Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Annual Report 2016 – Opportunities Abound in a Buoyant Market

18 Nov 2016
by Priyanka Mitra, Rajesh Ranjan, Vishal Gupta

The global Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) market continued to remain one of the fastest growing single-process HRO markets. It posed a strong growth rate of 17% in 2015 backed by the resurgence of the growth in the North American market. A majority of the global growth is attributed to the new deal activity. However, there is significant variation in regional growth, which is affected by a host of factors including the overall macro-economic variables. The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are the relatively more mature and bigger RPO markets, and they account for a large chunk of the global deal activity. Nonetheless, many countries in different regions across the world are emerging as strong RPO markets on their own, particularly in Latin America, Continental Europe, and Asia Pacific.

In this research, we analyze the RPO market across various dimensions:

  • Market overview and key drivers
  • Buyer adoption trends
  • Solution and transaction trends
  • Emerging themes and areas of investment
  • Service provider landscape


  • RPO deals that include a minimum of four or more recruitment processes
  • The RPO deal is active and is at least one year in contract length
  • Service providers that offer RPO as a stand-alone outsourcing service
  • The deal scope should not be limited to temporary hires only
  • All geographies, industries, and job families


This research provides comprehensive coverage of the 2015 RPO market and analyzes it across various dimensions such as market overview, key business drivers, buyer adoption trends, solution & transaction trends, and service provider landscape. Some of the key findings are:

  • Single-country RPO accounts for a majority of the deal activity. Interest in Multi-Country RPO (MCRPO) engagements is high, however, the size and scope of such deals is witnessing a downward trend. In fact, very few incidents of global mega-sized deals were witnessed of late
  • Emerging RPO markets, such as India, China, Poland, and Colombia, which were mostly included as part of multi-country deals earlier, are now increasingly witnessing greater single-country deal activity, characterizing the growing maturity of RPO in these markets
  • With growing maturity of the RPO market, inclusion of value-added services, such as employer branding, talent communities, workforce planning, etc., has almost become table-stakes in RPO, especially among second- / third-generation buyers
  • The market is witnessing separate, more targeted offerings around niche areas such as veterans, diversity hiring, and outplacement by service providers. Not only does this help address buyer needs better, it also provides differentiation for the service provider
  • Almost all major RPO service providers are investing in developing talent advisory capabilities. Such services bulk up the value proposition of existing RPO offerings, especially among the first time buyers and can also act as potential door openers for new business opportunities
  • The RPO market continues to remain intensely competitive and fragmented. Providers from all backgrounds (staffing, broader BPO, and pure-play RPO) have tasted success in this fast growing market


Recruitment Process Outsourcing


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