Considerations when choosing an RPO Partner

So, now that you’ve decided to work with an RPO partner, what’s next? Keep in mind; the RPO will become an extension of your HR department and needs to be aligned with your company processes and culture for this to happen.

Many companies look for RPO providers by pushing out a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP includes a number of company and industry-specific questions with a time-sensitive submittal date as a way to evaluate a provider’s capabilities. It is important to include questions around all aspects of the partnership: corporate and financial information, culture, capabilities, processes, technology, differentiators, success stories, etc. From this point, you and your company can review and assess the RFP respondents to determine the best fit for your culture and needs. While this process should give you a preview inside the company, there are a few basic questions to ask yourself.

Are they honest and transparent?
You can research almost anything about a company online. And you can bet these providers are researching your company to complete your RFP process. You should research them too, nothing wrong with validating their proposed claims. It’s a good way to ensure they are always wearing their ‘white hats.’

Do they fit with your company culture?
Do they align with your expectations? While doing preliminary research, be mindful of your company culture and look at your potential partner’s mission statements and values. If not, they may not be the right fit for you. Yes, there will be a honeymoon phase, but isn’t it best to understand who they are and what they stand for before entering into what may be a long-term relationship. Having similar goals and priorities in vision and execution will certainly lead to a better outcome.

Do they have a good track record?
Do they walk their talk? While many companies may keep their current client info under wraps, for many legitimate reasons, such as confidentiality agreements, most use their websites to showcase past accomplishments, awards and timely industry information in blog posts. Check out your providers’ sites and see if they’ve shared recent solutions in case studies, are idea leaders with progressive blog topics, and have shared their industry insights in recent white papers.

While there are certainly many questions to pose when determining your company expectations of an RPO partnership, remember to look at the whole picture. Your selected provider will become your partner and work side-by-side with you to grow your business and help you to be as successful as possible.

What questions would you ask a potential RPO partner? What aspects of the work are most important to you and your team?