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Jan 13, 2022 IST Team

RPO vs. Staffing Agency: The Pros and Cons

Find out the pros and cons of RPO vs staffing agency as well as our recommendations.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, 57% of contractors have trouble finding skilled workers.

The real-world setbacks this struggle leads to are worrying. Skilled workers are asked to do more work, contractors struggle to meet deadlines, and over one-third of contractors turn down work.

Finding the right people to fill the roles you need on various construction sites at different times and often at short notice is difficult at the best of times.

Considering the above, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a watertight recruitment process. There are hundreds of options to choose from, but many agencies are split into two camps: RPO vs. Staffing Agency.

RPO vs. a Staffing Agency: What’s the Difference?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is outsourcing some aspects of the recruiting process to fill a company’s vacancies. The RPO might act as the business itself and take on as much, or as little of the recruitment process as the company wants.

A staffing agency is mainly used when a company has a specific role they need to fill quickly. Their services are sometimes used on an ad hoc basis when the position requires skilled workers, and the company is short on time.

You might have read through those explanations and already know which option would be better for your business. Before you make a decision, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of both.

How to Avoid Crisis

RPO: Pros

RPO providers take some of the stress of hiring skilled workers away from HR staff, allowing them to focus on other HR activities. The hiring process is faster because the RPO provider is focused solely on recruitment, including writing job descriptions and testing suitable candidates.

Many RPO providers are seen as an extension of the company, immersing themselves in the brand, company culture, and values, resulting in a consistent experience for the candidate. As RPO providers get to know your business, they understand the type of personality that will thrive in your working environment.

They can also assist in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

It might be easier for the RPO provider to hire for new roles in different locations as they focus on building a talent pipeline of suitable candidates, both active and passive, for your business.

The relationship an RPO builds with your business helps them forecast and make staffing predictions based on robust hiring analytics. This relationship also means they provide high-quality candidates because they take care of the recruitment process, from advertising on multiple job sites to vetting.

RPO: Cons

With an RPO taking the reins, employers have less control over the recruiting process, leading to problems. What if qualified candidates are overlooked?

The RPO provider might not understand or possibly misunderstand the company culture, role requirements, and candidates who are a good fit despite failing pre-determined tests.

It takes longer to get an RPO provider up to speed on the specific needs of your company or project, especially without industry expertise. The onboarding period needs to be part of your plan, too. An RPO needs to know your preferences, past successes, and failures to do a good job.

How to Avoid Crisis

Staffing Agency: Pros

The best staffing agencies focus on one sector and have spent years building a database of quality candidates to fill roles quickly and efficiently. A qualified candidate will promptly fill the position if a worker leaves the company due to sickness or injury.

Rather than posting on job boards, staffing agencies leverage their extensive network of skilled workers to fill roles, saving time and money.

Staffing agencies offer flexibility to companies who need to hire skilled contractors for various project stages, ensuring the contractor knows exactly what is expected of them, is paid accordingly, and leaves the project with no issues.

A staffing agency will take care of onboarding paperwork and contracts. They can handle payroll taxes, insurance, and benefits, and the employer doesn’t have the costs associated with healthcare, retirement plans, sick days, etc.

The best staffing agencies know the market inside out, and they understand what employees want from a role and salary ranges for every job.

Lastly, staffing agencies have their brand that they sell first; but great agencies are an advocate for your business and will go to bat for you if something were to go wrong.

Staffing Agency: Cons

Much like an RPO, your company has less control over the recruiting process. Not all staffing agencies spend time and resources to nurture a large candidate pool, so you might end up with subpar resumes.

Staffing agencies can provide the most qualified candidate for your position, but not necessarily for your culture and team. A temporary worker might not mesh with long-term employees, resulting in conflict.

The cost of using an agency rather than recruiting in-house is another expense to factor in. Do the benefits of outsourcing recruitment outweigh the cost?

“Niche” Staffing Agency vs. RPO: Which is Best for Your Company?

A “niche” staffing agency is best-equipped to serve your needs in the construction industry.

Many of the cons of hiring either an RPO or a staffing agency can be overcome by partnering with an agency that works solely in your sector and provides skilled, qualified workers to fill roles as needed.

Temporary staff help ensure projects are finished on schedule and budget, reducing the strain on your full-time workforce, and staffing agencies are better suited to recruiting short-term contracts.

You can get ahead of a manpower crisis by working with Industrial Skilled Trades and always have a deep bench of skilled workers ready to jump in as needed.

How to Avoid Crisis

Published by IST Team January 13, 2022
IST Team