If you’re new to recruitment or are even a startup business, outsourcing may come with a lot of concerns. The people you hire for your business are pivotal to its success, especially in the early stages. These individuals will be responsible for growing your product, growing future teams, and ultimately ensuring that your business becomes profitable and successful. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the thought of trusting someone else to handle the recruitment process strikes fear in many startup leaders.
However, there are so many myths and untruths about outsourcing recruitment. Without adequately understanding what RPO is or believing the myths, scaling tech businesses could choose a less efficient and appropriate recruitment solution which could prove costly and ineffective.
So, we thought we’d debunk some of the most popular myths around RPO and outsourcing:
Myth One: RPO is an expensive way to recruit talent
It’s often thought that outsourcing recruitment is an expensive solution. If you don’t need to hire many roles in the next year, recruiting in-house or using a contingent agency seems like a more cost-effective way to hire. If you’re looking for sporadic, single roles, then we’d have to agree. However, if you’re looking at more large scale hiring or need to work on your overall recruitment strategy, then an RPO may actually be the best solution. If your tech business is scaling rapidly or you want to work harder to become an employer of choice in your industry then, a talent partnership with an RPO provider could work to your financial advantage. RPO agencies can pipeline talent, build your employer brand and work on strategic ways of reducing future hiring costs in the long term rather than just hiring for one available vacancy.
Often, RPO providers provide better quality hires which reduces employee turnover and saves on recruitment costs. Plus, better sourcing capabilities and recruitment strategies result in faster hiring times and ultimately reduce the cost of advertising your vacancies.
Myth Two: RPO providers only work for big businesses
Many HR leaders and CEOs believe that RPO is a big undertaking. They think it’s only suitable for large companies looking to hire at scale. However, RPO can be an excellent option for growing businesses too. Companies that do not yet have the advantage of in-house recruitment teams can benefit from RPO, as the provider’s team will act as their HR function. They’ll have sector-specific recruiters on their team who can offer strategic advice and already have an existing network of candidates that can become a talent pool. Plus, using an RPO agency when you’re a scaleup will free up the senior team and allow them to focus on growing other elements of business comfortably in the knowledge that your recruitment is in safe hands.
At Talent Works, we offer an agile approach to RPO, designed with startups and scaleups in mind. We realise that no scaling business is continually recruiting throughout the year, and so, our subscription-based model means that our services can be scaled when required. For example, it may mean you need to hire 100 developers one month and then want to pause before focusing on your EVP. With our flexible approach to RPO, the possibilities are endless, and the commitment is not fixed.
Myth Three: RPO means I won’t have control over the recruitment process
Contrary to popular belief, handing over your recruitment process to an RPO provider doesn’t mean you’re not involved at all. You do not hand overall control and responsibility. Instead, you work in partnership with the RPO provider’s team. Whether it’s a single person or a whole team, your HR function will be extended to include recruiters, digital marketers, copywriters, designers, and research professionals. Your team will have as little or as much input as they want when it comes to recruiting, but final decisions on creative concepts, strategies and the candidates you hire will go through you. The RPO provider’s job is not to take over the recruitment process from start to finish but to relieve the pressure and help you to make it more successful. They’ll work with you to ensure any strategies in place attract better quality hires, but you have the overall decision-making abilities.
Myth Four: There’s a lack of transparency with RPO
Many people believe that because an RPO provider handles most of your recruitment tasks, they don’t communicate with you throughout the process. Businesses are often sceptical about using RPO because they want clear, transparent strategies, not to hand over a task and only see results. How can you trust an agency is trying their hardest or whether they’re simply giving you the first candidates they come across?
However, a good RPO provider should be more transparent than contingent agencies. Rather than simply putting a candidate forward, an RPO agency forms a relationship with you and works on longstanding projects. This usually means you’ll have detailed and thorough reporting, regular catch-ups, and a relationship, which means questions can be asked freely as and when they arise. An RPO provider is an extension of you, so the idea that anything would be hidden from you is pretty laughable. Just like you can choose how much responsibility you maintain when handing over the recruitment process, you can also decide exactly how much information you’re told. Some clients want to know everything while others only want results; this is why a personalised RPO approach is so important.
Myth Five: An RPO provider won’t understand our culture
Startups and scaleups have a unique culture, and any good RPO provider will know that this is your USP to help you stand out in a competitive market. Therefore, to sell your culture, they should take the time to get to know it properly. No one can promote your company to potential candidates if they don’t get a feel for who you are as a business and what it’s like to work there, so before any project begins, RPO providers ensure that they know the ins and outs. Plus, RPO’s nature is more of a partnership, so they need to understand you to work with you effectively.
Also, in many instances, RPO providers are involved in developing the entire recruitment process, which involves forming your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). An EVP outlines your core values, missions and cultures to ensure employees know what to expect from you and what value you bring. It runs throughout your organisation, defining both your company culture and employer brand. Therefore, if you ask an RPO provider to help build or develop your EVP, chances are they’ll end up knowing your business’s culture as well as you do, if not more so.
Myth 6: RPO providers focus more on numbers than on quality
Because RPO providers are often used for large scale projects, there’s a common misconception that they’re more numbers-driven. Trying to fill as many roles as possible and present the highest number of candidates creates the idea that they’re less concerned with applicant quality. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
RPO providers are often experts in their field. For example, we specialise in tech RPO. This means they know more about the industry, hiring tactics, and connecting with suitable candidates than other recruitment agencies. They have a greater understanding of what skills and experience are needed to succeed in roles and can use this to their advantage when directly sourcing candidates. They may be able to fill positions quickly, but that’s because they have a greater understanding of what’s required and what makes a quality hire. Plus, they know your culture better than anyone, as we’ve just established, so they will find talented people who are also a cultural fit. Unlike contingent agencies who fill a role and move onto the next project, RPO providers are in it for the long term. They want to ensure they’re delivering quality candidates who will deliver for longer and know that poor quality hires could tarnish the relationship between them and clients.
The truth is…
RPO is an effective solution that is perfect for businesses of all sizes. These recruitment specialists put your business at the heart of everything they do, taking the time to understand your culture and needs, enabling them to act as a trusted, strategic recruitment partner. Unlike those agencies who want to make a hire and move onto the next role for financial gain, RPO agencies care about your mission and enjoy a longstanding relationship. While they could be more costly, the results speak for themselves with higher quality candidates, reduced turnover and even faster hiring times.
With a more flexible approach to RPO, smaller enterprises like startups and scaleups can see the same successes as larger-scale organisations. With hiring services that can be scaled down in quieter periods, our subscription-based approach to RPO makes it more accessible and cost-effective, which is ideal for businesses experiencing unpredictable growth. It means they too can build employer brands, run recruitment marketing campaigns, create ready to hire talent pools and run large scale recruitment campaigns to scale departments at speed, but as and when it suits them. Taking away the risk and commitment from RPO makes it more accessible and means scaleups and startups have a fighting chance in an increasingly competitive tech talent market.
Contact our team for more information about our flexible approach to RPO and how it can help your tech business.