Recruitment Process Outsourcing vs In-House Recruiting: Can You Use Both?

Mike Moore Jan 05, 2023 RPO


Recruitment Process Outsourcing vs In-House Recruiting: Can You Use Both?

Your company relies on the recruiting team to find high-quality candidates for your open positions in a consistent and timely manner. But, as you likely already know, this has become increasingly more difficult to do in the past few years! Your in-house recruiters have probably tried several different sourcing tactics and hiring approaches in hopes of acquiring the right set of diverse employees who are eager to work for your organization. But what if those aren’t working either? 

One candidate sourcing tool that in-house recruiting teams sometimes steer clear of is a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company. At first glance an RPO organization seems like it would be a replication of what you have in-house. But in most cases, the RPO team is a good complement to the in-house recruiting staff.

While both have their merits, what works best for you primarily depends on your needs — specifically, the scope of what you need to achieve. It’s really not an either/or situation. As you learn more about how RPO organizations work, it becomes easier to see the two can be a good pair.

In order to know what the right solution is, you must first understand what it means to work with an RPO company when you are an in-house recruiter. 

What’s the Difference Between In-House Recruiting and Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

Your in-house team includes one or more full-time recruiters and/or HR professionals who work for your company to recruit high quality candidates for many different positions. These recruiters often have extensive industry knowledge and truly understand your company’s processes. This team is truly a pathway to your organization’s success by knowing who would be a good fit based on their industry experience and based on an understanding of the organization’s values and culture.

An RPO, on the other hand, handles some or all of the recruiting process for an organization, often working side by side with the in-house recruiting team. The RPO can complement your team’s knowledge by using their proven processes and best practices based on extensive experiences with other organizations and the job market in general.

In today’s market it’s no surprise that one of the biggest challenges is finding a diverse set of highly qualified candidates for you to choose from. Some of the most successful in-house recruiting teams are pairing up with RPOs to complement their internal talents and areas of expertise.

Benefits of Using an RPO with Your In-House Recruiting Team

While your in-house recruitment team may have a leg up when it comes to your company culture and processes, it doesn’t mean that it’s still the sole solution to meet your recruitment needs. In fact, there are some really good reasons to use RPO alongside your in-house team. 

RPO services grow (or contract) with your company’s needs 

If you suddenly have new recruiting needs an RPO can start up right away based on their sources of candidates. Most companies wouldn’t be able to expand their internal recruiting team quick enough to serve new needs such as this.

More candidate sourcing tools are available through an RPO

By working alongside an RPO, your internal recruiting team is able to access different strategies used by other organizations to identify the right candidates for positions you have open. There are many options outside of posting jobs online and using your internal set of candidates in an ATS that an RPO can bring to the table to enhance your candidate sourcing process. The knowledge sharing between the RPO team and your in-house team can help bring about better results. 

Access the RPO organization’s established processes

Making sure you have a foolproof recruiting process takes careful planning and execution. An RPO can help you with establishing a process if you don’t have one documented yet, or enhancing the process you’re currently using. An RPO brings their methodologies with them to help shorten the time-to-fill and generate candidates that are a good fit.

With all that said, these benefits don’t amount to much if you’re using the wrong RPO company. But, how do you know which RPO is the perfect partner for your company?

Choosing the Best RPO Provider for Your Company Needs

Unfortunately, not all RPOs are created equal. Below are some key things to consider when choosing an RPO for your company. 

The RPO best suited for your company will: 

  • Be flexible. A good RPO partner will be able to take on as little or as much of your recruiting process based upon the exact needs of your company. Many times in-house recruiters assume that RPO is there to replace them and their jobs. On the contrary, it’s very helpful to have in-house recruiters working with the RPO organization to find the best-fit candidates – whether that’s a few people or a few hundred.

  • Bring knowledge and expertise to the table. A good RPO company will incorporate the strengths of their recruiters, such as experience in navigating project-based and call-heavy environments, and know how to take an aggressive approach with candidate engagement without turning off the candidates. This in turn gives your company a better shot at the hires you need.

  • Require minimal change to your internal processes. If you have an established recruiting process, a good RPO provider will complement your company’s current methodologies and/or technologies, rather than forcing you to conform to theirs entirely. That being said, take some time to consider what the RPO company suggests. They do this type of work for a lot of different companies which allows them to offer a perspective that you might not get otherwise.

The Bottom Line for In-House Recruiting vs Recruitment Process Outsourcing

In most situations, the in-house recruiting team works well when paired with recruitment process outsourcing, as long as you have the right team to work together. This can be on a long-term or short-term basis. 

Is an RPO company worth the money?

While there is a cost associated with using RPO services, the advantage of accessing candidates you may not be able to find otherwise is often well worth the spend. With RPO candidates you’ll also find that they’re usually a good-fit based on your requirements. This results in less time spent searching to fill each position.

Two Minute Cost Per Hire Quiz

RCI offers RPO options for short-term or long-term recruiting needs. Talk to our expert team to see how we can complement your team’s recruiting efforts and get you to your goals quicker!