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This Week: Top 10 RPO Firms
In the words of Pontoon Solutions President Mike Wachholz, "RPO [firms] are not staffing agencies." Staffing agencies supply you with candidates, but RPO firms "act as extensions of your talent acquisition function." They take over some – or all – of your organization's recruiting functions, and they operate more like partners than vendors.
If your company is considering partnering with an RPO firm, you need to know that this decision shouldn't be taken lightly. Partnering with an RPO firm is about way more than saving money on recruiting or taking some tasks off your HR department's plate. As Seven Step RPO Executive Vice President Greg Karr wrote recently on this very site, "It's not enough to go RPO just for the sake of creating a better hiring experience for candidates and hiring managers. In addition to improving constituent experience, you have to predict and deliver substantive gains that will directly impact the business financially as a result of the improved experience."
In other words: RPO is a business strategy.
With that in mind, we compiled a list of ten great RPO firms operating today. Based on reader feedback, expert opinions, and our own experience, these are the ten companies that we believe will be well worth your time if you're looking for an RPO.
1. Y Scouts
Leadership search firm Y Scouts recently launched an RPO model that takes its commitment to "connect[ing] the most purpose-aligned, proven leaders to growing organizations with missions and cultures that matter" to the next level.
As mentioned in the introduction to this piece, RPO is a business strategy, so it's generally a good idea to go with a firm that places such a heavy emphasis on purpose alignment and organizational missions/cultures. You don't just want an RPO firm that brings you candidates – you want one that brings you the right candidates.
2. Alexander Mann Solutions
Nothing we write could compete with what Alexander Mann's customers say about it, so we'll just cede the floor to Mike Clarke, global talent acquisition leader at Verifone:
"Our business is at the intersection of commerce, technology, and financial services, which requires the very best talent in a wide variety of disciplines from all over the world. In Alexander Mann Solutions, we found a partner with a total talent acquisition solution that includes regular full-time, flexible, and contract workers. They work with us on site at Verifone locations around the world, as well as through their network of 'Global Client Service Centers' in the U.K., Northern Ireland, the United States, the Philippines, Poland, and China. Alexander Mann Solutions works hard to meet our demanding needs and to change and grow with our business."
3. Seven Step RPO
Seven Step RPO doesn't believe that one size ever fits all. That's why the organization works to craft custom recruiting solutions for every one of its partners. Seven Step also prides itself on its ability to fill hard-to-fill roles at high volumes. For example, the firm once helped an automaker hire "large numbers of ion-battery and electric drivetrain engineers." If Seven Step can pull that off, it can almost certainly find your organization the talent it needs.
One big downside to RPO: As beneficial as it can be, it's often out of reach for small companies. Large corporations have no problem finding RPO firms that will partner with them, but the costs can be prohibitive for mid-market businesses. Furthermore, some RPO firms simply won't work with mid-market companies – it's just not worth it for them.
Good news, though: If your mid-market company needs an RPO partner, look no further than Novotus, which specializes in serving mid-market businesses. In fact, Novotus was named the top mid-tier RPO firm by HRO Today back in 2014.
See? You don't have to wait until your organization grows to a titanic size to leverage one of the best talent acquisition teams around.
PeopleScout does a lot right. We could choose to praise it for any number of reasons, but we're especially big fans of its veteran advocacy programs. PeopleScout has placed more U.S. Military vets in full-time civilian employment than any other recruitment firm in the world, thanks to its Veteran Talent Exchange (VTE). Looking to hire some veterans for your business – and get a strategic business partner to boot? Try PeopleScout.
You're likely already aware of Korn Ferry, the massive advisory and executive search firm with an illustrious research wing. What you may not be aware of is Korn Ferry's RPO arm, Futurestep.
As you've probably guessed by now, Futurestep sets itself apart from the competition by leveraging Korn Ferry's research, tools, and methodologies in the RPO realm. Futurestep may have the deepest and most impressive play book of all the RPO firms.
7. Pontoon Solutions
Back in 2013, HREOnline named Pontoon the No. 1 RPO firm. Three years later, and Pontoon still deserves to be lauded. Pontoon's global reach gives it the ability to scale according to its partners' needs and source talent pretty much anywhere. Pontoon is also adept at keeping up with the latest trends and tech – just check out the company's blog if you don't believe me. This means that, if you partner with Pontoon, you can be sure you're not relying on outdated methods to find tomorrow's superstar.
8. ManpowerGroup Solutions
Like Korn Ferry Futurestep, ManpowerGroup has an impressive array of in-house research to draw from when helping companies with their recruitment processes. What makes ManpowerGroup unique, though, is the organization's skill in recruitment process design. The team at ManpowerGroup will dive into a business's recruiting process, learn it like the back of their hands, and then implement tailored improvements that boost efficiency and the quality of talent.
9. Randstad Sourceright
According to HRO Today, Randstad Sourceright was the No. 1 RPO firm in 2015. It's not hard to see why.
Randstad focuses on what it calls the "Human Intelligence Advantage," which refers to the two pillars of its RPO service:
1. Recognizing that a company's biggest competitive advantage is (or should be) its people.
2. Forecasting both long-term strategic opportunities and short-term operational needs and adjusting the recruiting process accordingly.
Change is always on its way. If you need to get out ahead of it, look into Randstad Sourceright.
Still worried about finding an RPO firm that fits your company's budget? Look no further than Accolo, which The Outsourcing Institute named the No. 1 RPO in terms of value. What does that mean? It means that Accolo outperformed the competition in delivering top-notch RPO services at affordable prices. One of Accolo's clients even cut its recruiting costs by up to 30 percent!