RPOs ‘a big deal’ and set to grow, say researchers SIA

The recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) industry generated £2.8bn in revenue in 2013, a figure that could increase by another £500m a year over the next two years, a London audience heard this week.

Thu, 27 Nov 2014

The recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) industry generated £2.8bn in revenue in 2013, a figure that could increase by another £500m a year over the next two years, a London audience heard this week.

Adam Pode, director of international research & analysis at Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), said that 75% of European and 62% of North American businesses either have RPO arrangements in place today or are likely to “seriously explore” doing so over the next two years, making the industry a very “big deal”.

Pode’s comments were based on a recent RPO survey conducted by SIA, a US-based research and advisory service that focuses on contingency staffing. The company’s reports and survey results are released only to members, but Pode offered highlights at his talk, attended by Recruiter.

The average RPO serves three countries, has 24 clients and has been around for 11 years. The smallest surveyed by SIA has five and the largest 265, Pode said.

Of the RPOs surveyed, 85% of the work focuses on external hires, with 15% involving internal hiring. Pode said that internal hiring offerings might actually not be cheaper to put into place, with “white glove treatment” required to ensure quality practice. 

At 90%, the most purchased RPO service is candidate sourcing, Pode said. He said he was surprised that relocation management, a service purchased by 18.5% of users, did not represent “a bigger chunk” of RPO business.

Talent exchanges – a buzz phrase of RPO providers for such tools as social networks and job boards – get significant use by the RPOs themselves. Social networks are most popular, with 91% of RPOs surveyed using them, while 89% use job boards, Pode said.

Pode addressed the RPO landscape this week at the Recruitment Live event in London.

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