Hybrid RPO – A Trending Recruitment Strategy

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Last week, a general RPO overview was given to clarify what Recruitment Process Outsourcing is for those considering this option. Digging even deeper, let’s take a look at the hybrid RPO option and its potential benefits.

What does Hybrid RPO mean?

Hybrid RPO is a term used to describe the process of an employer who utilizes Recruitment Process Outsourcing assistance in combination with internal resources, such as corporate recruiters, talent acquisition strategists or administrative assistants. Hybrid RPO’s allow an organization to retain their in-house staff, while getting the benefits of outside assistance where needed.

Hybrid RPO Benefits

A company may use their internal staff to fill high priority or specialized positions that may require extensive organizational knowledge to fill, while the RPO deals with more easily filled positions or mass-hiring situations, such is the case in many manufacturing or construction settings. On the flip side, an organization may use the RPO to deal with one-off hiring (ex. a highly specialized position) or higher, more time-consuming positions (ex. executive-level), while the internal staff focuses on the day-to-day hiring.

Other than the overall time-to-hire benefit, a hybrid RPO also reduces organizational risk. When the economy dips and dives, the external RPO can be utilized less frequently, while internal staff is retained.

Hybrid RPO Summary 

Solutions provider PierPoint recently posted an article taken from HR Management Magazine which eloquently highlights the use of hybrid RPOs:

“As the RPO industry matures and begins to consolidate, the fact remains one size really does not fit all. Each candidate sourcing and RPO provider has its own unique strengths and weaknesses with the largest providers re-branding themselves as full service delivery organizations. Who is steering the ship, you or the RPO?

“As you search for online RPO literature and companies you will find a number of full service RPO organizations that emphasize end to end service delivery. These companies have been commonly referred to as Tier One service providers basically reflecting the large number of annual hires they can provide to an organization.

“As you continue your search a third group of RPO organizations will soon come into view. This group realizes the importance of flexible client partnerships while emphasizing the importance of retaining key corporate recruiters (your trusted business advisors), fluid on-demand delivery options, and scalability (up or down) allowing you to know your fixed or variable costs. So instead of starting with a new group of eager outsourcers that will be phased in over a typically long implementation cycle, this group of Hybrid RPO providers prefers to establish an evolutionary partnership that will escalate the operational synergies between your retained internal business advisors and the new outsourced support teams.

“A recent confidential memo from one global firm lists the keys to success in its hybrid RPO partnership: The vendor does not compete with the internal recruitment team…they form a hierarchical partnership functioning as one team across organizational boundaries. The internal recruiter serves as an officer on the “ship” and is responsible for coaching, mentoring, motivating the RPO “deckhands”. The RPO “deckhands” remain invisible to the company’s management team who engage directly with the internal recruiters.

“So in the end, one size does not fit all. Certain providers may be suitable for administrative hiring, while others are adept at professional recruitment. Others are experienced in multilingual international recruitment while others are biased toward North American or North Atlantic recruitment in specific professions. And the costs savings are compelling when considering a Hybrid RPO engagement.

“You can cut 30 to 50% with a hybrid RPO so the savings can have a true impact to your budget’s bottom line. When you consider an operational change of this magnitude be very cautious when asked to give up your power to an outside vendor for extended contractual periods at hefty rates. Explore your options and consider the risks and rewards for your organization.”

Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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