RPO, or Recruitment Process Outsourcing, refers to an external business that assumes some talent acquisition responsibilities on behalf of an organization. Every RPO provider’s contract is different but involves completing one or more parts of the hiring process. Some RPO contractors specialize in sourcing for traditionally tough roles to fill, while others do “full-cycle RPO” and facilitate the hiring process end-to-end.

Not all companies leverage RPOs, but they can be helpful during periods of high growth, when your current talent team lacks certain skills or experience, or in lieu of an internal talent team altogether. RPOs can quickly scale your candidate pool since they’ve hired outstanding candidates before and know where they hang out. RPOs can also offer suggestions for improving the quality of your candidates by enhancing your employer brand, implementing new software, and standardizing any disorganized or redundant parts of your hiring process.

That said, RPOs can be expensive. Before engaging with an RPO provider, it’s important to ask yourself whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Think about adding terms to your agreement to outline KPIs the firm must hit to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.