Recruiting In-House vs RPO: Outsourcing Your Recruitment

Time to Read: 4.1 minutes

Updated: April 11, 2024

Great entrepreneurs are great visionaries. While planning to launch a new business or grow an existing business, they don’t forget to look at the larger picture. Indeed, they will go over many numbers, figures, and statistics before formulating a business execution plan- call it their overall managerial skill.

So, when choosing between an in-house recruiting team or hiring a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solution, they carefully enlist their broader business interests and make a choice. The fundamental difference between the two, concerning, competency, flexibility, and risk appetite, determines the respective advantages and disadvantages and helps a company to choose one over the other.

An in-house recruiting team traditionally handles multiple recruitment responsibilities from inside the company. On the other hand, RPO is an external recruitment solution provider to which a company transfers all or parts of its recruitment functions. Usually, it functions outside the premises of a company and runs recruitment drives to meet its dynamic HR needs.

Choosing one can be a little catchy, particularly in the unconventional scenario wherein managers have to underline their bulky business plans and streamline their recruitment objectives amid the new normal. With the talent race becoming more competitive than ever, working with an RPO allows companies to adjust to new challenges and expectations easily. Let’s look at the areas where one departs from the other.

Quick Response to Market Fluctuations

RPO agencies are seen as more responsive to the changing demands and dynamics of the business world than in-house recruiters. Its essence is hidden in expertise level, work exposure, taking new opportunities every time, and accommodating the change required. RPO usually works with different- teams, industries, and clients; therefore, their horizon is broader.

In contrast, the In-house recruiting team’s functional area is narrower; they have to handle the responsibilities while staying confined to the limited workspaces. They may not be much adaptable to changing needs as quickly as RPOs. Additionally, they may find process modification challenging and inconvenient to resort to. Unlike RPOs, experiencing gaps in working with multiple teams can tighten the decision-making boundaries of in-house recruiters and result in inefficiency.

Technical Expertise Vs Organizational Knowledge

An effective RPO program comes with the latest recruitment technology, a flexible recruitment process, and an effective talent acquisition team installed. Embedded with HR functions, RPOs, are technically sound and updated. They work with people of different nationalities, industries, identities, and backgrounds. This exposure allows them to rapidly take a call without wasting time on first learning and understanding what the hiring manager is looking for. Following this, they can adapt, experiment, and optimize their approach by leveraging advanced techniques and practices. Especially when the roles are of much technical nature and difficult to fill positions encountered, working with a technical RPO is a plus.

In short, an RPO can:

  • Adopt Easily
  • Experiment Confidently
  • Scale Better

However, the In-house recruiting team leverages its connectivity with the internal hiring team and organizational knowledge. They operate from within the surroundings and settings of the company’s closest circle. However, it may be easier for them to sometimes know things simply beyond the role requirements, and thus, can make changes accordingly.

Speed, Flexibility, and Cost-Savings

RPOs move faster. They will help a company fill its vacant positions and quickly move to the next task. On average, the hire time is reduced by 25% with an experienced RPO. They usually have a sound database of candidates ready to be connected without unnecessarily needing to source them up, saving everyone’s time and energy. However, the In-house recruiting team is comparatively slower and spends more on posting job roles, screening candidates, and getting the right person on board.

Plus, RPOs consistently maintain and establish themselves as strong brands in the market. They retain their expertise level higher and stay up to date with the latest market trends. Further, most companies make cost-friendly and time-saving choices while selecting an RPO service. They understand that setting up an in-house human resource department may not be feasible both technically and financially at times.

Deals Easily with Complex Markets

Companies operating in complex job markets, niche roles, and diverse teams move swiftly with RPOs through the latest recruitment strategies. More, they offer an alternative point of view and opinion to spot the skill gap and get the correct person hired. A progressive RPO will enable a faster, more creative, and more conducive recruitment environment to attract and employ high-caliber talent and generate results. Naturally, internal recruiters are off-burdened from recruitment functions with an RPO provider. As a result, they free up their bandwidth significantly to focus more on employees’ well-being, capacity enhancement, and confidence-building. In turn, it increases the retention rate, reduces recruitment efforts, and helps businesses to adjust to the post-pandemic landscape.

Plus, employee branding, global compliance, and improved candidate experience also help businesses rally in unprecedented times, the boom in present, and set future talent roadmap.

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Minakshi Sehrawat

Minakshi Sehrawat is a content writer that specializes in the HR industry. For the past 12+ years, she has worked with companies, social organizations, and newspapers offering writing services and solutions. Her strength is writing long-form content about HR, recruitment, management practices, technology, communities, and events.

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