By Terry Terhark, Divisional President at The RightThing®, an ADP® Company

If there’s one question keeping HR Execs up at night, it may be this: How do organisations maintain a true core competency in recruiting? As recruiting and talent acquisition becomes more of a social science deemed necessary to the ultimate success of a company’s longevity, maintaining recruitment expertise as a core competency could arguably be considered the Holy Grail of talent acquisition.

Historically, organisations have struggled with how to build capacity into their recruiting organisations.

Limited on viable alternatives in managing business need, a predictable cycle has emerged over the past fifty years which has proven to be minimally successful. When times were good, most organisations would increase internal headcount or partner with contract recruiters. When times were bad, most would downsize, reducing their staff significantly.

Between the ebb and flow of economic conditions compounded by each company’s own variableness, the ability to build expertise while simultaneously scaling up and down is complex and costly. This constant variation of recruiting resources has caused many organisations to lack true core competency in recruiting. While a small minority of companies enjoy the freedoms of unlimited budgets and steady hiring needs, the vast majority of organisations have yet to discover an effective solution.

Trending has revealed many of yesterday’s practices are no longer in line with tomorrow’s business goals and the fractured state of our global economy has required organisations to strategise differently. Research shows that organisations across the globe are creating a more flexible and leaner operating model for the future which means less internal headcount.

Today, many best-in-class companies are turning to recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), as a viable way to build and maintain expertise. As a true expert in talent acquisition solutions, RPO partnerships ensure companies strategically stay competitive by managing the hiring process, creating innovative recruiting strategies and helping to reduce cost and boost quality of hire. Providing on-demand scalability which flexes with hiring demands without committing to significant internal investment, organisations currently utilizing RPO are realising the ability to keep proprietary recruitment expertise and knowledge in place during economic downturns which in turn, enables them to better prepare for the improving economy.

With a variety of customised models, RPO solutions enable organisations to engage in end-to-end hiring, front-end hiring or simply use the partnership as a way to build scale into the recruiting function. Additionally, top RPO providers embed technology, analytics and benchmarking as part of their standard models and have worked tirelessly to build service delivery that exceeds market expectations.

Consider this:

  • An RPO report by the Aberdeen Group concluded that organisations achieving Aberdeen’s Best-in-Class designation experienced significant gains in cost quality and efficiency metrics, including a 60% reduction in time-to-fill, 55% increase in their new-hire retention rate and a 48% reduction in cost-per-hire.
  • Everest, a global consulting and research firm reported healthy RPO growth in Continental Europe and APAC. The overall global RPO market is estimated grow between 12-17% in 2013 with the highest regional growth in APAC and Continental Europe estimated at 25-30%.
  • NelsonHall, an independent BPO analyst firm based in Boston and the UK predicts a strong RPO growth forecast at ~14% CAAGR 2012-2016 and expects revenues to double by 2016 to 4.9bn

As organisations move forward, it will be strategically imperative for HR and Staffing executives to examine new recruitment strategies in order to fully realize the Holy Grail of talent acquisition. With increasing research and proven case studies, RPO offers a compelling answer to the recruitment capacity conundrum, enabling organisations to break the traditional cycle and enter into a new age of talent acquisition.