Home»RPO Q&A


Joe Guastella, RPO Lead


How would you define RPO?

By definition, RPO is Recruitment Process Outsourcing; which essentially is a form of business process outsourcing, where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment process to an external service provider.  However, RPO is much more than a standard definition.  More importantly, as an evolving business solution, RPO is about strategic partnerships utilizing highly-trained recruiters to provide specific recruiting needs.

In most RPO scenarios, the recruiting consultant supports the client virtually. This is ideal as it allows the recruiter to solely focus on sourcing, screening and presenting candidates. The consultant comes with all of the required tools. All he/she needs is a position description and a hiring manager to partner with.


How can RPO benefit my organization?

Through the support of specialized/highly-trained recruiters, RPO is able to provide:

  •  Cost Reduction – whether it is supplementing an existing recruiting effort of spearheading a new project, RPO is a flexible recruiting solution that can be tailored to the specific needs of the Client.  Targeting “hard-to-fill” positions or ramping up for large volume hires, RPO provides the flexibility and experience to handle a variety of needs.  More importantly than its ability to scale up or down for particular needs, the largest cost saver lies within NSS RPO’s highly trained and veteran staff.  The real value of a RPO is determined by its ability to deliver on quality hires, which is derived from a full client partnership and talented recruiting staff.
  •  Strategic Partnership – RPO work is truly a collaborative effort between the recruiting agency and client.  NSS RPO takes pride that outside of our high recruiting acumen, we also are able to guide Clients through the entire recruitment process.  By understanding the work-force and industry particulars, we are able to effectively provide clients not only with highly-qualified candidates, but intelligence on the market and hiring trends.


What is your goal when working on a project?

Simple – 100% Client satisfaction.  One would think, we would want 100% hire-ratio; however, that is a loaded statistic.  Through our RPO work, we are more concerned with learning the ever-evolving needs of the Client, developing a long-standing partnership for future/continued success and being completely transparent and open through the recruitment process.  We do strive to fill every position with the most qualified personnel and we are unwilling to submit sub-par candidates simply to fill a role.


As an RPO Consultant, what tools do you have at your disposal?

Most recruitment firms are slaves to the “big job boards,” which recycle many of the same candidates; however, as an RPO Consultant, we rely upon more specialized/niche communities of candidates.  Granted, we do have access to the major boards, but utilize our personal networks, social media, internal database and specialized job boards much more often.  Separating NSS RPO from many other recruiting firms, our continuously-growing/internal-database is a collection of quality candidates personally sourced by our recruiters from non-traditional modes of recruiting.


Are all RPO engagements the same? If not, what are some of the key differences?

One of the great benefits of RPO is that it is not “one-size fits all,” but extremely flexible and customized specifically to the needs of each Client.  Reiterating the Strategic Partnership, the level of RPO support varies, for many times outside of simply recruiting quality candidates, Clients will often request market research to be performed on the specific position to ensure an accurate understanding of the position, duties and salary.  Alongside market research, we also provide administrative duties as well; assisting in the scheduling and coordination of interviews, assistance with HR paperwork, resume review/editing and many other HR-related duties.  With regards to the actual recruitment of candidates, this effort depends upon the volume and skill/level of the positions.  As a flexible recruiting option, RPO enables the Client to tailor its efforts to the specific hiring need(s).

NSS RPO is not a contingency placement firm and there are no hidden fees or commissions. As we are consultants, we bill by the hour and our goal is to increase your candidate pipline by supplying as many qualified candidates as possible within the scope of the project.


When speaking with a client about a potential RPO engagement, what information do you seek?

I am typically looking for two separate types of information.  The first relates to the company information and the second is position information; both of which are somewhat self-explanatory.  Before I start recruiting on a particular position, I always ensure I know as much about the company as possible, for if I am going to be a representative of that organization, I need to know the organization in and out.  With regards to position information, the standard “who, what, when and where” is not a catch-all system by any means, but a great way to start.  By identifying who the Client is looking for, what the specific skill-set includes and where they are working starts you out on the right foot.


How would you describe a perfect relationship with a hiring manager?

Open and transparent.  Reflecting back to my goal of 100% Client Satisfaction; it is absolutely vital to maintain an open channel of communication throughout the recruitment process.  It is the responsibility of the hiring manager to provide as much information to the recruiter, for that is “recruitment ammunition” one needs to effectively find the appropriate candidate.  By having a clear and concise understanding of the hiring need, the recruiter can effectively identify the appropriate personnel.  Even in times of struggle, by maintaining communication and voicing particular “road-blocks,” collaboration between hiring manager and recruiter ensures all avenues are being pursued for success.