Companies on the hunt for recruitment solutions will bump into a whole bunch of industry-standard, but sometimes vague, recruitment acronyms – two of which are RPO, or Recruitment Process outsourcing, and MSP, or Managed Services Provider.

Both of these terms ostensibly refer to the same thing – purchasable, effective and relevant recruitment services. With many companies opting to outsource their recruitment provision, we wanted to take a look into what those options look like, and how two of the most popular forms of recruitment outsourcing differ.

RPOs and MSPs are acutely different forms of recruitment, for a variety of reasons, and understanding each term ahead of deep-diving into the recruitment market will give you a head start in your search for the perfect recruitment partnership for your company.

So let’s start with some basics – what is an RPO, and what is an MSP?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing. 

Perennial super-recruiters Hay’s defines an RPO as the following:

“Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is where all, or part, of your recruitment activities are outsourced to an external provider. This sees them act as an extension of your internal recruitment department for all or some of your jobs, typically based on site with you and working under your brand”.

In short, RPO’s embed themselves within your company and work on a bespoke basis across everything from recruitment and onboarding, to market forecasting and analytics, primarily on permanent job roles. 

Managed Services Provider.

“A Managed Service Provider typically focuses on the temporary workforce and is responsible for the complete end-to-end management of a firm’s contingent workers”.

This summary, from Guidant Global, summarises an MSP as focused on contingent workforces, with all the diligence caveats that come with temporary workforce management. 

The benefits of an RPO. 

RPOs offer full spectrum strategic oversight during recruitment lifecycles and offer unparalleled agility and brand focus during the recruitment process. Critically, the agility provided by RPOs saves enterprises money on otherwise scatty, aimless hiring runs. 

The power of an RPO lies in the quality of service provision that can only be guaranteed by a team who are embedded within a company – the focus on quality, brand-specific hires; the scalability of RPO teams to meet project and team demands, and the inbuilt recruitment market leadership gathering from specialists all work towards overall permanent recruitment improvement. 

The benefits of an MSP. 

Temporary and contingent workforces require an inordinate amount of administrative oversight, and the recruitment teams leading them need to work with flexibility and speed. 

Temporary recruitment solutions also typically need to manage the full end-to-end recruitment cycle, and within all these points an MSP solution makes itself most keenly felt. 

In effect, MSPs are effective for many of the same reasons RPOs are effective – they’re scalable, typically more affordable than scattergun approaches to recruitment (in this regard, temp recruitment), and entirely focused on quality, efficient, targeted talent acquisition to fit a client’s needs. 

The importance of tech with RPO/MSP ecosystems. 

Successful RPO and MSP procurement almost entirely relies on tech. From sourcing the right solution to the implementation of new tech within existing ecosystems, utilising the right sort of recruitment tech gives employers and RPO/MSP providers instant, brand-wide visibility for every stakeholder in the recruitment chain, and the digital basis from which to conduct hiring operations.

The question most employers have to battle with when considering recruitment tech is the following: is it best to retain an existing technology solution and retrofit new processes onto it, or migrate to a solution regularly used by an RPO or MSP?

Having played a key role in technology supplier selection for one of the world’s leading RPO/MSP providers, our very own Rectec Founder, Rob Green suggests the following – “this decision is something that should be very carefully considered when choosing an RPO/MSP solution provider. Technology reaches every user who touches the recruitment process, so a positive user experience should be the one guiding absolute non-negotiable factor in any RPO/MSP procurement and implementation decision-making process.”

A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best Applicant Tracking System or best Recruitment CRM to suit your needs, accompanied by our unique complementary technology marketplace, to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business.

You can click here to register for Rectec Compare – and best of all, it’s completely free of charge.