RPO Ends 2009 with a Big Bang and Begins 2010 on a High Note

To state the painfully obvious, 2009 for the most part wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a banner year for job seekers, employers or recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) providers. But if you use two RPO contracts, one signed in the last days of 2009 and one in the very beginning of 2010, as a barometer, we are poised for a trend in increased hiring volumes and the use of RPO to assist in sourcing appropriate candidates for open jobs. Yes…open jobs!

On December 21, 2009, Manpower was awarded by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) the world’s largest RPO contract to date – worth a whopping $200 million. Under the terms of the contact (which is 27 months with a nine month extension option), Manpower will provide ADF with full end-to-end RPO services, from marketing to sourcing through on-boarding.

And on January 4, 2010, the United States Infrastructure Corporation (USIC) awarded PeopleScout a three-year, end-to-end RPO contract which includes employment branding, applicant sourcing and implementation of PeopleScout’s proprietary Applicant Tracking System.

I firmly believe RPO activity will increase in 2010 as the economy continues to ease and organizations in both the public and private sectors seek its benefits, which include:

• Reduced hiring costs

• Ability to recruit the best talent

• Reduced time-to-hire

• Enabled focus on core business

• Better talent sourcing technology

In addition to more RPO contracts being awarded in-country in 2010, I predict we will also see more global/multi-country RPO contracts and RPO contracts awarded by companies to providers in countries outside their home origin/headquarters location. This is due to providers’ increasingly global footprint, and buyers’ increasing desire to work with single providers. I also predict we will see further RPO growth in the public sector – which, including the federal government, accounted for approximately 25 percent of HRO contracts in 2009 – as it looks to reduce cost and improve service. One particular growth area, as evidenced by the Manpower contract noted above, will be the defense sector as countries around the globe review their talent requirements and capabilities for hiring the needed personnel.

To all, a happy, safe and healthy New Year!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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