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When is it Time to Outsource Recruiting?

Whether you work at a small company or a large corporation, you may reach a point (if you haven’t already) where you cannot stay on top of your hiring needs—especially if you take on more than just recruiting for your business. You might also feel like you don’t have the budget to outsource recruitment. Small business employees know the pain of wearing too many hats. If you know what I’m talking about, you have probably had the thought of outsourcing something to make your job more enjoyable.

So, when is it the right time? When do you throw in the towel and justify paying a third party to take on hiring and help you grow? It can be a tough decision, and the answer is different for each company. Let’s take a deeper look at outsource recruiting—advantages, disadvantages, service types, processes. By taking a closer look at recruiting process outsourcing, hopefully you can determine when (if at all) it is worthwhile for you and your company to outsource recruiting.

Outsourcing recruitment process:

The outsource recruiting process varies per company. Generally, the workflow will look something like this:

  1. Service agreement is executed between company and recruiting agency for any outsourced positions.
  2. The company places an “order” with a representative from the agency.
  3. The agency representative and/or their recruiting team will begin searching for candidates to fill the order by combing through internal databases, paid job boards, LinkedIn, social platforms, and referrals.
  4. Recruiters reach out to candidates and gauge interest in new opportunities. If they are interested, they will continue to vet candidates and determine whether they are qualified for submission.
  5.  The candidate is submitted to the hiring manager for approval (either within the agency or at the hiring company, it just depends).
  6. A candidate is selected to fill the order and is given an offer that is either negotiated through the agency or between candidate and company directly.
  7. Candidate is hired & recruiting agency either gets paid a flat rate per hire or a percentage of the new hire’s salary.

I would like to note that at NCW, we set ourselves apart from other recruiting and staffing firms in our process. Taking very detailed notes about the candidate’s experience and what they are looking for in a new opportunity is what makes us unique. It saves hiring managers time that they don’t have to go through resumes that may not give much detail on experience. It is a consistent reason our services are a game-changer for many of our customers.

What is RPO?

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Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is what companies do when they hand over all or part of the internal talent acquisition responsibilities to a third-party recruiter. It’s a relatively vague term

for staffing and recruiting services. RPO typically covers most direct hire or permanent placement services offered by an agency. RPO solutions can range from full spectrum recruiting to just a small part of the process, like sourcing candidates for the HR team. In most RPO agreements, the agency works as an extension of the company’s HR department (if

they have one that is responsible for talent recruitment), bringing in talent as if they worked for that company.

RPO Solutions usually include, but are not limited to: sourcing, screening, interviewing, negotiating and onboarding. Most companies utilize RPO for steps of the recruiting process where they have a bottleneck. For example, many companies do not have the resources or time that staffing and recruiting agencies do to search for active and passive candidates. They will frequently contract the “sourcing” part of the recruitment process to an agency, who will then pass qualified candidates to the company’s HR team to move forward with in the process.

Outsourcing Advantages & Disadvantages


  • Frees up time for HR or recruiting department to work on other parts of the process or other pressing tasks.
  • A way of recruiting passive candidates that you might not find otherwise.
  • Process moves faster because agencies specialize in recruiting and that is all they do.
  • Don’t have to turn people down yourself, recruiters do it for you.
  • Agencies typically offer guarantees that last anywhere from a month to a year – so if someone quits, they replace the employee with another candidate, free of charge.

Disadvantageswoman and man shaking hands

  • Not as closely involved sometimes.
  • Things can get lost in communication between candidate, recruiter and hiring manager.
  • It can be expensive.
  • Someone else is representing your company (and it can affect culture if you pick the wrong agency).

Our hope is that you’ve gained enough information to know when your company needs to outsource recruiting. Growth is a great thing, but it comes with a unique set of challenges. Not every company is equipped to take on the hiring demands that growth requires.

NCW has worked with many growing companies over the years to help ease their recruiting burden. It’s what we do. And we can help you too! Submit our contact form if you’re interested in learning more about our services or talking with a representative from our team.