DEBUNKED: The Many Myths of RPO

There are many myths attempting to disrupt the potential success of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programs and projects.  The majority of them are just not true. 

#1 The cheaper, the better!

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 of using recruitment process outsourcing is to save the hiring company a great deal of revenue in the short-term and long-term.  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 It’s 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 far beyond the same old, same old.  This should be obvious in the RPO provider’s presentations early on.   

#4 It’s cheaper to just pay for a promoted post.

While in the literal sense this one is true, one does not equal the other.  The outcome is not guaranteed and highly variable depending upon many components.  You will also likely need to hire an ads specialist if you want to become proficient and really see some ROI on your promoted posts.  However, it is a fact that companies cannot simply post and prey anymore.  Especially when it comes to prospective employees in a high niche industry, like mental and behavioral health.  That ship has sailed and is sitting at a 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 eightball.   

#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 and scaleable.  Don’t believe me?  Send me a message and I will share some of our case studies with you.

#6 RPO forgets about company culture.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  RPO programs look to incorporate their hiring company’s culture.  In fact, it’s one of the most critical components of their success.  RPO providers are always looking to hire the complete package in a candidate and company culture is always 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 one person over the course of six months or a year, it’s likely you are not in need of all that RPO brings.  Another common situation where RPO programs are not appropriate is if a company is truly not in a place where they can act as a partner with an RPO provider.  Companies can be unable to partner for many reasons.  When this does happen, it usually results in a major struggle and possibly an unsuccessful project.  The most absolute basic qualifications to an RPO program is the hiring organization should be looking to hire multiple professionals over a period of time and be invested in a partnership mentality.  These are the two most basic keys to a successful project. 

#8 Bye, bye Talent Acquisition team!

Partnering with an RPO program provider does NOT mean you lose your recruiting team.  In fact, most often an RPO provider will partner closely and become an extension of the TA team.  They are critical to your partnership with the RPO provider and act as pivotal drivers for the future success of your company’s hiring after the project is completed.  They are the cheerleaders and drivers 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 or one (1) year and the terms will be dependent upon the goals and/or factors involved in the project.  

#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 an RPO practice, your contract will reflect that to adjust for your situations, wants, and needs.  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.  RPO programs have so much to offer companies looking to hire, even more so in difficult hiring industries and with tough purple squirrel hiring situations. 

My advice to any organization interested in considering an RPO partnership would be to ask as many questions as you can.  Require validation, read between the lines, and make sure they are going to conduct their recruitment strategies in the manner of the partnership you require.   

It is the goal of Empowered Partnerships’ RPO program to make our clients the Employer of Choice in their markets.  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.  Find out more about our data-driven recruitment practices by scheduling a consultation with me.

Schedule a consultation with me

Ashley Lane Boyle, CEO

Empowered Partnerships LLC



Empowered Partnerships LLC provides direct-hire, temporary, contract, and contract-to-hire personnel for employers from coast to coast.  We have a wide variety of skilled specialty staff ready to work for you. 

No matter if you are looking for temporary/contract workers, contract-to-hire personnel, direct hire staff, direct sourcing support, retained recruitment assistance, or recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services, we offer many different options to help employers hire and continue to grow.

If you are interested in learning more about temporary, and contractor staffing options, please contact us at or view more information about our services on our Employer’s Staffing Services page.