Project RPO vs. Recruitment-on-Demand in a Post-Pandemic Talent Market

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A year and a half after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, the talent marketplace today remains incredibly volatile. With the “great resignation” in full swing, more people than ever before are considering leaving their jobs in favor of better employment opportunities. Additionally, job market recovery has been significantly hindered by the COVID-19 Delta variant, as reported in ADP's September National Employment Report. Other factors significantly impacting today’s workforce include discontent over workplace vaccine requirements, fear of contracting COVID-19, and the work-from-home vs. return-to-office debate.

These disruptions in the job market mean that finding and retaining talent continues to be a huge challenge for companies across the globe. As businesses start to rebuild themselves, LevelUP has seen increased interest in low-risk, non-permanent engagements such as recruitment-on-demand (ROD) and project RPO. Both solutions are typically offered to companies that need to scale their hiring activities and quickly meet fluctuating needs, but have key differences when it comes to process offerings, delivery, and reporting. This blog breaks down those differences with the aim of empowering buyers to understand the benefits of each solution and the value it can add to an organization.

Project RPO and Recruitment-on-Demand at a Glance

Project RPO engagements involve outsourcing all of part of your talent operations for a specific time period. Talent acquisition experts can support employer branding, DE&I initiatives, sourcing, outreach, screening, assessments, interview scheduling, reference checks, selection, onboarding, and more—thus offering the value of an end-to-end solution on a project-by-project basis. Typically, this solution is offered to businesses looking to achieve a set of desired results by a predetermined deadline in the face of significant hiring demands or businesses changes; through a project RPO engagement, businesses can receive support through acquisitions and expansions, recent funding, seasonal hiring, and more.

Project RPO teams can be scaled up and down to meet unexpected demands. Moreover, since the length of a project RPO engagement is determined by the length of the project, this highly customized solution can be delivered as a short or grow into a long-term solution. In many cases, project RPO engagements are used to test-drive the value of an RPO solution and may be extended in length or eventually develop into an enterprise RPO relationship.

In a recruitment-on-demand model, sourcers and recruiters are temporarily assigned to the client organization on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how the contract is designed. At LevelUP, these resources are assigned based on industry-specific expertise, and, as with project RPO, recruiting teams can easily be scaled up and down to meet unforeseen challenges. Recruitment on-demand empowers companies to supplement the headcount and reach of their in-house HR and recruitment teams with minimal administrative burden. That said, this engagement is limited to support at only the sourcing and recruitment stages.

Project RPO and Recruitment-on-Demand Compared

Project RPO and ROD Comparison Table

Project RPO and recruitment-on-demand are scalable models designed to support unprecedented hiring challenges or deliver results rapidly under critical time constraints—as such, they can be quickly implemented within short ramp-up times. Additionally, with both engagements you’ll gain a dedicated team. As such, project RPO and on-demand recruitment can be instrumental in navigating sudden hiring spikes and filling hard-to-fill roles like the environment we are currently in. Finally, project RPO and recruitment-on-demand may be leveraged as short-term solutions. This is ideal for leaders who are looking to explore the benefits of an outsourced talent solution for the first time or who aren’t immediately comfortable with the idea of outsourcing their internal processes.

Recruitment-on-demand lacks much of the transformational value seen in a project RPO engagement. It is used to temporarily increase your sourcer and recruiter headcount and ramp-up internal recruitment capabilities, but ultimately only provides support within sourcing and recruiting. On the other hand, project RPO solutions typically includes added services relevant to the project at hand; project RPO can be leveraged to streamline a company’s recruitment process, enhance employer brand and EVP, support and provide strategic insight for DE&I initiatives, use of expanded tech tools, and more. With these added services, the project RPO team will be deeply embedded within your organization, brand, and culture to deliver end-to-end support and strategic improvements to your talent infrastructure.

Project RPO also incorporates data and reporting into the partnership, with program success being measured based on how effectively your talent goals are being accomplished following implementation. How well a project RPO solution is performing is typically determined by metrics such as time-to-fill, quality of hire, offer to acceptance ratios, and so on. Selected metrics are directly tied to the client’s desired results, their business goals, and the company’s bottom line. In this way, Project RPO can be used to achieve permanent process improvements and efficiencies that have a lasting impact.

How Do I know Whether Project RPO or Recruitment-on-Demand Is the Right Solution for My Company?

For the most part, recruitment-on-demand is sought by organizations looking to temporarily augment an already successful recruitment infrastructure. These companies will likely already have the capabilities required to implement strategic improvements to their talent program. Conversely, Project RPO is ideal for clients looking to adapt their talent strategy to a changing market and achieve long-lasting process efficiencies.

If you are one of the many leaders interested in finding out what a project RPO or recruitment-on-demand program can add to your company, our talent solution experts are available to discuss potential solutions and strategies to address your challenges. Connect with us at this link.

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