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RPO Models: What Are the Types Of Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Recruitment Process Outsourcing Models

While outsourcing the hiring process to a recruitment process outsourcing RPO partner might make the most sense especially when compared to managing an in house HR department, it helps to also understand the different types of recruitment models before delegating hiring-related responsibilities to external recruitment agencies.

Different organizations have different hiring needs in the same way that different jobs have different job requirements. We will review the following four (4) different RPO recruitment models most commonly used along with tips for choosing the right recruiting model to help organizations succeed in talent acquisition - based on all the factors that affect their hiring needs.

1. Full-Service RPO

Enterprise Recruitment Process Outsourcing, also known as full-service RPO or fully outsourced enterprise recruitment process outsourcing is the company-wide outsourcing of all or most recruiting functions. Recruitment agencies offering full-service RPO as a recruitment model usually handles everything from sourcing potential candidates, job advertisements, screening candidate resumes, interviewing ideal candidates, assessment of candidates, employer branding, etc.

Also known as end to end RPO, company-wide outsourcing is where this recruiting specialist focuses taking over responsibility and accountability for fully outsourced recruiting including the beginning of the recruiting process with the development of the talent strategy and sourcing to the end design program which meets the needs of customers; it's crucial because providers are responsible managing resources must meet certain metrics defined by one's customer.

Full-service RPO recruitment models cater to every aspect of the hiring process.

This end-to-end RPO solution is perfect for companies without dedicated in-house recruiting teams. In this case, the RPO agency manages their entire recruiting strategy, offering significant cost savings, compliance benefits, and better quality of hires, among other advantages. With this type of engagement, the customer is likely very familiar with and comfortable with outsourcing.

The key to success is figuring out what works for your business. Whether you start small and scale as you go or outsource everything from the get-go, you need to know when a solution will work best so that you don't waste time or money on something that won't work out.

It may not fit your company culture to jump in completely or outsource everything right away with a full service RPO recruitment model, or it might seem like too much too fast, so you can start with a smaller engagement and scale up later.

2. Project-Based RPO recruitment models

When the recruitment needs of a business are in constant fluctuation, it can present companies with an interesting challenge. How do they ensure that their workforce has enough bandwidth and resources during high-demand periods without overburdening themselves? Project RPO or on-demand recruitment process outsourcing, rpo model might just be the answer!

RPOs can benefit employers who need new talent at different times throughout the year, depending on the season or if they have a specific need for talent for a specific task. Engaging an RPO provider as a strategic engagement may benefit the company since the RPO can bring best practices and proven processes to the table. As the name implies, project-based RPO recruitment models involve engaging an external RPO provider to oversee recruiting for these specific (usually short-term) projects.

This RPO model helps organizations meet their short-term hiring goals after which they can fall back on the in-house team for daily recruiting tasks. Managing resources efficiently and effectively with project RPO is a great way to maintain quality without sacrificing best practices. If you have a special project coming soon or would like to test whether partnering with an RPO recruitment agency can add value to your company, a project-based RPO engagement might serve these purposes.

3. Recruiter-On-Demand

We can all agree that businesses are always in a state of flux.

Any business strategy must therefore be designed to accommodate such changes. For businesses with volatile hiring needs a recruitment agency offering on-demand RPO solutions will be the most perfect fit.

When your hiring needs are always changing, the recruiter-on-demand RPO model gives you quick access to resources at precisely any moment you need them. In an on-demand economy, relationships that allow companies to get the best out of RPO providers when they need and want them are valuable additions to any business relationship.

4. RPO + MSP recruitment models

This recruitment model hybridizes both RPO and MSP services. A model like this caters to both permanent recruiting and contingent labor needs along with compliance requirements and an array of managed services. To fill job openings for contingent workforce programs (e.g., contingency hiring, sourcing candidates) for an end client, managed service providers (MSPs) partner with a network of third-party vendors, other agencies to recruit an appropriate candidate for the company.

The vendor and the client operate under a one-to-one vendor management model. In order to deliver qualified candidates to requisitions, MSP relies on other vendors, and in some cases, the MSP may also offer recruitment services to provide an additional added value service. In general, MSPs act as a liaison between vendors and clients.

Providers of RPO services use their own networks to find candidate options, and the RPO model allows direct communication. In most instances, candidates are sourced independently by the RPO to fill permanent openings using a one-to-one candidate delivery model.

This method allows for better flexibility so your internal recruiting team can focus on core tasks while the RPO/MSP provider handles sourcing, engaging, and management of both permanent and non-permanent workers.

Which Recruitment Method Is Best?

Here’s the truth; no recruitment model is better than the other.

The best recruitment model for you is the one that can effectively address your recruiting needs. Outsourcing your recruiting process is an effective and scalable solution to increase your hiring efficiency. Many RPO providers have a strong network, backed with technology and an efficient proven recruiting process that allows you to reduce unnecessary consumption and focus solely on what is most necessary.

To get the most out of your recruitment process outsourcing investment, you’ll be better off discussing your needs with an RPO expert like Accendi Group who can then help you architect a solution to meet these unique needs.

When looking at all outsourced recruiting models, companies with short-term hiring needs are better off with a project-based RPO model or on-demand recruitment models which are best when your hiring needs often change rapidly. Full-service RPO, on the other hand, is best suited for companies that need end-to-end recruitment solutions.


We can all agree that recruitment process outsourcing can help organizations with;

  • Meeting their hiring goals

  • Accessing a wider talent pool of job seekers and potential candidates, and

  • Hiring the right employees, etc

Outsourcing recruitment services can help organizations achieve all of the above while still driving hiring costs down to a significant extent.

RPO solutions can be flexible in their implementation, but they accomplish a lot more than contingent search, staff augmentation, or candidate research on their own. In addition to specializing in all aspects of recruiting, recruitment process outsourcing companies give clients access to a range of resources and expertise they cannot obtain on their own.

Hiring managers or hr leaders, as well as their hiring teams, should understand that adopting the right RPO recruitment models as well as choosing the right RPO partner will prove very crucial to maximize the potential of recruitment process outsourcing in adding real value to your hiring efforts.

Learn more about recruitment process outsourcing as a viable solution to your talent acquisition needs in this informative and engaging video:

Interested in RPO or MSP solutions?

With Accendi Group, you can count on us for leading workforce management solutions in the areas of staff augmentation, managed service providers (MSP), recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), and payroll administration.

Visit our workforce management page to learn more.

This article was written by Managing Partner, Fawn Hentrel.

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