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RPO vs. MSP: Similarities and Differences

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Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman

When it comes to the outsourcing of the recruitment process, among the different solutions, the most adopted ones are the RPO and the MSP.

The RPO, recruitment process outsourcing, consists in transferring partially or integrally the responsibilities of staff’s selection to an external company. This solution includes a specialized staff and the use of innovative technologies to search for candidates, select them and hire them.

Instead, the MSP, managed service provider, is represented by a company that acts externally to facilitate the growth and success of the customer’s business. Through the creation of specific programs, MSP services are used to make the customer’s business more efficient by using innovative technologies aimed at finding contingent personnel.

But what distinguishes an RPO from an MSP? And what do they have in common?

The main difference between the two services is that while the RPO manages the process of selecting candidates for permanent roles, an MSP deals with recruiting the contingent workforce as freelancers, consultants and collaborators who will not join the staff in the long run.

Another difference lies in the method of search and selection of candidates. If, on the one hand, the RPO searches for talents in its own personal network, using an ATS technology (applicant tracking system); the MSP selects the staff by exploiting third-party recruitment networks and, therefore, the VMS technology (vendor management technology).

These two possible solutions have as common advantages those of allowing the company to save time and money, to increase the diversification of staff and to automate the long traditional selection processes.

Based on the specific needs of each company, it must be evaluated the choice of one or the other solution: if a business needs a high number of contingent positions and at the same time is looking for a diversified talent pool, the ideal choice will fall on the MSP. When, on the other hand, the company requires highly qualified personnel with sharp technical skills, especially in the engineering field, the RPO is the most effective solution.