The UK Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) market is booming. More and more companies are outsourcing core functions as they see the cost and quality benefits that specialist providers can deliver, and recruitment is well on its way to becoming one of the most outsourced processes. Recruitment process outsourcing has been proven to reduce costs, speed up time to hire, improve the quality of candidates, lessen reliance on agencies and leads to streamlined operations. We take no small measure of pride in this, having been at the forefront of the market for many years.
But as the number of companies seeking the benefits of recruitment process outsourcing grows, so too do the number of businesses claiming to be able to provide the service. It’s an age-old story; with an increase in demand comes an increase in supply – but not all of this supply is good, or trustworthy, as some look to quickly capitalise on the boom.
We’ve noticed a steady increase in the number of recruitment agencies, pressured by cannibalised margins and fierce competition, desperately trying to protect themselves and up profits by reinventing themselves as RPO specialists. Not only is this misleading, with agencies often having absolutely no experience in process outsourcing, in some cases it’s downright underhand. Some have taken to simply plugging in some adverts under a client’s brand before simply using these to filter their own candidates through.
As the UK’s leading pure-play, independent recruitment process outsourcer, we firmly believe in having no preferred agency partners, as this approach doesn’t deliver the best selection of talent for clients. But even those established RPOs affiliated with agencies would no doubt balk at such practices.
The RPO market shows no signs of slowing down, but oddly we don’t anticipate that more and more agencies will look to rebrand themselves as recruitment process outsources. This is because the market has evolved over the last decade, with trusted RPOs moulding a sophisticated, bespoke service to clients tailored to their requirements. While some companies may choose to market themselves, this is not something which can be emulated overnight, and we feel that those that do, while making outlandish, undeliverable promises to clients, will quickly be found out and fail.
Our advice? When identifying and selecting an recruitment process outsourcer, do plenty of research. As always, the best evidence of work comes through client testimonials, so be sure to select a company who has proven that they can be trusted to provide a high level of service with tangible results, time and again.