Tags: recruitment tips, industry insights, blog

It seems barely a week goes by without the publication of a new report predicting further increases in job opportunities in the UK. 

In Q1 of 2014, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG's Report on Jobs showed vacancies rising at their fastest pace since May 1998, whilst starting salaries also started to creep up in all regions of the country. 

Before that, the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development released its own Labour Market Outlook, which showed unemployment rates are tumbling and businesses are increasingly keen to hire new staff.

Clearly, Britain's labour market is in decent shape and employers are expected to spend the coming months sifting through CVs and covering letters as they look to add more valuable team members to their organisation. 

Recruitment processes have changed

The way in which companies recruit new employees has changed dramatically in the past few years, thanks in no small part to significant technological advancements. 

For example, social networking platforms have become vital hiring tools and have enabled businesses to improve the way they assess potential new recruits. Firms can get a much better idea of what a person is like if they take a look at their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles. 

Companies are inundated with job applications and picking out the most suitable candidates from a pile of hundreds of CVs can be a thankless, resource-sapping task. 

With so much digital data being made available, it is no surprise that a lot of enterprises are finding the whole recruitment process far more time consuming. As such, it is a good idea to outsource all or part of this task to a specialist third-party organisation. 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing is a growing trend

As the global economy continues to recover, companies are expected to be more active in 2014. 

This means many firms will have their resources stretched to the limit, which is one of the reasons why recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) appears to be a growing trend. 

By using a third-party recruitment specialist, businesses can relieve some of the strain on their human resources departments, allowing them to spend more time on other things, such as improving staff retention rates. 

In a recent blog post, the US-based Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) warned companies not to overexert themselves. 

The industry body stated: "With the increasing complexity of recruiting because of social media, new technology, promoting open positions, and changing behaviours of the job pool, keeping your entire recruiting process in-house may not be the best way to handle all this complexity. 

"Yes, some companies can do it, but if your company is struggling it may be a good idea to outsource some or all of your hiring and recruiting functions."

RPO: A customised service

Aside from allowing companies to make better use of their internal resources, RPO offers numerous other benefits.

A properly managed RPO programme will enable businesses to reduce costs and find highly-skilled workers from a much larger talent pool. Service providers can also provide clear metrics, which makes it easier to see how new recruits are performing and which hiring techniques are proving most effective. 

Leaders at the RPOA also believe that companies can benefit from the personalised nature of the solutions offered by RPO experts. Every organisation is different and firms are keen to work with a specialist that can provide a more bespoke service. 

"The biggest thing that potential buyers need to know about RPO is that customised solutions are becoming more popular," the RPOA recently wrote in another blog post. 

"Since buyers are coming into the process knowing more about what they need and what they want out of a provider, providers are willing to do more to meet those needs and to give buyers the value they deserve."

The organisation added that in order to be successful in 2014, businesses must ensure they have good communication with their RPO provider. Being able to trust an external source to bring in experienced and talented employees who can hit the ground running is vital.