recruitment firms is to source and place a candidate in the required role. On the other hand, RPO service providers design and execute recruitment processes that are typically part of a lifecycle as a whole.

Since the strategies of RPOs in sourcing, screening, and recruiting potential candidates highly depend on the needs of their clients, there has been a general identification of the different levels of outsourcing:

Project basis. RPO services can be employed on a project basis when you would need help with the recruitment of employees for a specified period. Also called one-time sourcing, this kind of outsourcing relates only to a specific need of an organization. It is also more output based because it does not entail a continuing recruiting service.

Hybrid basis. Just as how a hybrid model should be, this level describes an organization that employs outsourcing recruitment and in-house recruitment simultaneously. This happens when the in-house recruitment team gets too hampered with work and would likely function better with a helping hand.

Full RPO. This is when the client outsources all parts of the recruitment process. For example, in a full-cycle recruitment process, the outsourced team manages and designs end-to-end recruitment solutions for all roles across the board. Service providers such as Sysgen RPO provides Full Life Cycle Recruiting. To learn more about it, you can click here.

In all three levels, the client needs to identify and tell the service provider exactly what it is their organization aims for. The client gets a complete list of suitable talents and has control of the ultimate hiring decisions. Unlike traditional recruitment, RPOs offer you beneficial services that are:

Customizable. Unlike traditional recruitment firms, RPOs provide customized solutions to their clients. They use an approach that is more appropriate to identify the needs and challenges rather than operating with a one-size-fits-all method.

Controllable. In a focused recruiting process, for example, RPO providers give out reports and set expectations of the coverage of the contract from the very beginning of the agreement. This is to provide the utmost visibility and allow the client to have control over resources and costs without wasting much time and effort.

Scalable. Regardless of the level of outsourcing a client chooses to work with, RPOs can give solutions for permanent hiring challenges. During the implementation of the contract, a client can increase or decrease recruitment operations quickly and effectively to tailor-fit the process to the changing business needs.

Qualitative. Due to stringent recruitment processes in RPOs, the quality of hires is much better because of the methods and tools used in sourcing candidates. Through various channels, media, and with the use of tech-savvy tools, RPOs allow for better placements.

RPOs are very straightforward, as it mainly aims to improve an organization’s recruiting process through its “people-process-technology solution with an element of consultative work,” according to RPOA.

Common Hiring Challenges and Overcoming Them

Even as all the cons, however, it is inevitable for us not to talk about hiring and operational challenges faced by companies and recruiters.

  1.                 Attracting the right kind of candidates

With a highly competitive talent market, finding the right candidates are limited. You can choose the best person you find for the vacancy, and sometimes they may still not be the right fit for the job.

Keep in mind that finding the right talent is not about the size of the pool of applicants you have, the best way to hire the right talent is often from a smaller set of more qualified candidates.

Tip: Be clear about your requirements and give out a concise view of the role. Sometimes, being direct about your key concerns is the way to go. Using ‘knock-out’ questions in your application form, which are answerable by a yes or a no, is very helpful.

For example, if you need someone with a clean history or track record, a yes or no question in the application form could save time in picking out resumes of talent you are not looking for. 

  1.                 Engaging passive but qualified candidates

Even as you make use of different channels to seek great talent, competent candidates with hard-to-find skills are often presented with several job offers at the same time.

The perfect candidate you are looking for, however, might be a passive candidate whom you need to persuade to choose your company over your competitors.

Tip: Before contacting a passive candidate, find out what motivates them and where exactly these candidates can be found. Know what makes them happy in the work they do and even why they keep going.

Knowing simple things such as these can make the recruitment email you are going to send out sound more friendly and personalized. You can describe what you can offer to them rather than outlining what they can do for your company.

  1.                 Unable to complete fast hires

Turnaround time in hiring is often made as quickly as possible because having vacant positions mean delayed work and money spent, even on the hiring process itself. 

Sometimes, though, placing a successful candidate could take months, depending on the industry. The hiring process may be too long; teams may fail to reach a consensus; candidates may lose interest in the vacancy, resulting in longer hiring periods.

Tip: If the hire is naturally a hard-to-fill role, a realistic timeline will help manage certain expectations. Explaining to the hiring teams and setting these kinds of expectations early into the process could help manage such dilemmas. Letting them know of a timeline and highlighting the importance of careful hiring could also lessen the cost of a bad hire.

Tip: With the onset of technology, an Applicant Tracking System might be helpful for the process. Setting a stable timeline, looking into the places that are expected to help fill candidate pipelines, and deciding if all hiring stages are still really needed could all be figured out with the metrics set in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

  1.                 Challenges in using data-driven recruitment

Most companies make use of recruitment data and metrics to continually improve their day-to-day operations and make better, informed decisions. The process in which these databases are created, however, requires manual work and is very prone to human error. 

The slightest mistake often makes it hard to track data and trends accurately. This affects the ability to make informed decisions in the future.

Tip: Data can be stored, and reports could be made using systems and recruitment software through ATS, Google Analytics, or other recruitment marketing applications.

While it is not necessary to track every recruiting metric there is, it will be helpful to settle on a few metrics that would make sense to you and your client. This can also help mitigate errors made with human intervention since analyses are made through the program.

  1.                 Building and maintaining a good employer brand

A strong employer brand attracts and engages better talent. This is not a simple task, however, because the whole process includes managing a positive candidate experience and promoting the organization’s positive working culture in various media

Doing so enables an employer to build a brand that is more likely to make a quality hire. It is a multifactorial, continuous, collective effort among the members of the team to ensure the building of a sensical and positive employer brand.  

Tip: Be an approachable employer by being able to manage both good and bad reviews and knowing that criticisms are sometimes to be thankful for

With the right marketing strategies, team members and those who work in the company could be featured in blogs and videos, allowing the candidates to see the good in the organization. 

  1.                 Creating a good candidate experience

In line with the previous one, a good human resource team would know that having a good track record for candidate experience is crucial, especially when candidates are evaluating job offers.

How candidates are treated during the entire hiring process is considered when they think of how you will treat them upon hiring. On the part of the candidate, a bad experience may mean less likelihood of accepting an offer. Conversely, positive reviews and experiences can enhance employer brands and encourage more applications and job offer acceptance.  

Tip: Keep in touch with the candidate during the whole cycle of the recruitment process. Hiring processes can be long, and giving them important updates will build rapport to ensure a good candidate experience.

Tip: Set expectations for communication and hiring process. Proper coordination is critical, especially when scheduling interviews to be conducted in person. Telling them what to bring, what to expect in the interview, and what the next steps are will be greatly appreciated by the candidate. 

  1.                 Doing recruitment fairly and objectively

In recruitment, there could be unconscious biases. This is often the reason why many companies have a hard time attracting diverse and capable candidates. Aside from legal and moral obligations to give access to equal opportunities, hiring objectively is also good for business.

Having fair and objective hires avoid stereotypes and promote an inclusive workplace. This will eventually show potential candidates how a company operates based on merit and hard work, thus encouraging them to push through if given the offer.

Tip: Seeking objective solutions and techniques such as structured interviews and using ‘blind’ hiring software is now possible. This is a given with the rising popularity of applications that can be used for recruitment and project management. 

Structured interviews are also helpful since they narrow down topics that arise during the interview, keep schedules on time, and make the process faster by being more straightforward and direct.

  1.                 Creating and sticking to an efficient recruiting process

Members of hiring teams always communicate with each other. Therefore, a streamlined and effective process allows them to know the hiring progress to help evaluate candidates easily.

Recruiters are tasked to coordinate and communicate with hiring managers, and sometimes the relationship is not as smooth as it should be. This, along with other administrative tasks, often take away time that could have been used in coordinating the hiring process.

Tip: Consider investing in helpful recruitment tools that help increase productivity and the ability to stick to the process and deadlines set. This is particularly helpful as it can help your team coordinate and see the progress of the hiring process at a glance.

Sysgen RPO, for example, utilizes RoboRecruiter, a Chatbot platform that keeps candidates engaged and databases refreshed for hundreds of their clients worldwide.

Overall, having a centralized and unified approach in recruitment and hiring speeds up operations, making the delivery of the tasks to clients faster and more efficient.

RPOs in a Nutshell

In more straightforward terms, here are other things RPO services could help you with:

  •               Building a talent pool

Talent pipelines are databases of candidates you have already engaged with but who can still occupy future positions in your company. This is helpful as it will reduce your time and costs with the qualified, pre-screened candidates in line whenever a vacancy opens.

Talent pools can be built by looking into past hiring processes for candidates who got to the final stages, as well as by engaging past and passive candidates 

  •               Training hiring teams

Hiring managers and interviewers who are well-experienced could sometimes need a brush up their skills. In avoiding unconscious biases, training hiring teams become useful, especially in coaching them in which questions are to be asked during interviews. A series of training, mock interviews, and disseminating recruiting resources are a few ideas in effectively training hiring teams.  

  •               Diversifying recruitment strategies

Continuing to advertise on job boards that have brought you, good candidates, is good, but leaving it to that might create many missed opportunities to create a hiring process that leaves more impact for your company.

You may consider using social media, going to job fairs, and engaging in career sites to promote your brand and encourage more applicants.

  •               Streamlining the hiring process through ATS

An ATS can reorganize an existing hiring process by placing candidate data and team collaboration all in one place.

A good ATS reports useful information from past processes to improve future ones; and makes use of calendars, built-in templates, and interview scorecards for conducting smooth and objective interviews. 

Get in touch with an RPO specialist!

Looking for a recruiting solution that is all-in-one? Sysgen RPO delivers quality RPO services from the Philippine to different parts of the world.

We can improve candidate and resume sourcing, VMS recruiting support, full life cycle recruiting, recruitment admin support, and remote staffing by utilizing skilled and accomplished recruiting professionals

Here at Sysgen RPO, we aim to deliver impactful results that provide you with a competitive staffing advantage.

Contact us now for more information!



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Bika, N. (2019, May 27). The 8 most common recruiting challenges and how to overcome them. Retrieved from https://resources.workable.com/tutorial/common-recruiting-challenges

Glass Door. (2017). Statistical reference guide for recruiters: 50 HR and recruiting statistics for 2017. Retrieved from http://resources.glassdoor.com/rs/899-LOT-464/images/50hr-recruiting-and-statistics-2017.pdf

Manpower Group. (2018, June 25). Talent shortages at record high: 45% of employers around the world report difficulty filling roles. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/talent-shortages-at-record-high-45-of-employers-around-the-world-report-difficulty-filling-roles-300671589.html

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Skywalk Group. (2016, September 28). RPO 101: Beginners guide to how an RPO works. Retrieved from https://www.skywalkgroup.com/blog/post/rpo-101-beginners-guide-to-how-an-rpo-works