February 19, 2009 12:34 ET

HROA Special Interest Group Publishes Definition of RPO

Industry Thought Leaders Collaborate to Standardize Description of Recruitment Process Outsourcing

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - February 19, 2009) - While several years ago Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) was not as in demand in many business sectors, it is now often a sought-after solution to cut costs, improve time-to-hire, and improve overall business process effectiveness. Yet, many organizations are still unsure of exactly what RPO entails. The Business Tools Committee of the RPO Alliance, a Special Interest Group of the Human Resources Outsourcing Association (HROA), recently sought to create a standardized definition of RPO to benefit both vendors and buyers. A member-driven organization, the RPO Alliance was formed to address the need for unbiased, vendor-neutral information about the growing RPO industry.

The recently approved definition states:

        Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of business process
        outsourcing (BPO) where an employer transfers all or part of its
        recruitment processes to an external service provider. An RPO
        provider can provide its own or may assume the company's staff,
        technology, methodologies and reporting. In all cases, RPO differs
        greatly from providers such as staffing companies and
        contingent/retained search providers in that it assumes ownership
        of the design and management of the recruitment process and the
        responsibility of results.

"RPO is a complex and rapidly evolving category," said Richard Crespin, global executive director of the HROA. "Our goal was to provide a coherent definition of RPO, enabling vendors and buyers to improve communications and better define their expectations for this strategic business initiative."

Key industry leaders worked together over several months to fine-tune the definition, exchanging insight on what RPO is, what it is not and how the definition will fare as the industry evolves. The committee members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, ensuring their work will be relevant to the entire RPO community. Representatives from EquaTerra, Headway, Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group, People Science, PeopleScout, Pinstripe Talent, Select International, Inc., Spherion, Talent Retriever, The Devon Group, and TPI were involved in the process.

About the HROA

The HROA is the definitive independent organization for all those who purchase, provide or participate in HR transformation and outsourcing. Its membership encompasses over 7,500 HR executives, including the largest 50 buyers, the top 30 providers, the leading sourcing advisors and attorneys, and the best thought leaders in HR Transformation. The HROA brings its diverse membership together to set standards and practices, provide peer networking, and maintain a robust curriculum. For more information, visit