Choosing to work with a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) business is no quick fix.

A restructure of your in-house recruitment team and working with an external organisation means that it is important you pick the perfect partner to work with. We explore further the threats and risks of recruitment process outsourcing you may face but also, give you useful tips on how to manage risks associated with RPO and to help mitigate threats, which should lead to better results.

1. Unequal Commercial Risk

When a company outsources a portion of, or recruitment in its entirety, it is essential both parties define and work towards a common goal. Fundamentally, the RPO should act as an extension of the company – working in partnership to manage any positive or negative situations which may arise. It is vital to highlight the importance of shared commercial risk to ensure each party is committed to proportionate levels of accountability, which might then be reflected in the commercial model.

2. Poor Relationship Management

Businesses are sometimes under the impression that they should be less involved with RPO once processes have been implemented. Rarely is this the case and where communication and engagement problems arise, lower quality of services and strained relationships will follow. If you’re looking to create a reliable, honest and strong alliance with your RPO provider, communication and engagement is key.

Relationship Management
3. It Won’t Necessarily Save You Money…

If you’re considering RPO for your business, because you believe this would decrease your costs, think again. Outsourcing does not necessarily mean lower costs, and where this is the case, you run the risk of receiving low quality output. Outsourcing is best utilised with a company who are just as passionate about your company as you are – delivering a high standard of work and who can add value to your business processes by refining them, providing you with greater value for money.

4. Not a Quick Fix

Implementing RPO is a long term solution to achieving recruitment process efficiency. Therefore, building a partnership with a company which will improve your business takes commitment, investment and time. When working with specialist recruiters, you are buying into a system of continuous improvement rather than finding a quick-fix for a sporadic issue. Granted, bringing in an RPO can accelerate the pace of change but results will be delivered as the partnership develops.

Implementing RPO

5. Is It Really a Good Match?

In order to make the most of the partnership you build between your organisation and the RPO, you will need to ensure the business culture aligns with your own. Often overlooked, this can be crucial in creating a long-lasting and effective relationship because the ethics and working culture of the outsourced company must reflect your own if they are to be an extended arm of your business. This could help to ensure continuity and could be more likely to reflect positively on the level of service, solidifying the partnership as a whole rather than two entities. One way of assessing the fit could be to work on a small collaborative project together which will get you talking to one another, improving your knowledge of one another and giving you a better indication of whether the ‘fit’ exists.

When choosing RPO, there are many factors to take into consideration. There is no “one solution fits all” – if RPO is chosen for the right reasons, your business is one step closer to finding a solution which will increase effectiveness in recruitment and if done correctly, position your business more competitively.

Written by Minal Sthankiya (Marketing Executive)

There are positives for both Exit and Retention Interviews. But, which of these will work better for your organisation?

Businesses are well-versed in conducting interviews when recruiting for a vacancy. However, what many hiring managers and HR directors miss is the importance of conducting exit interviews and retention interviews. These could very well be the key to improving that all important retention rate and recruitment experience for your business.

Let’s break down the differences:  Exit Interviews vs Retention Interviews. 

Improving Employee Retention

Make it easy for your new employees to give feedback by conducting Retention Interviews

What are Retention Interviews?

Best conducted within 6 months to a year of a new employee joining your business, retention interviews are a strong measure of how well the induction process reflects the culture and values of the organisation. They are also an insight into whether their expectations of the role, management and work environment are being met.

  • Identify any core issues which could be resolved, as in turn, this may influence their job satisfaction – a deciding factor in whether a new starter is motivated to stay
  • Could provide you with an insight into how long an employee envisions staying within the role – allowing you to forecast potential demands for future recruitment
  • Listening to the needs of the workforce can be fundamental in improving morale and motivation levels across the organisation as well as increasing quality and output levels
  • Unless a solution is implemented or the employee feedback is actively taken on board, this could result in a lack of motivation since the employee feels their views and needs are being overlooked
  • Employees could be less likely to open up and be honest about their experience as a new starter, often in the fear that this could be perceived negatively by their manager
Implementing Exit Interviews

Exit Interviews can help you to improve your recruitment process and working environment

What are Exit Interviews?

Exit interviews are conducted to highlight reasons as to why the employee has left the organisation. Regarded as an opportunity to review the potential positives and pitfalls of employee engagement within your business. Understanding why employees are leaving your business could help you to improve the experience of current employees and others who may join.

  • Developing an understanding of why individuals are leaving can help you work towards creating a better working environment, as ex-employees are likely to be honest about their experience. This provides useful feedback for your business
  • Conducting exit interviews could provide you with a competitive edge once a resolution has been implemented, especially if reasons for leaving are due to market conditions
  • Employee retention is increased over time due to improved interaction and work environment
  • It is likely there will be trends in the responses from ex-employees, unless feedback is acted upon. Thus, rendering the process counter-productive.
  • Once employees have left, they are unlikely to correspond with their previous employer. The timing of the interview must be carefully planned in order to obtain honest and valuable feedback.
  • Exit interviews can be time-consuming. They need to be arranged and conducted as well as result in the implementation of an effective solution.

Exit and retention interviews can be a fantastic tool for improving the quality of your employees’ experience. This can be a determining factor of retention rates.


In-house vs Outsourcing: Exit and Retention Interviews

Exit and Retention interviews are both great ways of capturing reliable data and Management Information. As a result, Exit and Retention Interviews can shape the way you engage with your employees.


Exit interviews will give you the scope to understand why employees leave. Whereas, Retention interviews will give you an idea of what could influence people to stay. You will also receive feedback regarding what’s good about your on boarding and induction processes.

It’s likely that these kind of interviews would have the ability to make a positive impact on your business. But, how do you go about conducting them? And, is it better to outsource them or conduct them in-house?

  • Cultural understanding – The interviewee has the opportunity to express themselves to someone who has first-hand experience and knowledge of your business and its culture.
  • Quick resolve – Conflicts can be resolved and swift action can be taken to encourage the interviewee to stay.
  • Added control – You have influence over who conducts the interview, what its contents will be and how much time is spent conducting them.
  • Closure – In the context of an exit interview, an in-house experience can give the leaver closure.
  • Fairness – A third-party provider is impartial and the employee can remain anonymous.
  • Honest feedback – Due to the nature of an outsourced interview, feedback may be more honest and collect more meaningful data
  • Consistency – There will be a uniform process in place which will have a positive impact on the data that is collected.
  • Expertise – An outsourced provider will have knowledge and experience of conducting exit and retention interviews. Therefore, they will have a good understanding of what questions will work best for you and your business.
  • Data and Management Information – A third-party provider will have expert data analysts to interpret the data collected and present it concisely, focusing on areas that will create the most impact.
  • Savings –  You save money, resource and time by all interviews being conducted in one place.


Whether done in-house or externally, exit and retention interviews can make a real difference to your business. If done properly, with consistency and impartiality, the data generated can help to shape your business and improve retention rates.


We are extremely proud to be working in partnership with Danone who have recently been voted as one of The Times’ Top 100 Graduate Employers.

Cohesion has assisted Danone with their graduate recruitment since 2011 and we were thrilled to learn that they had been named in the top 100. We spoke to Lizzie Mooney, HR & Graduate Recruitment Manager, to talk about the achievement and find out more about her experience of working with Cohesion.

“We feel amazing about being in the top 100, it’s the most important ranking for us.

We obviously think our graduate scheme is great and we spend a lot of time on campus promoting it, so it’s great to receive this kind of feedback.

We all really enjoy working on the scheme alongside Cohesion. Cohesion take a lot of the pressure off in terms of time, resource and ensuring all of our candidates are contacted. The team always take the time to call people and deal with their queries.

Cohesion are great because the team know exactly who and what we’re looking for, so we know we can rely on them every time. I would definitely recommend them as a recruitment partner.”

RPO provider – it’s a big decision, so you should know how to choose.

If you’ve decided that outsourcing recruitment is right for you and your business then you need to know how to go about choosing the right RPO provider. In this post we tackle some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing your RPO partner.

“Choosing to work with an RPO business is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. As with any kind of outsourcing you have to ensure that your chosen partner is able to provide a service that properly aligns with your business and its needs.

Once you’ve identified that need it’s important that you are able to find a partner who will ask questions, listen and report on what works and what doesn’t. Choosing an RPO provider should never just be about time or cost saving- you should look for experts who can deliver an excellent experience to every stakeholder.”

Debbie Edmondson, Talent Director

Read on for our guide on ‘How to Choose an RPO Provider’:

1. Know what it is that you need 

Knowing exactly what your business needs is integral to understanding how to choose an RPO provider.

Think about the last 2 years:

  • How many roles have been recruited?
  • Are these roles specialist?
  • What kind of geographical area is being covered?
  • When are hires occurring ie. are there peaks and troughs?
  • What are the requirements of your Hiring Managers?

Answering these questions strategically will give you an idea of what you’re looking for.

Finding an RPO provider

2. Determine your fundamental requirements

Working with an RPO is largely about the relationship you have with them, they have to be a good fit for your business, or it won’t work.

Think about what’s critical to the success of your prospective partner:

Should they specialise/have experience in a particular industry?

A good provider will work with you to understand your industry, but how important is this to you? If your sector is very specialist then you need to find evidence from prospective partners. It’s a good idea to ask them questions and request case studies that showcase the work they’ve done with businesses similar to yours.

Do they need to be able to cover a wide geographic area? 

Understanding and experience of certain locations can be a significant element of recruitment. Consider how important this is to you.

There may be locations that are particularly difficult to recruit in, should your RPO partner have experience of working in this area? If they have experience of recruiting in certain areas then they may have already built strategic relationships or operate an effective PSL in those locations.

It may also be useful to look at their current client base and figure out what kind of areas your prospective provider already covers.

RPO provider - geographic coverage?

What should they be able to offer you?

Are you looking for a someone who’s offerings are diverse and wide ranging? Do you want to partner with a business who can assist with talent acquisition services, advertising, sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, management of the offer process and more?

Or do you need a partner to take some of the pressure off when it comes to handling queries and screening?

Look for evidence of how your prospective provider has delivered these kind of services previously and ask how they would work to fulfill your requirements if successful.

What are they able to provide in terms of resource?

If there are peaks and troughs in your recruitment needs then consider whether or not a provider will be able to cater for these needs.

Ask whether or not your prospective partner has access to a bigger team should they need to adapt to your requirements.

Should they be low cost?

RPO - low cost provider?

Are you looking specifically for a low-cost provider? If this is your main priority then ensure that you understand how your RPO partner costs things.

Whilst this is some people’s number 1 priority, it’s important to ensure you understand what you’re paying for– quality is very important and shouldn’t be compromised for cost.

Are they a good fit? 

Your RPO provider needs to understand your business, do you get a sense that their values align with yours? This is a great basis for your future relationship and being able to work together as a team.

They should be approachable and trustworthy so that if there are any challenges, you feel that you are facing them together and willing to work in partnership to overcome them.

3. Weigh up your options and choose a provider 

RPO - choose a provider

Choose the right fit for you

By truly understanding your needs and ensuring that you find a great fit for your business, you should have a good idea of which organisation will work best with you and your team.

When looking at how to choose an RPO provider it’s important that you don’t compromise on any of your core criteria and that you always ask plenty of questions. This should ensure that you choose a great partner who delivers what your business needs.

5 Benefits of RPO

Why choose to work with a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider?

“Typically a business will choose to work with an RPO provider because they don’t have the resource or in-house recruitment expertise  to drive the same results as an external partner.

A good provider will be able to negotiate and design a strategic, flexible and bespoke recruitment model- an excellent provider will do all of that and provide data and Management Information that proves the ROI of that recruitment model.”

Mandy Glover, Operations Director.

Between them, our in-house recruitment experts have transformed hundreds of businesses and recruited hundreds of thousands of top quality candidates. They know that reduced cost is often cited as one of the biggest attractions when it comes to working with a provider, but the benefits of RPO reach much further than simply saving money.

RPO partnership

Together, our experts have outlined 5 benefits of RPO

  1. You receive an advanced and bespoke service

Any good RPO provider will see  themselves as part of your in-house recruitment team. Their team will be made up of recruitment experts who will work with every stakeholder to gain a thorough understanding of you, your team and your business.

This understanding allows for a strategic approach to recruitment, which means it’s more than just a process that churns candidates out at the end.

An RPO provider will drive results by having  SLAs in place. They will offer a consistent and tactical process that is regularly monitored and reported on, and it will all be tailored to the specific needs of your business. 

2. Your recruitment function will be measurable

RPO providers use bespoke technology that means every part of the recruitment process is recorded and monitored. Data is an extremely powerful tool and outsourcing your recruitment means that you should have it in abundance.

You will have access to Management Information that proves the ROI of having a robust recruitment process in place. You can discuss what elements of the process you would like to measure, but, as standard, you will typically have access to data that  tells you the average time to hire as well as the cost of each hire.

3. Increased Hiring Manager satisfaction

Working in partnership with an RPO business means that your internal customers get a great experience. Hiring Managers are very busy people and they often don’t have the time to spend on managing a robust recruitment process.


RPO gives a great candidate experience

Because of this, quality is very often compromised and the wrong people are hired. An RPO provider will offer enhanced stakeholder engagement, so Hiring Managers are kept in the loop, they are well informed when it comes to the recruitment process and they still have the time to do what they do best- their job.

4. A partnership based on trust 

An Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider will work in partnership with you, they will be open with you and be in regular contact with you and other stakeholders in your business.

Because of the partnership working involved in working alongside an RPO, you can rest assured that your provider will understand your business and the industry in which you operate. Not only will an RPO work closely with you to build a relationship based on trust, they will also be able to demonstrate ROI and where they are adding value to your business. 

Another positive element of working with an RPO provider is that its recruitment experts are not always driven by commission. Because of this, you know that the recruiters you’re working with really care about finding the right people for the role, as opposed to hoping they will fill it with an average candidate and earn a tidy profit for themselves.

5. You will get results 

Experts in outsourced recruitment are committed to ensuring the successful delivery of every part of the recruitment process- each part is just as important as the last.

An RPO provider will work with you on every element of the recruitment process to reach, engage and retain the right people and they won’t disappear after the right candidate has been offered a role.

They will work with you to ensure your employee on-boarding process is robust and that drop-outs after offer stage are kept to an absolute minimum.

total recruitment philosophy for RPO

Together these are the core benefits of RPO. However, there are a number of advantages of working with a provider that will truly shape your recruitment process and ensure that attraction, engagement and retention of great people.

If you want to know more than just the benefits of RPO why not read our most recent blog: What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

To find out more about the benefits of RPO and how a recruitment partner could help you and your business contact Adam Baldry now:

T: 0121 713 6956