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The differences between RPO and staffing agencies

What are the main differences between RPO and staffing agencies?


RPO providers manage clients’ entire recruitment cycle, operating as a seamless partner. The focus is on building a strategic recruitment program that attracts, recruits and retains high-quality, full-time, permanent employees. Staffing agencies, which operate on a reactive recruitment model, work on a requisition-to-requisition basis. Also, they are often hiring temporary or temp-to-perm employees. RPO providers assume the responsibility of recruitment results during the partnership, which are held to service level agreement (SLA) and key performance indicator (KPI) standards.

What are the main benefits of using RPO? 

Candidate quality: Companies using RPO form a deep partnership with their dedicated recruitment teams. RPO professionals embed themselves into their client’s culture and assume their branding. This allows them to truly understand the core competencies of the requisition profiles. Regular feedback further develops a proactive recruitment process, allowing talent acquisition teams to engage both active and passive candidates, therefore providing the highest quality talent while improving time-to-fill. 

Proactive recruitment: RPO providers offer comprehensive talent acquisition solutions that boost recruitment strategies and align to wider business goals. As experts in the field, RPOs offer employment branding, workforce planning, talent acquisition technology consultation, market research, data analysis and much more. Combining these services with the recruitment solution transform talent acquisition processes from a just-in-time model to a strategic approach. Advanced reporting and metrics offer solid data to back up the success of the recruiting function while identifying opportunities to advance the overall talent acquisition strategy. 

Cost: Companies using RPO have the flexibility to scale their selected services to satisfy their talent acquisition needs. By utilizing one partner for your entire recruitment strategy, organizations benefit from a consistent talent acquisition program. RPO clients can utilize their recruitment spend in a way that will eliminate the need for high agency fees due to unnecessary operational costs. Strong, long-term partnerships will increase the quality of candidates, which also reduces costs associated with poor hiring decisions and turnover. 

Candidate Experience: Since RPO providers assume the branding of their clients and become embedded in the company culture, they deliver a positive candidate experience that is integrated into sourcing, recruiting and interviewing. RPO professionals manage the entire recruitment cycle, ensuring candidate flow is handled in a timely and respectful manner. RPOs also help organizations to build robust talent pipelines and communities to improve time to hire.  

4 promises RPO providers must keep whitepaper


RPOs’ average fill rate was


higher than that of contract agencies.

Bullhorn North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report
What is RPO
Benefits of RPO