RPO program location – 4 things to consider

When your potential RPO provider submits a proposal, part of the solution will be the location of the program team. RPO teams are either located onsite, offsite or a combination of the two. Having an onsite team can make communication easier and more convenient as well as improve individual accountability. However, it also limits an RPO provider’s ability to flex the team up and down, slows the spread of new techniques and can lead to scope creep. So, how do you know which model works best for you? Here are four things to consider:


The first consideration is the tasks being performed. The scope of your RPO may require some tasks to be performed at your site. Examples include proctored assessments, interview coordination for candidates visiting in groups or frequent onsite events. In this case, your RPO provider should determine the number of onsite personnel required to complete those tasks as well as the amount of onsite support or management they will need.


We all naturally want as much in-person interaction as possible. Onsite team members can easily join you in a meeting down the hall one afternoon or you can stop by their desk anytime. This high-touch service can be desirable, but there is a trade-off. Attending impromptu meetings means less time interacting with candidates or offsite hiring managers.

Also consider who is interacting. Hiring managers in the field, or even another building, typically interact with recruiters by phone or email. So, having the recruiters at your site may not provide the added benefit you had assumed.


If this is a first generation RPO for your company, consider the level of change that will occur when moving to an RPO provider. You should expect your RPO provider to make significant improvements, which can result in a significant number of changes. It may be a step too far to have the entire RPO program team offsite immediately. You may be better off gradually transitioning to your ideal state. Your RPO provider can submit a plan to have a greater onsite presence initially, and then move roles to a delivery center over time. This will minimize the impact of change at go live, while allowing you to take advantage of the efficiency and flexibility of a delivery center in the future.

Customer Service

In the end, you may consider the first three factors and find that none point to having onsite personnel. Yet, you still may want to include onsite teams in your requirements. That is because being onsite can provide a higher level of customer service, a.k.a. higher touch. Being onsite allows for greater relationship building, a fuller understanding of your culture and just plain convenience. Be sure to determine which personnel are required to provide higher customer service and only locate those positions onsite.

Once you have determined what roles you need onsite, if any, tell your potential RPO provider what your requirements are and why you require them. This will allow them to provide you with a custom solution that addresses all of your needs. What experiences have you had that led to one type of program or the other?