The Medicus Firm Blog

August 29 2023

Healthcare Recruitment Process Outsourcing: A How-To Guide



Recruitment process outsourcing refers to a talent model approach in which a service provider partners with the recruiting and human resources departments of healthcare organizations to quickly and efficiently hire applicants. This method not only guarantees higher quality candidates, but it lowers costs and helps to ensure a good culture fit. 

By implementing an RPO solution in your talent acquisition, you're allowing each expert to do what they do best - your RPO provider is handling the sourcing and recruiting, and your healthcare professionals are caring for patients. Utilizing an RPO provider also allows you to receive applicants of the highest caliber for your talent pipeline. You'll also be able to quickly scale your staff size based on demand. 

In this blog, we will discuss the advantages of utilizing RPO services, how to choose the right RPO provider, ways that you can leverage technology in RPO, and how to implement RPO in your staffing. For smaller healthcare organizations, utilizing healthcare recruitment process outsourcing solutions has been a game-changer. Continue reading to find out why.  


Benefits of RPO in Healthcare Staffing 

Some benefits of using RPO in healthcare staffing include forward thinking, cost savings, risk mitigation, clinical oversight, improved metrics, and minimized investment. When it comes to cost savings, an RPO solution can provide a nice balance of permanent and temporary staff members. RPO can also aid in the hiring process by reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and finding quality candidates. 

Utilizing RPO gives employers complete control over the recruitment process, from the phone screen to the job offer. RPO is also better for the long-term in that a talent pipeline is built with active and passive candidates to maintain a constant delivery of resources. Meanwhile, traditional staffing and recruitment agencies focus on candidates that are qualified for specific positions as required.  

As was previously mentioned, hiring RPO providers can help improve your time-to-fill metrics and the quality of your hires. Having an RPO partnership can help reduce lost revenue by using their expertise to find and recruit quality talent. On average, recruitment process outsourcing reduces hiring time by about 40%, and supplies cost savings of 50% or more. 


Understanding the RPO Model 

In a recruitment process outsourcing model, an employer's recruitment process is transferred to a third party, allowing healthcare organizations to improve their talent acquisition process. A partnership in an RPO model allows for organizations to receive guidance in talent acquisition, starting with recruiting and leading all the way up to onboarding. It is important to note that each candidate you receive through RPO is exclusively your candidate and is not shared with any other organization. 

While there are different solutions that you can choose from for different levels of service, the process includes these steps: 

  1. Send a requisition request 

  1. Source candidates (passive and active) 

  1. Phone screen potential candidates 

  1. Develop a candidate profile and submit to the client 

  1. Interview candidate(s) 

  1. Pre-hiring process & offer 


There are many different types of RPO models to choose from. Among these models are End-to-End, Project-Based, On-Demand, Hybrid, Co-Sourcing, and Function-Specific. It is important that you're choosing your preferred RPO model based on your organization's needs. 

When healthcare organizations are looking to implement RPO into their recruitment process, there are a few things to consider when selecting an RPO model. Most importantly, you need to take into account your organization's goal(s) in using a third party for your recruitment - what specifically are you trying to achieve? From there, you need to assess the cost of outsourcing recruitment. Think about whether or not it would be cost efficient to outsource your recruitment. Once you know your goals and your cost, next comes choosing your standards - what are you looking for in an RPO partner? 

Once you've considered those three things, you need to think about hiring timelines and company culture, as well as the execution strategy of the RPO experts. This is when you will work closely with them to provide an accurate timeline to help you meet your hiring goals. 


Choosing the Right RPO Provider for Healthcare Staffing 

When it comes to finding a provider that's right for you, there are a number of things to take into consideration: their healthcare industry knowledge, accountability, their understanding of your organization's needs, their use of technology and sourcing methods, and understanding the talent market that you have to work with. 

It is also imperative that when you're choosing your provider or partner to help with your staffing, you're paying close attention to their reputation, the experience that they have in the industry, and the industry knowledge that they bring with them. They aren't the provider for you if they don't understand the healthcare landscape or your organization's end goal. 

An RPO solution that is customized and scaled to fit an organization's needs is going to be the most successful. The customization process starts with identifying your needs - what are your current and future hiring requirements? 

From there, you will need to identify your RPO provider. Do some research and evaluate providers in the healthcare industry. You will then need to create a collaborative partnership with your provider to make sure your goals, expectations, and processes are aligned. This will ensure that your provider's solution is tailored to your organization's needs. You will work closely with your provider to customize processes that align with your organization's culture and goals. The process you end up with may include interview processes, candidate assessments, and onboarding procedures that fit your needs. It is crucial that your RPO provider has the ability to accommodate fluctuations in volume, such as seasonal variations or hiring surges. 


The Role of RPO in Talent Planning and Management 

It is your responsibility as an organization to communicate with your RPO provider what your organization's goals and workforce plan are. They need to know what you're trying to achieve, what tools they have to work with, and what your workforce planning looks like. Workforce planning includes analyzing and planning workforce supply and demand, assessing gaps, and determining talent management interventions. This ensures that an organization has the right people with the right skills to fill the role. 

Adding recruitment process outsourcing to your talent acquisition strategy frees up effort on your part, and is an excellent way for you to meet your healthcare staffing needs. By using an RPO provider, you have access to a wider talent pool, there's a more efficient screening and selection process in place, there will be more focus on employer branding, recruitment and hiring speeds will increase, and there will be continuous talent pipeline management. This will result in employees staying in their roles for longer due to an enhanced experience, as well as being well-fit for the position. 

Talent management groups can be integrated with RPO to align long-term talent strategies with recruitment efforts, maximizing the impact of talent management initiatives on recruitment. As it goes with customizing any strategy, you first need to identify your goals. From there, you should align your external recruitment strategy with those goals and collaborate with your recruitment provider on workforce planning initiatives. As part of your talent management, you should be utilizing improvement and feedback loops to provide the best environment possible for your talent. 


Leveraging Technology in RPO for Healthcare Staffing 

Technology is constantly advancing, and it's important that you know how to leverage it to accompany your RPO solutions. Automation is a great way to use technology for your advantage - you can automate things like resume screening, pre-screening assessments, and even interview scheduling. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is another great tool that you can use in your recruitment. ATS platforms are used for tracking applicants' progress, managing communication, and storing applicants' information. By leveraging technology in your recruitment strategy, you're streamlining the process for everyone involved. 

You're likely already using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system in your talent acquisition process, so how do you make them work in tandem with Recruitment Process Outsourcing? Your Applicant Tracking System can be used for candidate management, data sharing, reporting and analytics, and an improved candidate experience. Your Candidate Relationship Management system will also be used for data sharing, reporting, analytics, improved workflow, and an improved candidate experience. Using these tools alongside a third-party provider will allow you to streamline your recruitment and add the most talented candidates to your talent pipeline. 

Data analysis and reporting can help you identify the KPIs that are most relevant to your hiring goals and objectives. Set KPIs based on things like cost-per-hire, sourcing effectiveness, quality of hires, and retention rates. You can also use data analysis and reporting to analyze recruitment trends and identify successful recruitment strategies resulting in attracting and hiring high-quality candidates. 


RPO Implementation Process in Healthcare 

When you're looking to implement RPO into your talent acquisition efforts, it is important to first consider how the needs in healthcare differ from the needs in other industries. Once you assess how your needs might be different than those of an employer in another field, you'll need to choose an RPO and establish a relationship with them. Let them know your needs and goals and work with them to map out and compare their process with your organization's current systems. From there, you can work with them to ensure that they have effective sourcing strategies and a proper process for verifying licenses, certifications, and credentials. 

Once an RPO solution is in place, roles and responsibilities may shift a bit. Management will still maintain oversight, but they will no longer be handling fewer daily recruitment activities. Clear expectations will be set between the RPO provider and management, and a partnership will be formed. Stakeholders will receive information about RPO, such as advantages and purpose, from management. Concerns and changes will be addressed and RPO provider performance will be monitored. 

The easiest ways to succeed when implementing RPO include clearly defining goals and expectations, conducting a needs assessment, selecting an experienced provider, establishing effective communication, setting KPIs, and providing adequate training and support. These factors are guaranteed to smooth out your RPO implementation process and provide improved outcomes and a strong partnership. 


Managing Compliance and Regulatory Requirements 

To maintain compliance and regulatory requirements while using RPO, you must first select a provider who is knowledgeable in the healthcare field. You should clearly communicate compliance expectations to your provider, as well as conduct a thorough screening for a qualified provider. It is important that you ensure that your RPO provider is complying with data protection regulations, such as HIPAA - implement safeguards to prevent unauthorized access and handle confidential information. Once these processes are in place, continue to monitor your provider's compliance practices and performance to ensure that there are no future issues. 

To protect your organization and everyone in it, you should take some steps to ensure that there are no slip-ups that could impact the security of your data. This can be done by establishing an NDA with your provider, identifying confidential information, establishing access controls and permissions, and providing confidentiality training. It's also important that you maintain open lines of communication with your provider so that any concerns can be addressed, clarifications can be provided, and you can ensure that there is continuous adherence to confidentiality requirements. 


Evaluating the ROI of RPO in Healthcare Staffing 

If you're looking to track the impact that RPO has on your KPIs, be sure to analyze your metrics before implementing RPO. Without having a baseline to start with, there's nothing to go on to determine the difference that RPO has made on your KPIs. After that, you need to analyze and interpret the data that comes along with your RPO. What patterns are you noticing? Is there a noticeable relationship between the RPO implementation and the changes in your metrics? 

Before you continue to outsource your recruitment for healthcare services, analyze the cost effectiveness. Remember, cost effectiveness is more than just budget-related - if you're saving time by outsourcing, your RPO solutions are still cost efficient. Also look at how much you're investing compared to what you're receiving - is it worth it for you to continue to outsource your recruiting? Assess the quality of your hires, consider the time-to-fill metrics, estimate what your costs were before recruitment outsourcing, and define the cost components associated with your current recruiting process. 

When determining potential ROI of a newly implemented process (like RPO, for example), it's important that you consider any long-term benefits and sustainability that may come from it. When considering the ROI that will come from implementing RPO, think about improved retention rates, a shorter average time-to-fill rate, quality of candidates, and cost per hire. 


Addressing Common Challenges in RPO for Healthcare Staffing 

As things continue to change in the healthcare recruitment landscape, your staff may be a little hesitant to adapt. As a healthcare leader, you are responsible for ensuring that any new processes being implemented are running smoothly. One of the best, most successful ways to go about this is to involve your entire staff in the process, from beginning to end. You're more likely to get them to adapt if they get updates along the way and they're involved in implementation. Emphasize the advantages of RPO, continuously collect their feedback, and support them through the changes, and you should have a successful transition! 

Maintaining your employer brand during RPO implementation can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The most important part of maintaining a strong employer brand is to communicate your brand with your RPO provider. Your brand says a lot about you as an employer - it outlines your mission, values, cultures, and benefits. You need to make sure that you are keeping a consistent brand across all channels. Your employer brand helps you with more than just the appeal of the company - it helps with employee retention, as well. 

Implementing a new process can be intimidating, and with that comes some risks. There are steps you can take to mitigate those risks and ensure that RPO implementation runs smoothly. The most important thing to do when mitigating risk related to a new process is defining clear expectations and expectations. Your provider will be the most successful if you provide that information up front. Another way to mitigate risks of failure in the RPO implementation process is to conduct a needs assessment. Identify your specific challenges and areas for improvement within the facility. This should include the evaluation of existing recruitment processes, future talent needs, technology infrastructure, and HR capabilities. Where can an RPO provider add value? 


RPO and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in Healthcare Staffing 

It's important that your DEI initiatives can be easily incorporated into your RPO solutions. This includes utilizing inclusive sourcing strategies, creating diverse interview panels, continuously improving your processes to increase DEI, use data to track DEI metrics throughout recruitment, and developing a diverse pipeline. 

Although RPO can be helpful in your recruitment, it's also important to ensure that your hiring process includes inclusivity. Your RPO provider should be providing you with diverse, high quality candidates. Some ways that diverse candidates can be sourced include partnering with a diversity-focused RPO provider, creating inclusive job descriptions and employer branding, cultivating partnerships with diversity organizations, routine diversity analysis, and employee resource groups. These things allow your employees to feel cared for by their employer. 


RPO and Contingent Workforce Management in Healthcare 

If you find that you're in need of contingent workers, there are RPO providers that focus solely on contingent RPO solutions. The only difference between using RPO for temporary staffing and using RPO for permanent staffing is the length of time for which you're looking to fill a position. Otherwise, you should be following the same process - identify your needs, select a provider, collaborate on your goals, source candidates, screen candidates, and complete the onboarding process. While your needs may change every so often, your RPO provider should be well-equipped to adjust. 

RPO offers scalability and flexibility when it comes to managing your contingent staffing needs. At any time, you can work with your RPO provider to adjust your strategy to better meet your needs. Begin by sharing your short- and long-term goals with your provider so that they can have a plan in place when their strategy needs to pivot. Their strategy should include using social media platforms, online job boards, and direct sourcing methods to source those who are available for short-term or immediate assignments. 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing providers and Managed Service Providers each have their own clear list of roles and responsibilities, but they should be collaborating to support an organization in meeting its needs. They should be collaborating to align each of their strategies with the organization's objectives and workforce planning, as well as sharing relevant data and analytics on candidate quality, time-to-fill, and cost per hire. Most importantly, your RPO provider and Managed Service Provider should be collaborating on how to improve by sharing best practices, industry insights, and lessons learned. 


Future Trends and Innovations in RPO for Healthcare Staffing 

One of the most influential elements of technology on RPO is automation. Using technology, you have the ability to automate elements of the recruiting process. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) handles things like data entry, interview scheduling, resume screening, and onboarding paperwork. The use of technology can also improve recruitment processes by integrating internal HR systems and RPO solutions. Integration between the two allows for the transfer of candidate data, simplified administrative processes, and providing a cohesive experience for candidates. Emerging technology also allows for improved decision-making with the use of data. RPO providers are more equipped to collect and analyze data. This provides insight into recruitment metrics, trends, and patterns. 

You also have some virtual RPO options in the event that you choose to go that route. Some virtual solutions include virtual candidate sourcing, remote employer branding, digital candidate onboarding, remote training, and more. You may choose a virtual RPO solution for a variety of reasons, including cost-effectiveness, healthcare system expansion, scalability, or enhanced recruitment efficiency. As healthcare continues to evolve, so should your recruitment strategy. You may want to consider a virtual outsourcing strategy. 

With any new strategy implementation comes development and growth. By outsourcing your recruitment, you're gaining more than just an RPO provider. You're gaining a personalized, candidate-centric approach, advanced analytics, employer branding, skills assessment development, and more. You get a more personalized, attentive recruitment strategy when you outsource your recruitment. 



While Recruitment Process Outsourcing won't be the solution to all of your staffing problems, it's a great tool to have in your toolbox. The most beneficial reasons to implement an RPO solution are cost effectiveness and increased efficiency in your hiring process. RPOs are a great way to keep your organization running smoothly. It is important to be diligent when choosing your RPO provider - they must be aware of your organization's healthcare staffing needs, goals, and values, and they must have healthcare industry experience. 

Creating partnerships with recruitment process outsourcing experts is an excellent way to expedite your recruitment process. It allows each expert to do what they do best. As long as you provide your RPO provider with the necessary information, you're guaranteed a smooth transition into using Recruitment Process Outsourcing. 

If you find yourself struggling to hire in a cost effective and/or efficient way, implementing Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions might be something to consider. Every member on your team will greatly appreciate having a Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider. 



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