Now BPOs bop to recruitment processing outsourcing tune

Now BPOs bop to recruitment processing outsourcing tune

New Delhi: High attrition rates may be a blot on the great Indian BPO success story, but this problem has helped spin off a niche industry - Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)- which is expected to grow by a billion dollar this fiscal to about $3.5 billion.

The industry is set for rapid growth with a large number of companies in India and from abroad seeking to outsource their hiring-related jobs to third-party vendors here in order to save costs as well as time.

“India has been a hub of global outsourcing activities and RPO is the sunrise segment in this sector," hiring industry umbrella body Executive Recruiters Association’s Executive Director B R Muralidharan told PTI.

“In India, RPO is already a $2.5-billion market and is expected to grow at a rate of 30 to 40% during this financial year," he said.

This new buzzword is already enjoying taste of success with a number of corporate giants adopting the RPO model for their hiring needs inside and outside India. The hiring needs of British mobile major Vodafone is taken care of by RPO provider Alexander Mann Solutions, which also handled accounts of clients like Credit Suisse, HP, Prudential and Capgemini.

Closer home in India, the BPO arm of the country’s third largest IT firm Wipro has outsourced its recruitment process to MeritTrac and aims to reduce its hiring costs by 15-20% by this move.

“Right hiring is the first and the most important step toward reducing attrition. Our objective is to move to a ‘hands-free´ recruiting process and this is the first step towards it," Wipro BPO CEO T K Kurien said.

All that a firm seeking to outsource its hiring functions needs to do is to provide an RPO with the details of job openings and the salary range in the offering.

From here the RPO takes over, going through the process of advertising for the position, to screening resumes, shortlisting candidates and finally going to the employers with the right kind of professionals. The openings can range from a fresher to a very senior employee of a company.

At the same time, the shift in the trend has been lapped up by the outsourcing service providers with an additional area of operation leading to a growing number of niche firms focused on HR outsourcing business.

RPOs have also come as a new lease of life for smaller companies with a workforce of around 100 to 150 people, who may not have a human resource department at all, Vaswani said.

Initially, the RPO business was limited to the IT sector and only recently non-IT companies have begun outsourcing their HR functions, domestic IT and outsourcing firm Birlasoft’s global HR Vice President Narendra Puppala said.

However, the industry players are not worried about the BPO sector’s current nemesis in form of high attrition rates denting the growth story.

This sector will not feel the heat of attrition so much as the BPOs as there, the people were only able to use their hand and feet, wherein in this process they get the satisfaction of using their minds as well, Puppala said.

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