DEBUNKED: The Many Myths of RPO

There are many myths attempting to disrupt the potential success of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programs and projects.  

Majority of them are just not true. 

#1 The cheaper, the better!

This is wrong for so many reasons.  As with everything else, cheaper does not equal better.  The more proficient RPO programs may not be the least expensive option to their competitors, however the value and direct results they deliver are well-worth the little extra.   

#2 Are you kidding me with that cost!?!?

The myth of RPO being too expensive is one of the most egregious ones.  Not only is it not true, one of the main purposes to using recruitment process outsourcing is it saves hiring company so very much on cost.  For example, the most expensive tier in Empowered Partnerships’ RPO program averages at about 8%-9% cost-per-hire.  When you compare this to the average contingency fee of 20%, it’s a no brainer.

#3 Its all the same solutions anyway.

Sometimes companies can make the false assumption that they will be getting the same old reactionary recruiting ideas and direct sourcing plans that everyone else is doing.  RPO providers are specialists in their niche and have developed their own RPO methodology.  This methodology and practice will include an action plan that expands beyond the same old, same old.  How else will an RPO provider be able to deliver a better-quality candidate than their own client could produce?

#4 Its cheaper to just pay for a promoted post.

While in the literal sense this one is true, one does not equal the other.  Meaning, the outcome is not guaranteed.  An RPO program is more expensive than promoting your postings.  Yet, companies cannot simply post and prey anymore.  Especially not when it comes to hiring mental or behavioral health professionals.  That ship has sailed and sitting at port somewhere on the other side of the world.  In today’s market, you need a live person or team doing active targeted sourcing and talent development for you.  Otherwise, you already starting behind the eight ball.   

#5 One-size fits all.

Think an RPO program is not right for your company because it’s a canned practice?  Not true.  Recruitment process outsourcing is suitable for all companies, of all shapes and sizes because it is so pliable. 

Related: An Objective Look, Part 1: Cons of RPO Staffing

#6 RPO forgets about company culture.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  RPO programs look to incorporate their hiring company’s culture.  Its critical to their success.  They are always looking to hire the complete package in a candidate and company culture is a huge part of that. 

#7 One answer for everything.

Not all recruiting challenges are appropriate for an RPO program.  If you are only planning to hire a very small number of people over the course of the year, its likely you are not in need of all that RPO brings.  Or if a company is truly not in a place where they can act as a partner with an RPO provider. 

#8 Bye, bye TA team!

Partnering with an RPO program provider does not mean you lose your recruiting team.  Your talent acquisition professionals are critical to your partnership with the RPO provider, and they don’t go away once the RPO program is implemented.  Often times, these folks are the ones who continue to uphold the new practices and processes developed while working in the RPO.

#9 Complex contracts and long-term commitments.

The complexity of the agreement usually depends on the complexity of the project.  Every contract will vary and no two are the same.  The length of these agreements are most often 6-months.  However, both parties always have the ability to exit the agreement early, usually with a 30-day notice.

#10 All or nothing.

RPO agreements are 100% flexible, which makes room for all kinds of variations.  If you’re more inclined to slowly dip your toes into the RPO practice, your contract can reflect that.  This is another benefit of being so scalable.  It can move up or down, depending on needs. 


At the end of the day, hiring companies should look beyond the myths and scary stories people love to tell.  Ask as many questions as you can, require validation when considering RPO providers, read between the lines, etc.  


It is the goal of Empowered Partnerships’ RPO program to make our clients the Employer of Choice in their market.  Every step of the way, we have found a way to streamline the process, anticipate needs, and make working with a recruitment outsourcing firm more simple than ever.


Contact us to schedule a consultation.


Ashley Lane Boyle

Empowered Partnerships LLC








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