What to look for in an RPO provider

Hopefully you’re reading this article because you’ve already recognised the benefits of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and are now thinking about taking the next step in finding the RPO supplier that will meet your specific needs and deliver you measurable results.

But where do you start? How do you look for an RPO who will meet your needs and deliver a great service for your business? Below are some factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right providers to partner up with:

Sector expertise

Does the RPO provider have specific expertise in your market? Have they got a track record of providing successful talent attraction in your sector?  You may ask whether you need them to.  Recruitment is recruitment right? This really depends on the nature of your business and your recruitment needs. For example if you’re in the retail industry and looking to hire an influx of sales people, you may feel more comfortable working with a provider who specialises in retail and high volume hires.   Conversely if you are a high tech engineering business, you may want to select a partner who has a track record in this sector.

Check out the client lists of RPOs and ask them for specific case studies of companies in your sector / position.  While expertise in a specific sector can be learned, it is an advantage for you if your RPO provider has existing knowledge of your sector and how to attract candidates effectively.

Client retention and satisfaction

How well does the RPO service its current clients?  How satisfied are they and what is the average length of client relationship? This can be difficult to measure as some clients may only require seasonal recruitment demands; however, an RPO who can demonstrate the ability to nurture and retain long-standing partnerships is usually a reflection on the excellent results they provide. It’s expensive and impractical to keep changing RPO providers – finding the right company who are capable of strong relationship management and drive towards continuous improvement is imperative for your own company’s success.  Always ask to talk to a few of the RPO’s current clients before progressing contracts.


Does the RPO provider offer bespoke solutions or do they have rigid service models in place? Working with a company who can create a model tailored specifically to your requirements shows their ability to adapt to your needs and provide the best service possible.  Some large RPOs have their own systems, procedures and methods of operation that they will insist that you use. If you want something tailored to meet your needs, talk to a more flexible RPO that can provide a bespoke resourcing partnership service designed to suit the individual culture and needs of your business.

Employee value proposition

With the increasing competitive nature of the recruitment market, choosing an RPO partner who understands the importance of building a great employee value proposition for your business is vital.  It’s no longer sufficient to have slick processes to post jobs and manage applicants.  Candidates want to talk to a recruiter who can discuss their specific career aspirations and outline how those objectives could be satisfied by joining your business.  The staff within your RPO’s resourcing team need to really understand your brand and be ambassadors for your business.  Look at the career websites that they manage for their clients.  Have they presented the opportunities well and be clear on what the EVP is?

Culture match

Most importantly, is the RPO provider a business with which you have much in common?  Do they have a culture and values set that matches your business?  Will you be able to develop a positive long term relationship with that provider?  Is this company one that you would enjoy working with? It should go without saying but harmony between all parties usually goes hand-in-hand with every successful partnership.  In most cases, a good partnership relation will also lead to better results if you work with someone you get along with. Working with an RPO provider with good reputation who brings great results is no good if you don’t enjoy working with them, a good relationship usually leads to open communication which can help with situations such as conflict resolution.

If you are interested in partnering with an RPO who can provide bespoke service or would like to find out more on now how RPO can help your business then please contact ResourceBank’s Managing Director Richard Pearson on 07734 972684 or email Richard.pearson@resourcebank.co.uk

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