Multi-Country Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): Hype vs. Reality

18 Jul 2011
by Rajesh Ranjan



Historically, companies outsourced recruitment locally. Today, increasing number of multi-national companies realize that an integrated approach, across multiple countries of operations, has the potential to provide better management insight and control, provide access to the best talent at the global level, and at the same time help achieve the cost-reduction objectives through standardization and centralization. Hence, the heightened interest in Multi-Country Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). However, there are some practical challenges that both buyers and service providers need to overcome to accelerate the adoption levels and realize its full potential.


In this research study, we analyze the multi-country RPO market across various dimensions. We focus on

  • Market overview and key business drivers
  • Buyer adoption
  • Current transaction characteristics
  • Service provider landscape 

Scope of analysis includes RPO:

  • Deals with a minimum of four or more recruitment processes
  • Deals with at least one year in deal length
  • Deals that are not limited to temporary hires only
  • Deals covering two or more countries
  • Service providers offering stand-alone RPO services 


This research report provides a comprehensive coverage of the multi-country RPO market and analyzes it across various dimensions such as market overview and key business drivers, buyer adoption trends, transaction characteristics, and service provider landscape. Some of the findings in this report, among others, are:

  • From a multi-country outsourcing maturity perspective, recruitment lags behind mature, stand-alone HR process outsourcing markets such as payroll
  • Nearly half of multi-country RPO buyers cover four or more countries of operation, and EMEA ranks highest for average number of countries covered
  • The origin of multi-country RPO deals is more broad-based now, with nearly half of such deals originating outside of North America
  • Besides developed economies such as the U.S. various West European countries, Japan, and Australia, buyers frequently include some of the emerging economies such as India, China, Brazil, and Russia in multi-country RPO deals
  • Hub-and-spoke model is finding more traction among various delivery models.
  • Compared to single-country RPO, a higher percentage of multi-country RPO deals leverage offshoring
  • Several service providers enjoy success in the regional RPO space, however, only a few service providers have significant market share in the global RPO space

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