Managing Recruitment Expectations: How to effectively work with your client as an RPO

Advice from experts · 8/16/2023 · 1 min read

Managing Recruitment Expectations: How to effectively work with your client as an RPO

Ever Been Asked These Questions?

"Will you be able to send me 10 candidates every week for each of the reqs you have? "

"I know that our salary offer is a bit on the low end but can we target candidates with more experience and preferably from one of our direct competitors? "

"if I give you this role with you today, will you be able to share 3 to 5 qualified and interested candidates with me this week?"

If you have ever come across any of these questions or others along the same lines, you have fully earned your badge of RPO Recruiter/Sourcer.

Recruitment is a critical process for any organization, as it directly impacts the company's growth and success. However, managing recruitment expectations can often be challenging, regardless of whether you are directly supporting business leaders and/or internal client recruiters as an RPO sourcer. In this article, we will explore the best ways to effectively manage recruitment expectations to ensure a successful and streamlined hiring process.

Establish Clear and Realistic Goals

The first step in managing recruitment expectations is to establish clear and realistic goals based on the nature of the search. Good pre-intake and intake calls tend to prepare the ground for a productive relationship between the client, their talent acquisition team and the RPO team that supports them.

Business leaders, their own TA team and RPO team members must align on the hiring needs, timelines and desired outcomes. By setting specific and achievable objectives, all parties can work towards a common vision and avoid any misunderstandings or discrepancies along the way. This starts with making sure that the needs and means of the business are fully captured and matched against the reality of the labor market.

At RocketPower, our sourcers and recruiters go into intake meetings with market insights that we pull from a variety of sources to gauge the size of the talent pool and the difficulty level of the search based on the geographic location options, salary, competition for similar talent and typical time to fill among other elements.

Communication is Key

Effective communication is vital in managing expectations. Regular and open lines of communication between business leaders, internal TA teams and the RPO provider facilitate a smooth recruitment process allowing the business to reconsider their expectations when appropriate and giving the RPO team the ability to adjust their recruitment strategies to be more effective based on the concerns, suggestions, and expectations shared by all parties. Additionally, transparent discussions ensure that everyone remains on the same page throughout the hiring cycle.

As an RPO consultant, I personally recommend meeting with the client at least once a week and sharing recruitment updates weekly as well to keep them fully informed.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly defining roles and responsibilities is essential for efficient recruitment management. Business leaders and internal TA teams should clearly understand the role of the RPO organization that supports them. Likewise, recruiters and sourcers on the RPO side need to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and limitations within the hiring process. By establishing these boundaries, everyone involved can work cohesively towards achieving recruitment goals without any confusion or overlapping responsibilities.

What I have seen over the 17 years I have been in the RPO industry is that clearly defining the handover point between RPO teams and internal TA teams is not only critical for all stakeholders to play their roles and know the key people to follow up with, but it also ensures good candidate experience and a swift hiring process.

Set Realistic Timelines

Recruitment processes can often take longer than anticipated. Setting realistic timelines is crucial to manage expectations effectively. Consider factors such as the availability of qualified candidates, market conditions, and the complexity of the roles being recruited for. Discussing these considerations upfront helps the client and recruiters develop realistic expectations about the hiring process and avoid unnecessary pressure or disappointments. It is important to note that realistic timelines should be defined not just for candidate delivery from the RPO but also for candidate review and interview feedback from the client.

At RocketPower, our insightful market reports, the breadth of experience of our specialized RPO professionals and their commitment to driving SLAs help identify reasonable timelines.

Leverage Data and Analytics: Data and analytics play a significant role in managing recruitment expectations. RPO providers often have access to valuable data insights and metrics that can provide visibility into the hiring process's progress. By leveraging this information, business leaders and recruiters can gain a better understanding of recruitment trends, candidate availability, and the overall effectiveness of the hiring strategy. Regular data-driven updates enable informed decision-making and adjustment of expectations when necessary.

This is one of the areas where RocketPower blew me away when I first joined back in early 2022. Their dedication to collecting and organizing data to provide insights and guide internal and client decisions has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Final Thoughts

Managing recruitment expectations is a collaborative effort between business leaders, recruiters, and the RPO provider. By establishing clear goals, fostering open communication, defining roles and responsibilities, setting realistic timelines, leveraging data and analytics, and continuously evaluating and improving the process, recruiters and sourcers can effectively manage expectations and streamline the recruitment cycle. When expectations are successfully managed for all parties, the outcome is usually a well oiled recruiting engine that not only leads to high-quality hires but also builds trust and strengthens partnerships between all stakeholders involved.