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Recession-Proof Your Talent Acquisition Plan With an RPO Partner

Published August 17, 2022
People sitting around a conference table discussing ways to recession proof their TA plan with an RPO partner

Businesses across the nation are bracing themselves for the possibility of a recession. The prolonged impacts of the pandemic, soaring inflation rates, and continued supply-chain issues are contributing to the growing economic crisis. So, what can businesses do to mitigate the damage?  

An instinctive reaction would be to freeze hiring efforts, reduce headcount, and postpone major projects. However, talent acquisition experts encourage businesses to keep long-term goals top of mind and hire according to needs.  

While some layoffs are inevitable, companies that survived and even thrived through past recessions were the ones who focused on continuing operations. Additionally, excessive layoffs not only hurt workers and company morale, but can also be costly for organizations down the line.  

According to HBR, companies that rely solely on cutting their workforce have only an 11% probability of succeeding after a downturn.  

Although no one can be 100% certain, it’s important for leaders to consider hiring solutions to help them weather the storm. In this article,  you’ll learn how a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner can help companies like yours navigate the challenges of the potential recession by leveraging one of the most important resources - talent.  

Why RPO?

RPO is a form of business process outsourcing where an employer transfers all (or part) of its recruitment and hiring processes to a trusted partner. The role of an RPO partner is to recruit under your company’s brand and to match employees with your specific roles and your internal company culture. Unlike staffing agencies and contract recruitment, an RPO works as a consultative partner to develop strategies that can be valuable during uncertain times like a recession.  

Companies who engage with an RPO gain access to robust recruitment marketing resources, an advanced technology suite, and can quickly scale and adapt to ever-changing markets. If you are looking for cost-effective solutions to help your company through the recession, RPO may be the right solution for you. 

Scalable Support 

During times of uncertainty, flexibility is vital for businesses to stay afloat. With fluctuating markets, it is easy to get caught up in the expensive cycle of hiring and training recruiters when talent demand rises, and then laying them off when it dwindles.

When organizations partner with an RPO, resources can be scaled up or down depending on hiring demands. RPOs have the recruiters, technology, and expertise needed to support their clients through changing needs in a cost-effective manner.

History has shown that economic downturns can be followed by times of great expansion. With an RPO partner by your side, you gain access to a robust pipeline of candidates who can fill positions quickly to ramp your business back to normal.  


Recruitment is crucial to the culture and success of a company during a recession. However, if you’re like many Human Resources (HR) and Talent Acquisition (TA) leaders, you know it can be incredibly time-consuming. During a recession, recruitment is not always top of mind among other projects, yet it is one of the most imperative organizational functions.  

When partnering with an RPO, businesses get a team of experienced professionals that focus solely on recruitment, granting them time to focus on other strategic goals while experts manage recruitment. Decreasing premium labor, finding candidates that align with their values, and increasing employee retention are just a few of the benefits an RPO provides.  

Leverage Technology

Talent technology is constantly evolving, making it difficult for organizations to make the right selection and properly integrate into their workflow. The right RPO partner will provide deep knowledge, innovation, and the expertise needed to integrate and leverage technology to their fullest capabilities.  

With their technical expertise, you can leverage your existing technology to source better candidates, engage applicants, reduce time to fill, and improve candidate experience. Additionally, streamlining technology creates efficiencies and allows organizations to operate with leaner teams and do more with their budget. 

Access Valuable Insights

A data-driven approach to talent acquisition empowers businesses to make informed, proactive decisions critical to successful workforce planning.  RPOs closely monitor, track, and analyze market data that could increase efficiencies, identify areas of improvement, and indicate necessary changes in talent strategy. 

Cost Saving Opportunities

During a recession, businesses are looking to save on unnecessary expenses wherever they can. Outsourcing recruitment efforts is the approach many companies take in order to reduce costs related to talent acquisition. These costs include: 

  • Hiring costs – an RPO partner can decrease cost-per-hire by supplementing recruitment efforts. Not only can they save you money, but you can expect improvements in the quality of hire, employer branding, and time to hire.  
  • Costs during an economic downturn – now more than ever, markets and hiring demands are unpredictable. By outsourcing recruitment efforts, companies can avoid bearing the financial burden associated with adjusting resources and talent to meet their needs.  
  • Operational costs – with an RPO, you only pay for the services you need. This flexibility makes it easy to scale resources and predict costs based on your needs.  

Improve Employee Experience 

Investing in employee experience and company culture can help your organization thrive during uncertain times. According to SHRM, a key factor to maintaining sufficient staff during a recession is focusing on employee engagement and morale. An RPO partner can help you hire people that align with your company values to ensure you continue to build a strong culture. 

76% of executives said they invested in training for their existing teams during the recession to increase long-term employee satisfaction.  

Instead of luring employees with a paycheck, focus on providing a workplace where employees feel heard, valued, and engaged. Implementing strategies to increase engagement and retention can help create trust within your organization and keep top talent in your corner in the long-run.  


Ultimately, no one can be certain about when we will experience the next recession but preparing for the possibility can help reduce the risk of negative impacts.  

Contact us today to learn more about Hueman RPO’s solutions!


  • Topics: 
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing,
  • Talent Acquisition Strategy