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The UK recruitment sector is facing an unprecedented period of challenge and change, with a record number of vacancies that now stands at 1,266,000 (June to August 2022). 

Organisations are needing to work hard to attract new employees in these exceptional circumstances the UK now faces, and evidently traditional recruitment isn’t working. So, what else can employers do to help their growth over the short- and long-term?  

Here, we take a look at the compelling reasons why a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) or Managed Services Provider (MSP) partner can help solve their problems with hiring directly or on a contingent basis. 


How an RPO or MSP partner can help 

There’s little doubt that organisations are currently struggling to recruit the talent they need. Unfilled positions are impacting growth and financial health. Many hiring managers have turned to recruitment partners to solve their people issues, but even agencies are finding the employment climate difficult and are failing to source the right people for the right roles. 

It’s time for a new way of thinking about the recruitment process. 

An MSP can offer an end-to-end recruitment proposition but focus entirely on contingent workers. This term includes temporaries, consultants, contractors, freelancers, Statement of Works (SoW) and other non-permanent staff who work for a company. An MSP will take over the management of this contingent workforce focusing on cost management, process efficiencies, and ensuring that the company remains compliant in its treatment of such workers whilst staying true to the values of the brand. 

RPO offers a different way to find and retain the permanent talent you need. Here’s why. 


Employer brand 

Employer branding is becoming increasingly important in attracting top talent. 

Active candidates are becoming increasingly discerning, and therefore seeking out organisations that can demonstrate compatible values, hence the importance of social impact in their decision making when finding a new role and organisation to work for. 

Your employer brand can make employees feel their contributions are valued, and passive candidates will be more persuaded to change roles if there is a culture of trust and feedback. 

When you choose to outsource to an RPO partner, it will attract behind your branding and not its own, and it will manage your recruitment process as if it was an extension of your in-house team. This has multiple benefits: 

  • it will enhance your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)  
  • it will develop your hiring strategy for long-term success 
  • it will attract the right talent 
  • it will improve retention 

RPO partners can offer exceptional value for money to organisations through a range of specialist resourcing options, which will allow them to concentrate on their core functions, secure in the knowledge that when they need to attract the right talent an experienced and motivated team is on their side. 

Under an MSP we focus on CVP – Contractor Value Proposition – which takes elements of the above but also includes detail around projects, the value the contractor can add, and self-development. 


Cost effectiveness 

In these days of constrained budgets, every organisation is looking for ways to cut costs without impacting on its core activities. Recruitment agencies’ fees are usually based on the percentage of the annual salary of the employee that they place with an organisation – these percentages can be between 20-30% – and average out at around £4,500 per placement. 

RPO can significantly reduce that outlay because of the very nature of them sitting behind your brand vs that of an agency, alongside its scalability, flexibility, and use of innovative technology. Combine this with an RPO’s ability to reduce time to hire and increased quality of hire, and organisations can find themselves saving between 40-60% on traditional recruitment methods.   

Under an MSP consolidation of suppliers, commercial terms, contractor pay rates, pay/bill, technology efficiencies, repeatable process management and many other functions drive significant cost savings across the lifetime of a programme. 



Every organisation experiences peaks and troughs when it needs to expand the hiring process or reduce it. Failure to act in a timely manner can impact the bottom line significantly through under or over-staffing. However, in times of rapid growth, or due to unforeseen circumstances, traditional recruitment agencies are unable, simply because of the inflexible nature of their business, to respond to these urgent needs. 

The answer is scalability – the ability to expand or downsize as and when an organisation needs it. Outsourcing RPO / MSP partners offer unique scalability options which can adapt to an organisation’s changing requirements, meaning that costs aren’t fixed, but respond according to your changing needs without compromising on quality or timeliness. 


Better quality candidates 

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) UK, organisations make the wrong hire in every two out of five roles, and such mistakes are costing the UK business sector billions of pounds every year in repeat recruitment, increasing employee turnover and loss of productivity. Getting it right the first time, therefore, has never been so important. 

RPO providers pride themselves in finding the right talent, thanks to the expertise of their employees and the rigorous training they undergo. Furthermore, RPO providers conduct extensive searches using highly advanced technology to enable them to source and place the best possible candidate for the job.  

An MSP sources temporary workers for an organisation by working in conjunction with third parties. Using a Vendor Management System (VMS), they may both source directly for suitable candidates and reach out to an established network of staffing agencies with their criteria. 


Reduced time-to-hire 

The latest Hiring Trends Index tells us that the mean average time to hire in the first quarter of 2022 was 6.04 weeks; that’s just over 42 days, an increase of 1.74 weeks on the last quarter of 2021. When you consider that almost 50% of candidates have declined a position because the hiring process was just too long, it’s easy to see why organisations are losing out on the talent they need. And the longer a vacancy is open, the more impact it has on productivity and morale. 

By using a combination of advanced technology, industry intelligence and recruitment process expertise, RPO and MSP partners can reduce organisations’ time to hire considerably, providing a more efficient recruitment process and a better candidate experience. 


Increased diversity 

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has tangible business outcomes – not only for organisations in terms of competition, market growth and corporate reputation, but also for talent who actively want to work for organisations that value and respect them.  

An RPO partner can assist your organisation to become more diverse and inclusive and build EDI into its recruitment strategy, so you can benefit from the ideas and innovations that diverse backgrounds and different experiences bring. By using diversity metrics which are unique to every organisation’s business objective, they are able to source and engage diverse talent, as well as train hiring managers in the specifics of creating an inclusive experience for candidates and inclusive selection. Whilst an MSP partner can replicate this, they are able to provide data across your entire workforce. 


Get in touch 

Find out more about Resource in Motion, resource management for an agile workforce, here.