Building resilience into your recruitment strategy

Partnering with an RPO that adapts is the first step to a successful recruitment strategy.


Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is undergoing a significant transformation. It is being driven by a combination of market forces, technological advancements, and changing workforce dynamics. As these dynamic changes are occurring, organisations must adapt. RPOs are evolving to meet the increasing demands for flexibility, scalability, and total talent management.

Resilience in recruitment

When change is sudden and unpredictable, you must find ways to stay resilient, overcome obstacles and continue to grow. It is no different for organisations. The current labour market is plagued by shifting priorities, skills shortages that won’t go away and economic uncertainty. How Talent Acquisition teams react to the current landscape is the key question they face. How can they adapt practice and process to ensure that they are fully aligned with organisational goals? Are they prepared to accelerate when growth is possible and build resilience for when the market cools? Faced with uncertainty, the natural reaction is to reduce costs. But reducing costs by removing an RPO partnership also reduces your ability to respond to change quickly.

Key steps to building resilience

The resilience of an organisation’s talent acquisition strategy is closely allied to its ability to be flexible, to adapt to new market conditions and to be agile in the solutions it deploys. This is where a modern RPO partnership can make a difference, with a provider that can pivot quickly, innovate at pace and deliver different solutions to meet constantly evolving recruitment scenarios.

A partner that understands you may need to:

  • Reduce costs at times, without compromising your ability to make the best hiring decisions
  • Move quickly, without compromising on the quality of your candidate experience
  • Build a longer-term direct hiring strategy, without compromising on the capability to meet short-term hiring needs

Here’s how to identify the right RPO partnership that can help build a resilient, recruitment strategy:

#1 Agility is key

In a market that feels as though it is in a constant state of flux, RPO providers have realised that transactional, one-paced recruitment is not the right answer. Now, more than ever, employers have the opportunity to choose an RPO partnership that can turn agility into a real asset. The capability to scale up or scale back, as and when required, should be considered standard – along with a clear, transparent cost model that is just as agile and scalable too.

#2 Employer brand & talent marketing

Organisations are looking for RPO partners that think beyond the next hire and the next fee. As cost models and pricing structures evolve, RPO providers are also evolving their services and solutions. For some, employer branding and talent marketing have become essential components in the recruitment solutions that they deliver to clients.

Nor is this simply a case of those providers looking at new ways to grow their services. In many scenarios, in-house recruitment teams are working closely with scalable RPO resource – and a strong, clear EVP helps the team to align, to understand the talent requirements of the business and to ‘walk the talk’. With employer branding underpinning the RPO, the sense of partnership is stronger than ever.

#3 Technology, intelligence, and analytics

The best RPO providers have changed the conversation with their clients. It’s not about how many roles do you need us to fill. It’s about how can we provide a complete solution to support your recruiters so that they can make the best hiring decisions. That support may come in the shape of extra resourcing or recruitment support. Equally, it may come in the form of improved technology solutions, such as candidate management systems, and improved market research, insight and campaign analytics. If your RPO is focused on making hires, rather than helping your teams to make the best hiring decisions, it is time to think about a change.

#4 Candidate experiences

A move to more skills-based hiring by employers and their RPO partners means that more organisations are recruiting candidates from more diverse backgrounds, from different sectors and with more varied experiences. As they challenge their Talent Acquisition teams to hire on skills and potential, rather than knowledge and qualifications, there is an increasing emphasis on the overall quality of the candidate experience, the application process and the onboarding. Candidates need to be able to deselect themselves, often against different criteria such as mindset, values, culture and opportunity, rather than tangibles such as job title, role, level of experience or qualifications previously attained.

#5 Total talent management

In the face of skills shortages, budget cuts and other types of hiring challenges, many organisations are increasing their reliance on their contingent workforce. Innovative RPO providers are building solutions that support their clients in building a more blended, integrated workforce. It adds an extra level of agility as the market changes. Recruiters gain additional options and support when it comes to filling difficult roles. It increases the talent available to hiring managers, encouraging them to think differently about how they fill a role, deliver a project or fill a skills-gap within their teams in the short and longer-term.


The key to modern RPO provision is a deeper understanding of how organisations need to build their future workforce. Modern RPO solutions are increasingly woven into strategic workforce planning. Ultimately, they help organisations anticipate future talent needs and develop an effective recruitment strategy. This integration supports not only immediate staffing requirements but also long-term business growth and adaptability.

Or to put it another way, it adds resilience to their recruitment strategy – and right now, that’s what most employers need. Organisations with a complete understanding of the skills they have and the talent they need are better equipped to make good hiring decisions. Focusing less on filling roles, more on acquiring skills, talent and potential, to build a future workforce that is resilient, scalable, adaptable and engaged.