What is Sales Recruitment Process Outsourcing - RPO
Sales Recruitment
min read

What is Sales Recruitment Process Outsourcing - RPO

Learn about sales recruitment process outsourcing - an HR process that can help your business find and hire qualified sales professionals.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

January 24, 2023

The Complete Guide to Sales RPO: Sales Recruitment Process Outsourcing

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Recruiting sales staff can be stressful. You might only have a short time to source, attract, interview, screen, hire, and onboard employees in your organization. This process can eat up internal resources, slow down day-to-day workflows, and take attention away from your existing sales team.

Sales recruitment process outsourcing (sales RPO) can solve the problems above. This involves transferring sales recruitment processes to an external specialist, eliminating the need for additional in-house recruiters or external recruitment agencies. Experts predict the global RPO market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.4% from 2020-2027 as more companies adopt this method, so recruitment process outsourcing is something you need to know more about now!

Learn about sales RPO, how it works, what to expect from this business model, and more below. 

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What is Recruitment Process Outsourcing?

RPO outsources part of or all of your sales recruitment process to a third-party vendor, freeing up resources in your organization. Your RPO provider is responsible for:

  • Finding qualified and experienced people for your sales team
  • Attracting talent to your company 
  • Recruiting talent 
  • Onboarding talent 

Depending on your organizational requirements, RPO providers can support you throughout the recruitment life cycle, reducing or eliminating the work associated with finding, recruiting, and onboarding sales team members. That lets you focus on other tasks such as managing digitally-enabled sales teams who convert inbound leads into customers, clients, and profits — something The Sales Connection can take to the next level. 

Your sales recruitment process outsource vendor might work from a remote location or at your physical office. It all depends on your business needs and preferences. 

What Are 3 Recruitment Methods You Can Outsource?

There are various recruitment methods you can outsource to a sales RPO vendor. Here are three popular ones:


An RPO vendor can prepare and structure interviews, standardize questions, adhere to compliance requirements, and create a better experience for job candidates. 


An RPO vendor can carry out background and criminal checks on your behalf, helping you make more informed decisions about the people you hire in your organization. 


An RPO vendor can integrate sales employees into your organization and help them transition to their new roles. You can streamline orientation tasks such as communicating your company culture, mission, and values.  

How Does RPO Work?

RPO vendors use various technologies to support and guide your recruitment processes. These technologies might include:

  • An applicant tracking system (ATS) that manages your hiring needs
  • Market intelligence software that contextualizes data about potential job candidates, industry trends, and recruitment workflows
  • Talent analytics tools that identify the top sales talent for your specific requirements

All these tools support talent acquisition and help you find the right salespeople for the role when you need them.. 

The great thing about working with an RPO vendor is that you can outsource the recruitment processes you need the most help with. You might want to work with a vendor to hire additional sales employees for the holiday rush. Alternatively, you can use RPO for an upcoming campaign that requires a few extra sales support reps. Your RPO vendor works for you, not the other way around, so you call the shots!

Some of the most popular recruitment process outsourcing models include:

Enterprise RPO

Enterprise or end-to-end RPO is when you outsource all your recruitment processes to a third party. Those processes include finding, interviewing, vetting, and onboarding people for your sales team. Larger companies might choose this method when delegating recruitment responsibilities to an external source. Enterprises often have many job roles to fill and don't have time to interview hundreds of candidates. 

On-demand RPO

On-demand RPO happens when you work with a vendor for a specific period. This model can help you cover a shortfall in sales staff or find the right employees for a temporary project such as a new product launch. Like enterprise RPO, on-demand RPO usually involves a third party taking care of sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding team members. 

Hybrid RPO

Hybrid RPO provides you with the best of both worlds. You can benefit from a reputable vendor who handles some recruitment procedures while leveraging the talent and expertise of your in-house HR or recruitment team. You decide which responsibilities to outsource to the third party and let your existing team do the rest of the work. 

Selective RPO

Selective RPO involves the delegation of a specific recruitment function to a vendor. Some of the functions you can outsource include recruitment marketing, interviewing, applicant screening, and onboarding. You might use this RPO model if you can handle the bulk of recruitment processes in-house, but need some additional help for a particular task to meet your overall hiring goals. 

Contingent recruiter on demand 

Contingent recruiter on demand (ROD) involves an RPO vendor competing with your internal hiring team — and maybe a second RPO vendor — to fill an open vacancy quickly. In this scenario, you might only pay the vendor if they successfully hire the right person for the position. Contingent ROD could benefit your organization if it has an imminent hiring need that requires an outside vendor. 

What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Recruitment?

So, what can RPO recruitment process outsourcing do for your business? Here are some of the advantages of this business model:

Improve time-to-fill

Time-to-fill determines how long it takes to fill an open position in your organization. The right RPO vendor improves time-to-fill by identifying issues in your existing recruitment workflows and sourcing the most suitable candidate for the role. Instead of sifting through resumes and reaching potential candidates on LinkedIn, a vendor can do all the hard work for you and leverage their expertise and experience to fill positions quickly. 

Minimize/reduce costs of recruitment agencies

A traditional recruitment agency usually charges 25-100% of the hourly wage of any employee you hire through that company. On a markup of 25% and an hourly wage of $20, you pay the agency $5 per hour, which significantly reduces an employee's earnings. 

You can reduce these costs with recruitment outsource processing. That's because an RPO vendor typically charges a fixed price for every hire (rather than a percentage of an employee's wage) or a one-off cost for every recruitment process you outsource — applicant sourcing, interviews, background checks, etc. 

Improve compliance

Compliance requirements when recruiting sales employees are incredibly complex and ever-evolving. These requirements include criminal background checks and adherence to regulations set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Outsourcing recruitment responsibilities to an RPO makes sense if you want to stay on the right side of the law and avoid expensive fines for non-compliance. Your vendor will mitigate the risks associated with hiring new sales employees by auditing your ability to adhere to government regulations and identifying any risks that might jeopardize your organization. The best RPO sales vendors keep their ears to the ground for the latest legislative changes that impact your industry, ensuring your compliance procedures are legally sound. 

Reduce/eliminate administrative tasks

The administrative burden of recruitment might be overwhelming for your organization. Writing job descriptions, posting them online, contacting qualified candidates, arranging interviews, and completing other menial tasks can drain resources and increase time-to-fill. Think about what you could achieve if you didn't have to do these jobs! 

Recruitment process outsourcing provides value to your organization by reducing or eliminating administration during recruitment workflows. Your vendor can create job postings, review resumes, manage interviews, engage with candidates, carry out background checks, and execute other tasks you don't have the time or resources to complete. 

Access to new technologies

Your RPO vendor might have technologies that don't exist in your organization, such as applicant tracking systems and talent analytics tools. These technologies help your vendor find the most qualified and experienced sales team members for your organization and improve recruitment outcomes.

Market intelligence software, for example, can identify patterns in data about labor supply, demand, industry trends, salary requirements, and other factors that influence recruitment processes. An RPO vendor using this technology will generate insights into the job market, giving you an advantage over competitors looking for sales staff. 

Standardize recruitment strategies

You might currently use multiple recruitment methodologies, depending on the role, hiring managers, or hiring needs. Investing in RPO will standardize your recruitment processes, allowing you to evaluate candidates based on the same parameters to improve productivity. 

An RPO vendor will design a standardized workflow that suits your organization's recruitment objectives. This workflow might include asking job applicants the same questions, thereby providing a more consistent experience for everyone involved in the interview stage. Standardized workflows can also result in your organization making faster decisions about candidates because fewer variables are involved. 


Recruitment process outsourcing can help you realize your hiring goals, whether you require 10 or 1,000 hires. You can scale your recruitment objectives based on business demands and find suitable candidates for specific projects and periods. When upscaling, your vendor can provide lots of resources for filling positions and anticipating staffing needs. When downscaling, your vendor will take a backseat but still offer guidance and support for future recruitment workflows. 

Access to more qualified sales professionals

Your recruitment process outsourcing vendor might have access to potential sales employees who aren't part of your talent pool. Partnerships with colleges and sales organizations allow RPO staffing vendors to source talented candidates who might not come across your job postings, helping you build a more successful talent network. 

A recruitment process outsourcing solution can also find specialist sales professionals who are difficult to reach through conventional recruitment methods. These professionals might have niche skills like data analysis and legal experience, helping you diversify your team and gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing sales landscape. 

Improve internal skill sets

Working with an RPO vendor is a beneficial experience for your internal hiring team. In-house recruitment professionals will work alongside an experienced and accomplished company and learn new skills in the process. The best vendors can transform your entire hiring process and bring innovative ideas to the table that will make internal employees think differently about their roles and responsibilities. 

What Can You Expect From an RPO Partnership?

Each RPO partnership is different, so it's difficult to predict your experience with a vendor. However, you should expect a certain level of service and quality from any partner you work with. Your service level agreement with an RPO company will detail the deliverables you can expect to receive from the vendor. 


It might seem strange to delegate recruitment to an outside source, especially if you have always managed this process in-house. That's why trust is so critical in an RPO partnership. You should feel confident outsourcing critical processes like interviewing and screening to your vendor without feeling like you are taking a risk. 

Reputable RPO solutions will alleviate trust concerns by providing testimonials from previous clients and communicating a framework for recruitment success based on their experience. You can also ask for evidence of past results with clients to see if you and the vendor are a good fit. 

Adequate communication

Communication is critical for successful recruitment process outsourcing, whether your vendor is located remotely or in your physical office. A vendor should tell you how they plan to execute or enhance your recruitment processes regularly so everyone is on the same page. 

Communication works both ways. You will need to share information with your vendor to collaborate effectively. Failing to communicate your needs and wishes will only result in poor recruitment outcomes and make it difficult to acquire the sales talent required for your organization.

Alignment of goals

Even if your vendor has different values than your organization, you will work toward a common recruitment goal. That goal might be to source the most suitable candidates for a short-term sales project or improve compliance with government legislation during recruitment. 

Make sure you communicate your goal with your vendor at the earliest opportunity. That will help build your relationship and minimize any communication failures. Ultimately, your vendor will take proactive steps to reach your goal and provide the helping hand you need. 


Integrity is one of the most important qualities to expect from an RPO partner. A vendor with strong moral principles will identify shortcomings in your hiring processes and tell you about them. That can help you improve talent sourcing and acquisition strategies. 

When maintaining a partnership with a vendor, you should also be honest if you don't like the direction your recruitment workflows are moving in. Telling your vendor about any issues you have with their processes will ultimately strengthen your bond and deliver better results. 


A good RPO vendor will be as passionate about finding the correct candidates for your organization as you are. That means taking an active interest in every component of your recruitment operations while providing guidance and inspiration. Even if it seems as though you'll never fill an open position because of a lack of quality applicants, your vendor will remain committed to achieving your shared goal.

Collaboration, not control

The right RPO vendor knows when to hold back and let your in-house recruitment team members shine. They collaborate with, not control, your existing team and sit in the passenger seat whenever you want to drive recruitment forward. Never feel like you should relinquish power to an RPO company because that will change the dynamic of your relationship, resulting in inadequate hiring outcomes. 

What Is the Difference Between RPO recruiting and BPO?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is an umbrella term for various business tasks you can delegate to an external vendor. Those tasks might include IT, customer service, and financial management. RPO is a type of business process outsourcing that involves only recruitment tasks, such as sourcing qualified sales professionals and onboarding new hires. 

What Is the Difference Between RPO and MSP?

A managed service provider can handle various HR functions for your organization, such as recruitment, payroll, workforce planning, employee record management, benefits administration, and disciplinary actions. RPO focuses exclusively on recruitment workflows, such as interviewing, screening, and onboarding. 

What Is RPO Recruiting Outsourcing vs. US Staffing Agencies?

Staffing or recruitment agencies match qualified sales professionals to your job openings, often on a temporary or temporary-permanent basis. RPO vendors take more of an active role in your organization by managing part of or all of the recruitment life cycle. These vendors fulfill your recruitment needs by using the latest tools and technologies to streamline tasks, find qualified candidates, and fill open job vacancies, providing your company with ongoing value. 

Final Word

Sales recruitment process outsourcing takes the stress out of sourcing, attracting, interviewing, screening, hiring, and onboarding sales employees in your organization. You can find the talent your business requires with the help of an experienced RPO vendor. With their help, you will benefit from industry knowledge and expertise, eliminating the need for additional in-house recruiters and recruitment agencies. Choose an RPO partner you can trust, who provides ongoing communication, and works toward a shared common recruitment goal.   

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Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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