RPO implementation: the vital components

RPO implementation: the vital components
So, let’s say you’ve picked an RPO solution. The contract has been inked. So we’re ready to go live, right? Wrong! No matter how large and complex, or small and short time-framed – the most important part of any RPO solution is the implementation period.

Essentially, RPO implementation is the client’s first impression of the RPO provider after the sales process. (Although, having said that, a good sales process should involve the Implementation Team much earlier in the process… more on that another time!). As a result, this phase is the key foundation for success of the overall RPO programme.

The must-haves in RPO implementation

RPO implementation bridges the sales and programme delivery process. It ensures all details are in place for a successful programme launch. This will minimise disruption when rolling out the solution and provide a seamless transition. A well-run implementation confirms that the organisation has chosen the right supplier, and sets the scene for the contract period lying ahead.

The three keys to a successful RPO implementation are:


The Implementation Team shouldn’t just consist of supplier-side project managers. It should also incorporate project managers from the client-side too – with executive sponsorship from both sides and the key stakeholders that will deliver and receive the solution. It’s important to note here that RPO is not outsourcing in the traditional sense. It is achieved in partnership between the supplier and the customer, who will share in the success of the programme.

Process and Scope

The project management methodology that governs an implementation is vital. The RPO provider needs project management credentials (Prince2, AMP or similar) with a defined process and approach, to ensure the solution is fit for purpose. This will ensure the successful launch and execution of the solution. It should also incorporate room for continuous improvement to allow for flexibility and modifications, if necessary.

Technology and Timings

It’s likely that you will implement multiple pieces of technology during this period. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Candidate Relationship Management (CRM), social media tools, just to name a few. Dependant on the scope and complexity of the technology solution, this process can take anywhere from 3 – 18 weeks to complete. As a result, the RPO provider must effective manage the client’s expectations throughout the process. It’s also critical that both sides adhere to the project plan – to ensure the transition to BAU is as seamless as possible.

Most of all, it’s important that there is a genuine partnership in place. If this partnership and agreement is not in place, there can be a huge disconnect between what the buyer thinks they are getting and what the supplier is delivering. For an implementation to be successful there needs to be transparency, understanding and regular communication. After all, you can have all the project management tools in the world – but the human touch is most important!

Visit our website to find out more about ManpowerGroup Solutions’ RPO capabilities, or feel free to contact me directly.