At the Asia Recruitment Awards 2020, Singapore virtual awards ceremony on 24 July, KellyOCG was crowned the silver and bronze winner for Best Recruitment Process Outsourcing Partner and Best Client Service by a Recruitment Solution Provider respectively. With over 250 attendees logged in virtually, the awards show saw prestigious accolades presented across 26 highly contended categories.

In this piece, KellyOCG’s Francis Padamadan, Senior Director, RPO & BPS, looks at the ways talent acquisition leaders across APAC can harness RPO solutions to help them successfully execute their talent strategies.


Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is an external solution that provides expert support in sourcing and hiring along with a range of other key talent acquisition functions. It’s a product that has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. According to a report by QY Research, the worldwide RPO market is expected to increase from US$5.1bn in 2018 to US$15.4bn in 2025. This represents an impressive CAGR of 17% between 2019 and 2025.

The growth of the market in the APAC region has been driven by a rise in multinational, medium, and small businesses. These rapidly expanding organisations often lack the talent acquisition resources to service their fast-moving growth. An RPO solution allows organisations to scale their hiring capabilities, quickly and seamlessly.

Engaging an RPO partner is rapidly becoming standard practice and it can solve a wide range of talent challenges – from sourcing and interview scheduling to onboarding and employer branding support. But some talent acquisition leaders still approach RPO with caution. They worry that this type of solution will detract from or overtake part of their core role. This isn’t the case. The right RPO solution implemented in the right way can support essential but process-heavy tasks while leaving talent leaders with more time to focus on strategic goals.

I explore some of the wide-ranging benefits of RPO solutions, below.

Provide access to tech

Talent technology is constantly evolving and RPO providers are at the leading edge of this market. They can often offer tools and technology at a discounted rate, helping organisations to enhance the candidate experience and optimise their hiring and talent management processes. This is a win-win; for RPO providers to invest in leading technology with the economies of scale they get and organisations getting the best technology at a fraction of the cost.

Deliver insights

By blending standardised procedures with technology solutions and in-house analytics, RPO providers can provide meaningful insights into an organisation’s workforce. These insights are crucial to understanding current hiring needs, shaping talent strategy, and continuously improving talent processes.

Standardise processes

Often, hiring procedures evolve separately in different areas of an organisation. This can lead to disparity in processes, poor communication, and a lack of visibility. The talent expertise and technology-driven insights brought by an RPO team can help to standardise procedures, improve sourcing methods, and allow an organisation to gain insight into its talent community.

Improve hiring quality

RPO is much more than a staffing mechanism. It can help organisations to tap into employer branding expertise alongside the latest sourcing methods and technology. This means businesses can not only access candidates quickly and at a reduced cost, but employers are able to connect with people who are the right cultural and skills fit for their business.

It’s particularly valuable for organisations that are searching for niche candidates and hard-to-find talent.

Increase flexibility

An RPO solution provides organisations with the flexibility and agility to respond to changing market or talent demands. Having the expertise and resources of a global talent provider at your fingertips means that businesses can grow their workforces fast. Equally, if talent requirements reduce, it offers the opportunity to scale back with minimal impact on internal talent teams.

Boost retention and diversity

RPO can improve the quality of candidates and help organisations to connect with people who are a strong cultural fit – meaning they are likely to stay in the role for longer. They can also help to accelerate diversity and inclusion initiatives, often through working with a curated panel of diverse suppliers.

Reduce costs

RPO often stacks up favourably in terms of decreased cost when compared to agencies and in-house recruiting programmes. By utilising a vetted panel of suppliers, implementing benchmarking, and carrying out regular audits, RPO providers can help to minimise talent costs and maximise hiring value.

RPO especially now in the post COVID-19 era

During recent months, as organisations around the world have navigated the challenges of the global pandemic, there are many sectors having the need to upscale or downscale their workforce. We have seen surges in demand for talent across some sectors – including technology, banking, and finance. During this period, KellyOCG has welcomed six new RPO clients as talent acquisition functions have reached capacity and sought expert support to extend their reach. KellyOCG has been able to quickly match exceptional talent with evolving business needs, engaging both specialist and leadership roles for our client partners.

Now, as global organisations shift their focus to the future, we expect to see many businesses quickly accelerate their growth strategy. The ability to access skilled talent will be essential during the COVID-19 recovery period, and an effective RPO solution could be critical to ongoing success.

From end-to-end hiring functionality to project-based support and hybrid models, RPO providers offer a range of diverse solutions that can benefit organisations, big and small. At KellyOCG, we build our offering around your unique business goals and talent needs. Combining local knowledge with global insight and the latest technology to help you to tap into hard-to-find pools of exceptional talent and manage business-critical processes.

Should you leverage an RPO solution to support your business? The answer is likely to be yes. But choosing the right talent partner is key to implementing a successful solution that helps you to meet your strategic goals.

Find out more at KellyOCG Singapore.

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