CWS 3.0: December 15, 2010 - Vol 2.24

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Heard on the Street

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has had its share of critics and suffered like everything else during the recession. But the RPO concept is slowly making a comeback, especially in emerging markets where the economies are experiencing rapid growth, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

However, even within the United States, the RPO concept is gaining a toehold. Here's why. The economy is slowly inching back; many companies are beginning to hire again because their businesses are growing or they cut back more than they should have during the recession. Organizations need to source and onboard quality talent to support their business objectives and maintain growth momentum. To achieve these goals, companies are turning to direct hire and RPO as a cost-effective and efficient recruitment solution.

While staffing firms have long been touting the benefits of RPO, the value proposition has always been unclear to companies. That is changing. "The way it has evolved, first-generation RPO deals were really focused on high-volume, nonexempt jobs," says Browne.  RPO was primarily a product for the Fortune 500, where firms with more than 10,000 employees would outsource acquisition of some of the lower-level positions, such as like customer service. In the meantime, corporations' internal recruitment teams focused on the higher-impact positions that were more strategic to the organization.

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