Which model of working with a recruitment agency would be better for your company?

Which model of working with a recruitment agency would be better for your company? itMatch Blog Post

Published: April 12, 2023 by Inez Wójtowicz, Dominika Świszcz

If your company needs new IT professionals, the decision to cooperate with a recruitment agency, such as itMatch, seems pretty obvious. But what next? Does every collaboration look the same? If it did, this article probably wouldn't have been written at all. In today's post, we will compare the RPO and success fee models, which our experienced recruiters Dominika Swiszcz and Inez Wojtowicz will tell us about.

What are RPO and success fee models?

Let's start with the basics. What are the characteristics of the two models of cooperation?

Dominika: RPO (recruitment process outsourcing), is the delegation of a recruiter (or several) to work inside an organization working with itMatch. Sometimes it happens that there is no recruitment department in the company yet. In this type of situation, we set up such a unit from the very beginning and advise on the best solutions.

Inez: In success fee recruitment, our team's primary focus is on finding candidate profiles, selecting the most promising individuals and contacting them to encourage their participation in the recruitment process, and then prepare them for client-side interviews.

A recruiter's position in the client organization

So, it can be considered that the RPO recruiter is actually an employee of the itMatch client, and the one who acts as a success fee is a third-party there?

Inez: Not really. Of course, contact with managers and recruiters from the organization is not so direct and does not take place through internal channels, but we need to know the specifics and expectations of our client. The company's own habits and types of projects influence the recruitment processes, and therefore we always have to take them into account. Nevertheless, in this model we are indeed more "outside" the organization.

Dominika: With the RPO model, a recruiter may feel like an employee of a particular company, but not everything is the same. In addition to creating and publishing job listings, actively searching for specialists, managing recruitment and introducing new employees to the organization, we have to deal with many activities of a more branding nature. These can include events, for example, at universities and any programs aimed at improving the client's branding. RPO is actually much more than just recruitment or HR, at least in our company. Small and large organizations alike need consulting and image support, and as the economy worsens, there is an increasing emphasis on analyzing data and improving the efficiency of our operations. These days, it's hard for a position to close on its own. A candidate must be solicited and recruited as favorably as possible to increase the chances of a hiring deal.

Is one of the models more suitable for large or small companies?

From what you are saying, RPO will work better for startups and divisions that are just emerging, while the success fee model is aimed at large organizations. Did I put it right?

Dominika: Although RPO does indeed go most often to the newly established branches of companies and to small organizations, the word "only" will be a bit of an abuse. After all, it may turn out that outsourcing is simply cheaper, and a large organization needs several experienced recruiters. In such situations, itMatch can solve this problem in a very effective way. RPO is also a model for the long term, it allows a lot of flexibility in terms of work organization and, importantly, it will be easier for the client to demand specific results and hold the agency responsible for them.

Inez: Honestly, success fees make sense in cases where an organization has an extensive recruitment team, as well as where there is only one person responsible for these processes. For example, an on-site cell may be overloaded with current responsibilities, and the search is for a particularly niche, specialized role. We, with the help of multiple tools and sources, are able to find the right candidates and refer them to the client, streamlining and speeding up the entire process. Success fee does not involve deploying new recruiters to the company, as would be the case with RPO, and is somewhat simpler in formal terms. This can be important for some clients, and certainly saves them a lot of time. 

Which recruiters work well in these models?

Since RPO and success fee are so different, probably not every recruiter will be successful in both models. Do you have any experience with this or interesting observations?

Dominika: For an RPO, being comprehensive is very important. In such a position, a recruiter does not focus solely on matching candidates or conducting interviews. After all, you have to deal with preparing technical interviews, onboarding, i.e. implementing new employees and collecting market data. Meetings with candidates and managers are also important, as personal contact significantly improves communication and establishes a client's reputation. Of course, this involvement brings really good results. RPO is a job for people who prefer constancy, because the range of roles recruited is smaller, and the specifics of the client do not change as quickly. Of course, the general qualities of a good recruiter are also important, such as the ability to organize work or the ability to learn quickly. I would also add that a keen sense of the market in which we are moving, negotiating skills and knowledge of best practices come in handy, but these competencies come with experience.

Inez: Actually, good organization helps in any model of recruitment. I would emphasize a lot of flexibility, because in success fee recruiting you are handling several companies per month, and sometimes two per week! A locally operating startup has different expectations than a multinational, large corporation, and when dealing with these clients, I have to pay attention to the candidate's fit with the organizational culture, the company's expectations or the competencies sought. As with the RPO, the pace of work is fast, although it is seen in slightly different places. There are fewer tasks to complete, but the number of cases is much higher. Success fee is a job for those for whom the changing work environment is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

Dominika: I would also add that RPO involves much more contact with people. You should remember that too!

What is the biggest benefit that the client receives?

If you had to identify the one value that makes the biggest case for choosing the recruitment model you work under, what would it be? Why?

Inez: When it comes to recruiting, access to data and efficient data analysis is absolutely essential. When it comes to itMatch, we're talking about the approximately 50,000 profiles in our database and more than 3,000 people we contact every week. By establishing cooperation with us, the client receives not only recruiting know-how and assistance from industry experts, but also almost 100% certainty that the specialist they hire will be a good fit for the organization.

Dominika: I would also tend to say that information is the most important thing, although in the case of RPO it will be more the know-how. Commitment is also important. We have a very collaborative relationship with our clients, we have common goals and together we try to achieve them. Thanks to our extensive experience, as a company we are able to effectively advise on many issues and support organizations in adapting their recruitment processes to Polish standards, which may differ from what is found, for example, in the United States.

Is it always necessary to choose between RPO and success fee?

Are there clients who opt for both RPO and success fees? If so, in what situations?

Dominika: Despite appearances, it is very common to combine these two models. Our clients may opt for success fees, for example, when they have 1 or 2 recruiters working for them on a permanent basis, and they are looking for a specialist in a narrow field. In such situations, the people on the RPO handle the appointment and handling of candidates, but do not have to focus on active search. As I understand it, success fee is not a competition to RPO, it is rather a complement and a way to increase the efficiency of the whole cooperation.

Inez: I have nothing to add, Dominika is absolutely right 🙂 .

Does the agency participate in EB in both models?

A recruitment agency should support its clients in branding activities, because it improves the effectiveness of its operations. Is such cooperation possible in both models?

Inez: Recruiters operating on a success fee model do not prioritize branding. Of course, itMatch advises clients on some branding issues and represents them on social media when possible, but it's certainly not our main task. The nature of success fees means that we have a little less contact with managers than in the case of RPOs, although of course we do what we can to build relationships with people regardless of the cooperation model. In the end, the final results and the comfort of both parties depend on it! Certainly, it is very important to cooperate with recruiters employed internally in the supported organizations. We exchange market knowledge with them, help each other with EB and improve the quality of processes on an ongoing basis. Image activities depend more on internal departments at the client, but this does not change the fact that we try to actively participate in them, after all, it is a way to increase our effectiveness as a recruitment agency.

Dominika: In the case of RPO work, recruiters can definitely show off! We help organize meet-ups, conferences, hackathons, and to some extent advise managers on branding, for example on the company's social media. EB is extremely important in the RPO model and has long-term effects, and this is especially important with such forms of cooperation.

The situation in the Polish IT industry is not easy, and the next months will be challenging for many companies. However, we believe that effective cooperation with a recruitment agency is a key element in the development of any organization. Are you looking for a reliable partner or want to learn more about us? Get in touch with us! 

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Dominika Świszcz & Inez Wójtowicz