Recruitment Process Outsourcing was born from the age of the internet.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing Industry History


Google Searches | Recruitment Process Outsourcing |Advanced RPOIn 2017, Google celebrated its 19th birthday. The invention of the internet and the rise of Google were significant drivers of a new type of niche talent acquisition solution called Recruitment Process Outsourcing, also known as RPO. What was primarily a paper-based process both from communicating hiring needs through newsprint ads/signs and from a written application process, quickly evolved to career sites, job boards and influx of online applications. The transition of paper-based to online-based applications would likely mirror the rising use of Google through the years.


HR generalists and recruiters — if your company was big enough to have specified recruiting roles — were quickly overwhelmed with droves of applicants resulting in piles of resumes. A marketing coordinator role which typically yielded 25 applicants now had 250 applicants.


The Recruitment Process Outsourcing industry was born.


While there isn’t a definitive date that marked the start of RPO recruitment, many leaders began in the 1990s. Starting around 2005, the industry began to emerge with the name Recruitment Process Outsourcing and analysts such as Nelson Hall, Everest Group and Aberdeen Group began to report industry earnings.


A handful of entrepreneurs, most of them working in or closely affiliated with the staffing industry, recognized the need to help companies manage the process. Initially, these recruitment process outsourcing companies partnered with large companies to manage the heavy lifting of separating the wheat from the chaff. These tasks included:


  • Receiving Resumes
  • Reviewing and Rating Resumes
  • Conducting Phone Screens


As the success of these partnerships grew, so did the breadth of services that RPO consultants began to include as part of the service offering.


  • Job Board Postings
  • Interview Scheduling
  • Background Checks
  • Satisfaction Surveys (Hiring Manager and Candidate)
  • Onboarding Processing
  • Career Fair Management
  • Compliance Administration


As the industry began to mature, RPO consulting leaders recognized the opportunity to not only manage tasks for their clients but were able to identify process improvements and provide data that talent acquisition leaders had never seen before. In addition, the “war for talent” that McKinsey & Company predicted in 1997 and is part of many industry talent forecast conversations slowly began to emerge. This resulted in service offering additions such as


  • Process Improvement Review
  • Metrics and Data-Driven Analytics
  • Market Analysis and Predictive Recruiting
  • Competitive Intelligence


When the recession began in December of 2007 and lasted through June of 2009, the U.S. labor market lost $8.4 million jobs. Companies initiated immediate hiring freezes and eliminated internal recruiting functions to stop the bleeding. When the economy stopped contracting in the summer of 2009, hiring slowly began to return. However, as hiring continued to accelerate, many businesses were left without internal recruiting teams to manage the workload. Recruitment Process Outsourcing emerged as a scalable talent acquisition solution that nearly eliminated all overhead and mitigated risk of underutilized recruiting staff should hiring needs fluctuate.


Today, Recruitment Process Outsourcing companies are strategic partners with their client companies and offer expert-level talent acquisition solutions that adapt to ever-changing business needs. RPO firms offer subject matter expertise in virtually every area of talent acquisition including helping with:


  • Hiring forecasts
  • Talent Acquisition Roadmaps
  • Technology Selection and Implementation
  • Employment Brand
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Career Site Development


Types of Recruitment Process Outsourcing


Choosing Advanced RPO is like having an entire talent acquisition department dedicated to all aspects of your recruitment process. It’s a synergistic partnership that allows you to focus on your core business while trusting that an expert team is strategically engineering, streamlining, and executing your hiring program to produce high potential candidates that fit your company culture. Some of our solutions include:


End-to-End RPO – from requisition intake to onboarding and everything in-between. We work directly with HR leads and hiring managers while representing your employment brand and value proposition to candidates throughout the hiring process. Some companies choose to utilize our services for all hires or in some cases, particular regions or functional groups.


Hybrid RPO – simply means your internal team handles parts of the hiring process with seamless handoffs to our team to manage areas of the process that you may need additional expertise or resources. 


Project RPO – This can include end-to-end delivery or a hybrid delivery model with a specific scope-of-work and a definitive start and stop date. Examples would include new locations, product launches and expansions.


Consultative Services – We go beyond RPO and can advise on anything talent acquisition related including employee engagement, talent management and compensation evaluation to name a few.


Advanced RPO Approach


Whether you hire 50 people a year, hundreds or even thousands, our Business Impact Model for development and execution of RPO services includes these core components:


Recruitment Process Outsourcing | Advanced RPO



Our leadership team has been leading this industry since it began and have implemented hundreds of Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions for companies of all sizes. 



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Better yet, give us a call 312-263-0400. We’d be happy to share more about the value of recruitment process outsourcing and our approach to delivering results.