RPO in a Post-Pandemic World

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Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, most industries have experienced significant changes—reorganizing to support work from home, adjusting supply chains, and making difficult financial decisions. As companies return to work, now is the time to consider how your organization will navigate the new normal, and that includes the question of how you will adapt your recruitment efforts to a post-pandemic hiring landscape. Depending on your company's scenario, a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner can help you plan your talent strategy for sustainability in a post-pandemic world. This article will outline how RPO can provide support to your recruitment planning after a crisis.


As businesses emerge from the pandemic, many continue to face abrupt changes in their recruitment needs. Some industries, such as healthcare, saw a hiring surge at the peak of the pandemic. That said, these urgent hiring needs may subside as new cases plateau. At the same time, other industries like event-planning, for example, initially saw mass layoffs and a steep hiring decline. As the market has adjusted to virtual events, the need for tech-savvy staff has been on the rise and as social distancing regulations are relaxed, these industries may need to ramp up their hiring. One benefit offered by RPO is the ability to scale hiring strategies up and down according to intermittent hiring needs.  Just as RPO can be “switched off” as needed, it can also help your organization effectively hire in response to a surge in hiring demands. This brings us to our next point: an RPO program can dramatically reduce time-to-fill during timely hiring projects.

Reduced Time-to-Fill

For some organizations, the pandemic has created a need to engage talent quickly. Not only do RPO providers have access to broad and diverse talent pools, but they also have the industry expertise and technology needed to acquire talent rapidly. Leading RPO providers have demonstrated experience streamlining the recruitment lifecycle—be it through automating repetitive steps using an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), or adhering to aggressive timeframes for resume screening, candidate interviews, hiring manager review, employer onboarding, and more.

Virtual Expertise

Given the recent shift toward remote work,  organizations are becoming increasingly accustomed to online interactions. Similarly, many RPO service providers are now delivering their solutions virtually. Leading RPO providers have leveraged up-to-date recruitment technology to optimize virtual recruitment and know the best practices when it comes to conducting virtual job fairs, online assessments, digital interviews, and remote onboarding programs.


The Covid-19 pandemic and social issues of 2020 have affected the talent market’s demands. Employee expectations around flexible work schedules, working from home, and wellness are rising.  Now is a critical time to create and emphasize your organization's Employee Value Proposition (EVP), since candidates want to know what businesses are doing to support their employees both now and in the future. Without a strong market EVP message in your recruitment strategy, employers risk missing out on critical talent for long term growth and sustainability. Creating new messaging that aligns to critical talent from a multi-generation lens is essential in today’s recruitment landscape. While many RPO partners will provide a comprehensive assessment of an organization's EVP,  most only market what their clients currently have in place today. Seek an RPO provider that offers brand and EVP consultation to ensure you have the right strategy to capture the best passive and active talent in the marketplace.

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The pandemic has continually been followed by the emergence of legal policies and regulations pertaining to workplace safety, employee rights, and more. Take the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that will take effect until the end of this year, for example. Keeping up with such legal requirements on top of any other business obstacles brought on by the pandemic can be extremely challenging. Leading RPO service providers make it their job to study any regulations as they relate to your organization’s recruitment function. Enlisting an RPO provider now can help you navigate these complex legal requirements and mitigate any risks associated with noncompliance.

Cost Savings

For many organizations, the pandemic has resulted in a loss of business and financial fragility. Additionally, many organizations now fear that a global economic downturn is approaching. Since RPO solutions are highly scalable, they can not only help your organizations respond to surges in hiring demands but pull back when finances are looking tight. Since many RPO programs are priced on a cost-per-hire basis, wherein a fee is only paid for each successful hire, this is far more cost-effective than paying regular fees to permanent in-house recruiters.

Market Experts

Lastly, RPO service providers are expert surveyors of the talent acquisition market. As part of designing and executing your hiring strategy, RPO providers will regularly monitor industry trends, collate market intel, and conduct competitor research. With each industry now facing unique yet unpredictable hiring needs, an RPO partner can conduct a comprehensive assessment of your existing recruitment plan, while providing objective recommendations based on up-to-date market insights. Moreover, RPO providers are accustomed to fluctuating hiring demands and will work with your internal team to devise the best strategy needed to keep up with rapid market changes.

Right now, we can’t know for sure what’s in store for the recruiting world and each industry’s unique workforce. That said, leading RPO service providers offer highly flexible talent solutions that can be customized and continually adapted to your organization’s unique hiring needs. Enlisting an RPO partner now can help set your recruitment efforts up for success under challenging circumstances presented in a post-pandemic economy. As explained in this article, partnering with an RPO partner can result in reduced risk, cost savings, and more effective talent acquisition strategies, but it can also benefit business agility and resilience by freeing up resources. When you outsource your recruitment efforts, you can focus on core business operations and supporting your organization in other areas such as employee well-being, leadership, and more.

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