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The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted business and labour markets at an unprecedented level. From January to March 2021, when most of the restrictions were still in place, the UK unemployment rate was 4.8%, more than at the start of the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

Fortunately, the easing of restrictions since then coupled with the vaccination roll-out saw economies start to reopen, leading to a surge in hiring as companies got to work restoring their operations to pre-pandemic levels. 

Such a dramatic rise in recruitment activity meant businesses had to rapidly adjust to ensure they were equipped to launch and manage large-scale hiring initiatives and go head-to-head with other companies to find the right candidates.  

In this blog, we explore the role of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) in easing the burden on talent acquisition (TA) teams and why leaders are increasingly relying on this solution to overcome the challenges associated with extreme upturn. 

 

RPOs have access to high-quality candidates

Expertise across sourcing, recruitment process design, recruitment technology, employer branding and reporting means RPOs are in the ideal position to attract, source and assess quality talent for every role. 

With a laser focus on the complete talent life cycle, RPO providers have access to a broader talent pool and have established candidate pipelines. It means they can find people who not only have the right qualifications and experience for a role but who are also the right cultural fit and possess the essential soft skills that businesses are looking for. 

During a period of heightened upturn, time is of the essence. RPOs can access suitable candidates and apply rigorous assessment and selection methodologies quickly, so organisations are presented with the best talent ahead of their competitors. 

 

RPOs boost employer brand and candidate experience 

Today’s top candidates are looking for much more from employers than high salaries and perks. The pandemic highlighted the importance of being treated well, respected and supported, both as a candidate and as an employee.  

This renewed focus coupled with a candidate-driven market means hiring practices are under scrutiny. Put a foot wrong at any stage of the recruitment process, and companies risk losing key talent to their competitors. Candidates are looking for flexibility, a seamless and fast process, clear communication, solid values, and a workplace culture they can get behind.  

Through hands-on management of all aspects of the recruitment process – from expertly crafted job descriptions to interview feedback – and real-time insights into what goes into an exceptional Employer Value Proposition (EVP), RPOs ensure businesses stand out for all of the right reasons and that candidates are confident in their decision to join an organisation.

 

RPOs provide complete flexibility

Market upturns don’t last forever. They require an intense period of activity, which will eventually scale back. The pandemic highlighted the requirement for businesses to be agile enough to deal with market fluctuations, and RPOs are designed with this in mind. 

Today’s businesses can no longer risk being short-staffed, nor can they afford to take on more people than they need. RPO providers will deliver a solution fast, whether a company faces a sudden need to hire or is experiencing a recruitment backlog. Furthermore, RPOs can be scaled back or redirected to focus on another area of talent acquisition within a business as and when required by internal talent teams. One of the key reasons why organisations engage RPOs in 2021 is that they seamlessly adapt to the reality of fluctuating recruitment needs without compromising on service, speed or quality. 

 

RPOs save companies money 

A period of upturn means a sharp rise in activity, which, for many businesses, means spending more money to manage it. When it comes to engaging an RPO provider, the opposite is true. They are able to eliminate lengthy hiring processes, investments in up-to-date technology, the money spent on job board posting and time spent screening – all of which can add up to a costly internal recruitment process. 

Additionally, RPOs help to minimise the indirect costs of recruitment, such as those associated with poor quality hires, lengthy vacancy periods and high employee turnover. By streamlining everything for businesses, RPO providers deliver significant cost savings while ensuring they hire better and faster. 

 

Key Challenges in the Road Ahead…  

In our guide, ‘The Talent Acquisition Odyssey: Key Challenges in the Road Ahead’, we delve into some of the main pain points and areas of focus for TA teams right now. We also explore why there is now an increased reliance on external recruitment partners and the significant value they can add to organisations looking to grow and thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Download Guide