I had the pleasure of having lunch with David Manaster of ERE a few weeks ago, and from that, he had Scott Baxt of ERE contacted me and sent me their report on:
Recruitment Process Outsourcing; An Assessment of Outsourcing Prevalence and Effectiveness: September 2006.
I've had a chance to review the document, but need to set up the story before I can give it an honest take.
RPO, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, is an umbrella name for a lot of human resource functions. In addition to third party firm contingent recruiting (which some people consider outsourcing and some do not), the term describes sourcing, background checks, Applicant Tracking Systems, reference checks, credit checks, vendor management systems and on-site contract recruiters.
Where I came from (Staffing Firm), RPO was a code word for either a VMS or a Managed Vendor system. The report set me straight on the term, which should be helpful to staffing executives fearful of losing part of the contingent pie.
The report is the compilation of the research efforts of Elizabeth Saperstein, the Research Director of ERE media and her team of experts, including several folks at the Newman Group. Using a survey based on ERE subscribers, the results and recommendations of the report lays out a snapshot of the ERE subscriber base and their approach to RPO. The method seems mosty sound, in that only half of the 334 responses were deemed valid, and while selection bias plays a dual role (voluntary submission of results and the subscriber base itself), the report serves an educational role rather than a stastical one, and ERE does an excellent job not overreaching conclusions or trying to sell a service in place of the report's results (Research Methodology and Scope are layed out in the beginning).
That said, let's get to the meat.