According to some data I've read recently, the RPO / third  party recruiter landscape is due to grow by another 25-30% over the next 3 years, or in excess of $1.5Bn dollars.

Regardless of how accurate a forecast these numbers are, there is no doubting that RPO is here for the foreseeable future, in part due to some phenomenally successful results to date as well as the fact that there are now a large number of organizations whose heads are being turned towards employing RPO as a recruitment solution.

What are the views from recruiters and resourcing professionals out there in terms of this sector and how do you intend to meet this challenge? Embrace, disregard or simply treat as a necessary evil? My own view is that in simple terms, it's a case of recruiters having to be both smarter as well as recognizing and then accepting, that the customer is changing. Dialogue as well as KPIs and SLA's etc, are coming under greater scrutiny which can only be a good thing if they are robust, relevant and add genuine value to the end game. 

But my question and challenge is this. Where historically employers as clients have built relationships with a discreet number of recruiters who can get close enough to their business to make them a success, the customer relationship has changed / is changing to such an extent that the RPO model is centered on sweating as much out of a wider set of recruiters in a "no stone unturned" approach, as well as it would seem, keeping recruiters at arms length for fear that they might actually build a collaborative relationship with them! Surely this is not a way to maximize the potential in any business relationship, particularly a people centric business such as recruitment.

So, if you are one of the ones out there looking to embrace RPO /third party recruitment relationships, how are you going about it and if you are distancing yourself from the world of RPO, what is your rationale for this approach?

At Stopgap we've taken the view that it's a growing market and a growing market is a potentially profitable one - as long as you can protect your margins through innovation and real added value. There in lies another challenge.....

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