Talent acquisition is increasingly competitive. You probably find yourself grappling with several challenges during your recruitment processes:
- Scarcity of qualified candidates
- Higher than-ever turnover rates
- Time pressure to fill major positions
These complexities can strain internal HR departments and hinder their ability to attract top talent efficiently. As a result, more and more companies are contemplating outsourcing their recruitment processes to specialized firms known as recruitment process outsourcing companies.
This article reviews 11 of the best recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) companies. We also briefly describe what RPO companies do and what benefits you can gain from using them.
What Are Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Companies?
RPOs serve as an extension of an enterprise’s human resource department. Some of the functions RPO companies perform include recruitment consulting, managing job postings, niche recruiting, integrating recruitment technologies, and conducting interviews.
Businesses hire recruitment process outsourcing companies to handle their talent acquisition process. RPOs take over part or all of the recruitment functions as the business requires.
More often than not, it is large enterprises that use RPO companies. However, the RPO industry has evolved in recent years. RPO companies also now offer their services to small and medium-scale enterprises.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing the Recruitment Process?
The global RPO market was valued at just over $6 billion in 2021, with an expected cumulative annual growth rate of 6.62% between 2021 and 2027.
The growth over the previous years and projected growth in the RPO industry is a testament to the benefits RPO companies provide. RPOs can contribute to resource efficiency, better quality hires, flexibility, and all-around talent management.
We look at each one of these benefits in more detail below.
Save on resources
Recruiting top talent is expensive. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost per hire is about $4,683. This number is much higher, $28,000, for executive roles.
Finding top qualified talent for any industry is increasingly competitive. In the most competitive industries, filling vacancies can drag on for months on end. This delay has a cascading effect on the business.
For critical roles, businesses may have to shuffle employees around. Current employees may have to take on unfamiliar responsibilities, potentially causing a strain on that employee and thus reduced productivity. They may have to be paid overtime too, for sometimes suboptimal work.
There’s also the cost of bad hires. The United States Department of Labor estimates bad hires cost businesses at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings.
This estimate doesn’t include the sometimes unquantifiable loss of team morale, project disruptions, and the time invested into hiring, onboarding, and training the employee.
The best RPO providers ensure fast time-to-hire while filling the role with top talent that fits the organization’s culture and minimizing the overall cost of each hire.
Organizations have unpredictable and fluctuating hiring needs. RPOs allow businesses to scale up or down resources allocated to recruitment as their needs change.
This flexibility is in contrast to having a permanent recruitment team that does not justify the resources allocated to them in lean hiring periods. In-house recruitment teams may also be unable to handle sudden and large recruitment needs.
Whether it’s one role or one hundred roles that need filling, businesses can leverage RPOs’ existing structures per open position and as necessary. It’s essentially like having a recruiter on demand.
Better quality hires
We’ve established that bad hires are costly financially and otherwise. Hiring quality employees doesn’t just cut costs, it’s a survival and growth tactic for businesses of all sizes. That’s why there’s massive competition for top-quality hires.
RPOs have abundant experience sourcing top candidates with diverse backgrounds across many channels. They have time- and scenario-tested hiring processes to screen and match candidates to roles based on your company’s values and culture.
Having a reliable hiring process is even more important in the era of increased remote hires. RPOs will know what additional factors need to be considered during the screening and hiring process.
RPO providers also have talent pools that organizations can draw from with short notice. For example, if you have team members unexpectedly leave at a crucial time, or you simply need more workers during your busier periods.
All-around talent management
Using the latest recruitment technology and innovation, RPOs can help businesses with all-around talent management. This includes all aspects of talent acquisition, including compliance with global and local employment laws. For example, employment laws in Latin America will be different from those in the US.
An RPO can also be a strategic partner throughout the end-to-end recruitment pipeline, including tailoring job descriptions, sourcing candidates, hiring the best fit, and ensuring a seamless and effective onboarding process.
What Are the Different RPO Services?
RPOs provide different services, including project-based recruitment, full or partial-cycle outsourcing, and AI-automated hiring.
In partial-cycle outsourcing, businesses handle part of the recruitment process and outsource the other functions to an RPO.
For example, an RPO may only be asked to provide a set number of potential candidates. The company then makes a shortlist and conducts interviews to find the best fit.
In full outsourcing, the RPO handles the entire recruitment process, from sourcing to onboarding. The RPO is embedded into the organization and typically involves strategic inputs and technology investments by the RPO provider.
Project-based recruitment is similar to full-cycle outsourcing. They both require end-to-end functions. The only difference is that project-based services are used to fill unexpected expert needs like digital transformation projects.
AI-automated hiring process
RPOs also usually have the technology to offer AI-powered hiring processes.
Examples of AI technology include predictive talent analytics, AI-powered applicant tracking systems, and AI chatbots to engage candidates.
Automation can significantly reduce the hiring time and costs, especially for high-volume hiring.
11 Top Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Companies
In no particular order, 11 of the best recruitment process outsourcing companies include:
Cielo prides itself as the “world’s leading talent acquisition partner.” The company has a big global footprint. It serves 215 companies in 113 countries.
Cielo’s sector expertise includes advanced manufacturing, health care, consumer brands, life sciences, technology, media, and financial and professional services.
In addition to RPO services, the company offers pre-employment services, including drug screening and background and reference checks.
Randstad Sourceright, now part of Randstad Enterprise, serves clients in over 70 countries with over 275,000 hires annually.
The company offers three types of services: core RPO services, managed service programs (MSP), and integrated talent solutions.
Randstad has a proprietary predictive talent analytics platform called TalentRadar. Its technology stack includes gamification screening, advanced market intelligence, and automated recruitment marketing.
Founded in 1992, PeopleScout provides over 300,000 hires annually to clients in 70 countries. PeopleScout has headquarters in London, Chicago, and Sydney.
Its services include RPO, MSP, total workforce solutions, and talent advisory services.
Affinix is its proprietary talent acquisition platform, which combines artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics to provide a seamless end-to-end positive candidate experience.
Orion Talent was previously primarily a military recruitment firm. Through different acquisitions of RPO over the years, the company has morphed into a full-scale RPO provider. That said, the company still retains its military-first DNA.
Orion Talent caters to over 24 industries or niches, including semiconductor, data center, alternative energy, construction, aerospace, HVAC and building automation, and manufacturing.
ManpowerGroup is a public company founded in 1948 and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It offers services under three brands: Manpower, Experis, and Talent Solutions.
Manpower handles its contingent staffing and permanent recruitment services. Its areas of expertise under Manpower are finance, business professionals, engineering, life science, and supply chain.
Experis covers its information technology services. Its specialties under Experis include digital transformation, cloud and infrastructure, and cybersecurity.
Talent Solutions is an end-to-end talent life cycle solutions service. In their words, they provide “end-to-end, data-driven solutions for talent attraction, acquisition, development and upskilling, and retention at scale.”
Alexander Mann Solutions
Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS) was founded in 1996. It’s headquartered in London.
Its services include talent acquisition, talent technology advisory, and digital talent solutions with a dedicated virtual internship platform and digital automation.
AMS also has a Talent Lab for bridging tech skills and upskilling recruiters.
Sectors that AMS serves include consumer, digital and technology, government, investment banking, professional services, retail banking, and finance.
Sevenstep’s services include RPO, MSP, and talent analytics. It has expertise in 10 core sectors: insurance, financial services, technology, healthcare, manufacturing and engineering, logistics, federal, retail, travel and hospitality, and supply chain.
The company also offers specialized strategic services such as HR tech consulting; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and employer branding.
Its talent analytics service is powered by its proprietary data platform, Sevayo Insights. The data platform’s features include forecasting, predictive recruitment workflows, and talent trend reporting.
Korn Ferry is a global consulting firm with expertise in multiple domains, including business transformation, customer experience, sales effectiveness, workforce transformation, and RPO.
Its RPO services are driven by the in-house AI-powered end-to-end talent platform, the Korn Ferry Intelligence Cloud. They also have Korn Ferry Nimble, their service for high-volume hiring for repeatable roles.
In 2022, the Everest Group named the company one of the leaders in the RPO space.
Pierpoint was founded in 2003 and currently has operations in 143 countries. The company is a certified minority-owned company and has relevant partnerships to ensure they are at the forefront of conscious hiring.
Its services include RPO, direct sourcing, talent acquisition consulting, high-volume hiring, and executive search. It serves companies in consumer goods and retail, healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical, technology and software, manufacturing and distribution, and professional services.
XOR is an AI-powered platform that screens candidates without human input and schedules shortlisted candidates for interviews into recruiters’ calendars.
The platform is best for hiring blue-collar and hourly workers in industries with repeatable roles. The XOR system contacts and engages candidates directly rather than through channels like job boards.
Magnit has 30 years of experience in workforce management. Their services include MSP, employer of record, skills-based advisory services, strategic advisory, and DEI. They work in 124 countries with over 600 global clients.
According to their CEO, they want to make it “faster, easier and scalable for organizations to plan, attract, recruit and manage the best and diverse talent anywhere in the world.”
Top talent is scarce. The savviest businesses know this. They deploy resources to win and retain top-quality talent, including using the best RPO providers as a flexible solution that saves money and time.
Some of the best RPO providers you can turn to include Cielo, PeopleScout, Orion Talent, Randstad Sourceright, and ManpowerGroup.
Another talent sourcing provider to consider is Near, with a niche market providing high-quality English-speaking Latin American (LatAm) talent. If you haven’t yet explored the cost-saving benefits of hiring talent from LatAm, you can learn how US companies can hire remote workers from other countries here.
Near is not an RPO, but we can provide RPO services. We have two different models of working with clients. In the first model, we only find you the talent, and then you decide how to onboard and pay them. In the second model—and the one most of our clients prefer—for a monthly fee (which includes the placements’ compensation and our fee) we fill your open positions, onboard the placements, and pay them. You don’t need to worry about dealing with foreign currencies or labor laws. We can take care of everything for you—including retaining your workers and replacing them should a placement not work out.
Schedule a free consultation to find out which model would work best for you and how we can help you hire, onboard, and retain top LatAm talent. We usually help our clients fill their open roles within 21 days.