RPO or RPO Ditto

dittoThe other day my wife, Barbara, showed me this holiday picture. Normally I’d just find amusement in this snapshot and move on. However, for some reason, this image stuck with me. It stuck with me because, in a way, this photo represents the current schism of service providers in the Recruitment Process Outsourcing industry.

Many RPO service providers are like the house on the left hand side of the photo (albeit a bit less ostentatious). They are delivering great results and reinvesting in their core competency. They are industry leaders who have set the bar high. Because of these RPO firms, recruitment process outsourcing has been elevated to the strategic outsourcing option it is today.

But success has also created a new group of companies that resemble the house on the right hand side. These firms are simply looking to capitalize on the uptick in RPO popularity. To be fair, some new entrants have gotten it right and we welcome them. They have a clear value proposition and the capabilities to back it up.

However, some upstarts are mostly talk. Their value proposition is basically “me too;” We can do anything. Many have basic recruiting capabilities and some even have technology tools, but most lack the expertise of transition, change management and seamless integration. In addition, they are missing the required depth of knowledgeable and associated talent (people) to make RPO sustainable. Outsourcing is difficult and without these critical components, any RPO program will quickly implode.

Creating an exceptional holiday display takes experience, commitment and investment ….and so does RPO.  While the “ditto” briefly catches our attention, there really are no shortcuts.


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