It cannot be denied that the growth in recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) (Recruiter, 9 June, 'Evolution of the species') represents a threat to the continued employment of some within the industry, but what is often missed when considering outsourcing is the opportunity that it presents to enhance the roles and contribution levels of the professional recruiters with the organisation.
A well executed RPO arrangement will not lead to the wholesales elimination of the in-house recruitment function. There will still be a need for a select group of professionals who should be able to flourish in enhanced roles. With the time saved by outsourcing activities such as applicant tracking, sourcing and screening. RPO can lead to recruiters being able to develop new capabilities. A few examples may include: strengthening internal head-hunting capabilities; developing an internal candidate database; increasing the flow of internal talent; and tracking high flying targets at other organisations - all enabled through outsourcing. RPO can also help make the function more commercially orientated, with a stronger focus on service levels, the overall cost of talent hired and the contributions made by the function.
Of course, this is not for everyone. Some recruiters will be displaced by outsourcing. But those that are able to seize the opportunities can make themselves indispensable to their organisations. RPO should therefore be seen as a means of opening up new opportunities to professionalise the function and allow the team to grow. The most successful recruiters may find their careers taking off in completely different directions, but with this, they have the potential to bring a more tangible, significant contribution to the business.
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