RPO Checklist: Finding an IT Recruitment Partner in North America


July, 2023

RPO Checklist: Finding an IT Recruitment Partner in North America

topic RPO visibility1555 views

Finding the right recruitment partner is crucial to hiring the tech talent you need. But with so many options out there, how do you choose? Don't worry, we've got you covered. We've put together a checklist of the key things you should consider when evaluating RPO providers for IT recruitment in North America. Things like their experience recruiting for tech roles, use of AI and automation, network of candidates, and flexibility in delivery models. Follow this checklist and you'll be well on your way to finding an RPO partner that truly understands your IT hiring needs. Ready to get started? Let's dive in.

Define the Scope of Your RPO Needs

The first thing you need to do is determine exactly what you need. Ask yourself:

  • Do we want the RPO partner to handle all of our IT recruiting from sourcing to onboarding? Or just parts of the process like screening resumes or scheduling interviews?
  • Are we looking to fill a few key roles or bulk hire many positions at once?
  • Do we need recruiting expertise for specialized IT roles like data scientists, cloud architects or cybersecurity experts?

Defining the scope will help you find an RPO provider with the right experience and services to meet your unique needs. For example, if you need high-volume recruiting for 50 software engineers in the next quarter, a provider focused on executive search probably isn’t the right fit.

You should also consider your company culture and values to find an RPO partner with a complementary approach. Do you want a hands-on partner to guide your hiring strategy? Or an efficient partner to execute based on your direction? Discuss things like:

  • Their candidate experience and approach to diversity and inclusion
  • How much input and control you want over the process
  • Reporting and metrics that matter most to you

With the scope defined and values aligned, you'll be in a great position to evaluate RPO partners. Look for proven experience recruiting similar IT roles, a solid track record of meeting hiring targets, and reviews from their other clients. And of course, consider factors like pricing models, availability, and company culture fit.

Does this process make sense? Following these steps will help ensure you find an RPO partner poised for success. The extra upfront effort is well worth it to get the recruiting support your IT team needs. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Consider Cultural Fit and Industry Expertise

Finding an RPO provider that’s the right fit for your company culture and understands your industry inside and out is key. You want a partner, not just another vendor. Look for these signs of a great cultural and expertise match:

  • They’ve worked with companies in your industry before. Ask about their experience staffing roles similar to yours. If they’ve successfully recruited for similar positions, they’ll get up to speed quickly.
  • Their team has relevant experience. Ideally, your main contacts and recruiters will have experience in your field. They’ll understand the skills and backgrounds needed for success.
  • They invest in staying up-to-date with trends in your industry. The best partners will keep tabs on new technologies, desired skills, and other changes impacting talent in your field.
  • Their values and work style align with your company culture. Look for a recruiting partner with a collaborative, flexible, and innovative approach. Ask about their values and see if they match your own company’s mission and work environment.
  • They feel like an extension of your team. The right RPO partner will take the time to understand your company, priorities, and way of working. They’ll work as an integrated part of your team, not as an outside party.
  • They have a track record of improving key metrics. Ask any potential partners for case studies and stats showing their impact on decreasing time to hire, improving quality of candidates, and boosting retention rates.

With the right cultural match and industry expertise, an RPO partner can transform your recruiting. Take the time to find a provider that really gets your company and your field—it’ll make a world of difference in your results and experience. The extra effort upfront will pay off in a long and fruitful partnership.

Check References and Past Performance

When evaluating RPO providers, checking their references and past performance is crucial. You’ll want to make sure they can actually deliver on their promises.

Ask for client references

  • Request at least 2-3 references from current or recent clients, preferably in your industry or location.
  • Ask them about the RPO’s strengths, weaknesses, responsiveness, and results. Were there any surprises? Would they work with the provider again?

Review the RPO’s track record

  • Ask the RPO for metrics on their placements over the last 6-12 months, including time to fill, retention rates, and hiring manager satisfaction scores.
  • See if they have experience helping companies in your region and industry fill similar tech roles. The more experience the better.
  • Check sites like Glassdoor and Google Reviews to see ratings and comments from past candidates and employees. Look for themes that could indicate strengths or weaknesses.

Discuss how they ensure quality

  • Inquire about how they screen candidates, check references, and evaluate technical skills. Their approach should be rigorous yet time-efficient.
  • Ask how they train and support their recruiters to understand your company culture and hiring needs. Continuous learning and coaching is important.
  • See what type of quality assurance they have to monitor recruiter performance and catch issues early. Things like call monitoring, placement guarantees, and satisfaction surveys are good signs.

Visit them onsite (if possible)

  • Meeting in person at their office allows you to assess their professionalism and see their operation firsthand.
  • Look for modern tools and technology, streamlined processes, and an enthusiastic team culture. Their workspace is a reflection of how they work.

Checking an RPO’s track record and client references does require an upfront time investment, but it could save you from costly mistakes down the road. Doing your due diligence helps ensure you find a trusted partner that can deliver real results.

Ensure a Solid Implementation and Transition Plan

Once you’ve selected an RPO partner, it’s time to transition your recruitment function over to them. A solid implementation and transition plan is key to ensuring a smooth handoff and quick ramp-up.

Outline clear roles and responsibilities

Work with your RPO provider to determine each party’s obligations and tasks. Define what your internal recruitment team will continue to manage versus what will be handed off to your RPO partner. Be as specific as possible to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts.

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs)

Work together to set measurable KPIs and service level agreements (SLAs) to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the RPO partnership. Some examples include time to fill, quality of candidates, and hiring manager satisfaction scores. Review and revise KPIs regularly based on your priorities and needs.

Plan a phased transition

Rather than immediately transitioning all open requisitions and candidates to your RPO partner, take a phased approach. Start with a smaller number of roles or business units and provide time for adjustment and feedback before expanding the scope of responsibilities. This gradual transition will minimize disruption and allow for course correction.

Maintain open communication

Once the transition is complete, be sure to schedule regular meetings and calls with your RPO account team. Discuss what’s working well, any challenges that have arisen, and how to gain further efficiencies. An open and transparent line of communication will help strengthen your partnership over the long run.

With the right planning and collaboration, transitioning to an RPO model can be a smooth and successful endeavor. Following these best practices will set your partnership up for both short-term wins and long-term success.

Selecting the Ideal RPO Partner

So there you have it, the key things to keep in mind when looking for an RPO partner to handle your IT recruitment in North America. Finding the right partner is crucial to ensuring you have a successful experience. Do your homework, check references, make sure their expertise and values align with your own company culture. The RPO landscape is vast, but by focusing on the factors that matter most to your organization, you'll find a partner poised to deliver real results. At the end of the day, the goal is filling those critical tech roles so you can get back to driving innovation. With the right RPO, you'll build a partnership to do just that.

Get in touch!

Focus on growing your business
and we will take care of hiring the best tech staff for you.

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