HR Administration

RPO Goes Global

By Susan Ladika

Jul. 13, 2012

The borders are gradually coming down as more multinational corporations use recruitment process outsourcing services outside of the United States and Canada.

The practice first took off in the North American market, but in the past 12 to 18 months, “I’ve really seen an uptick in the adoption of multicountry RPO,” says Rajesh Ranjan, a vice president at the Everest Group, a consultancy.

In 2010 there were 31 multicountry deals signed, with 18 covering more than two countries. Last year saw the number spike to 48 new multicountry deals—30 of which covered more than two countries, according to the Everest Group report Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Annual Report 2012—Raising the Bar to Sustain Momentum.

Nearly 60 percent of those deals were signed by organizations with headquarters in the United States, Ranjan says. “They’re solving talent acquisition not only for the U.S., but also for multiple countries.”

In many cases, using an RPO provider for several countries helps organizations link up with the best talent globally and offers better control and more standardization when it comes to bringing on new hires, the Everest Group found.

Multicountry RPO can also play an important role because workforces are shrinking in many parts of the world, making it even harder to fill positions that are in high demand, says Zachary Misko, a vice president at Kelly OCG Outsourcing & Consulting Group.

Kate Donovan, managing director of ManpowerGroup Solutions, has seen a similar interest in expanding searches beyond national borders. “It’s very difficult to find the talent needed, so companies need to look globally for people.”

ManpowerGroup Solutions specializes its efforts in four areas: telecommunications, manufacturing, financial services and natural resources, which is particularly in demand in emerging markets.

“For U.S. multinationals that have no foot on the ground in a country, they’re looking for a partner who knows the local environment and has the expertise to get the job done,” Donovan says.

Susan Ladika is a writer based in Tampa, Florida. Comment below or email

Workforce Management, July 2012, p. 18Subscribe Now!

Susan Ladika is a writer based in Tampa, Florida.

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