HRO Today: Enterprising RPO

Five trends that are shaping how large organizations find and hire talent.

By Christa Elliott

RPO has become an old friend to many enterprises, helping organizations prepare for staffing growth and implement much-needed innovation in order to hire the best talent. And through the years, recruiting has never stagnated. On the contrary, every market change brings a new crop of RPO trends that can help companies better attract candidates, manage onboarding, and perform a whole host of enhanced recruiting functions.

Today, organizations face a candidate-driven market—one that puts pressure on employers to double down on efforts to improve the candidate experience and champion the employer brand. In the midst of this competitive atmosphere, organizations that pay close attention to SEO traffic and analytics will also likely experience success, as will those that prepare for the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution and the advent of Google for Jobs. RPO partnerships will play a large role in ensuring that organizations understand how they can benefit from these trends and achieve their hiring goals.

Trend #1: Preparing for Google for Jobs

Business analysts from Forbes and other notable outlets are already speculating about Google’s upcoming Google for Jobs feature and its potential to send shock waves through the $200 billion recruiting industry. The feature allows users to type “jobs near me” into the Google search bar and returns a curated list of relevant jobs based on data collected from other career sites, such as Indeed and Monster. Its power to upend traditional recruiting, however, will depend on its functionality and how much time Google puts into marketing and perfecting it.

“Google for Jobs may soon be able to offer organizations valuable analytics to help address their particular hiring needs. But in many ways, the human approach and expertise are just as critical as the available technology in translating data into actionable intelligence,” says Jason Roberts, global head of technology and analytics for Randstad Sourceright. “The combination of expertise in statistical analysis, application programming, recruiting and business strategy is not likely to be supported by Google for Jobs or even an in-house talent function.”

For well-established RPO providers, Google for Jobs should not cause a huge shift. “It’s bad news for a number of publishers, but since most RPO providers were working with most or all of the publishers anyway, it’s not a significant change,” says Cielo’s Vice President of Technology Solutions Adam Godson. “In essence, Google simply declared themselves the winner of the SEO game that Indeed was winning before.”

Godson does recommend that organizations ensure that their vacancies appear directly on Google for Jobs via SEO strategy. They should also continue to partner broadly with a variety of sources in order to stimulate web traffic and offline traffic from the right audiences and craft thoughtful job descriptions that resonate with applicants. 

Trend #2: SEO Traffic and Analytics

Along with being an intelligent strategy in the face of Google for Jobs, SEO traffic and analytics continue to gain traction as ways to discover what candidates want from career sites and how well those sites are attracting applicants. There was a time when building and marketing an attractive career site was an afterthought for enterprise organizations, but that is no longer the case. 

According to Randstad Sourceright’s most recent Talent Trends Survey, 76 percent of the human capital leaders surveyed said analytics play a critical role in engaging talent, and 48 percent are investing in analytics dashboards to better manage and predict talent needs to keep them aligned with business growth and objectives.

“Large organizations are realizing that to attract and engage candidates they need to not only address SEO, and expand their application of analytics, but also enable flexible and relevant technologies,” says Pontoon Vice President Global Emerging Technology and Projects Annie Hammer. “Many organizations are looking to external partners to assist them with this as the market is complex and talent acquisition cannot be an expert in all things technology and analytics.“

These external partners include technology platforms, job boards, and service providers—all of which are critical to a multi-faceted recruitment plan. Ideally, the data provided by SEO traffic and analytics will also inform decisions about how and where advertising dollars are spent. For example, if the data reveals that a keyword is no longer grabbing candidates, an ad can be adjusted to make it more attractive.

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