Ready, Set, RPO: What to Expect in a New RPO Program

Some companies see their RPO provider as only a vendor, but taking a partnership mindset creates a more satisfying, successful working relationship. Working well together as a united front always makes for an easier, smoother rollout with a new RPO program.

The implementation and transition phases before and after a rollout are crucial, as this is when you set the tone and expectations for all involved. It’s also when certain issues need to be addressed and configured.

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has evolved significantly over the past few years. Here are some key areas talent acquisition leaders should focus on when implementing a new RPO program:

1. Identify Key Players Early in the Process

During the transition, one of the most important steps is to establish one key champion within your business. This person is your internal point of contact for RPO with the power to get things. There’s often a lengthy checklist of tasks that need to be completed before a rollout. The appointed decision-maker must be able to use their influence with HR, legal, IT and other stakeholders, including hiring managers and vice presidents, to get things accomplished.

Conversely, your RPO partner should also provide a primary point of contact who will work closely with you to navigate the implementation process. Effective communicate with your RPO contact will keep things moving forward.

Also, be sure to let your RPO team know who your internal stakeholders are (especially any unofficial ones) and how they may influence the implementation and rollout process. Loop your RPO team into conference calls and meetings so they can get a feel for the issues at hand and start building trust with stakeholders.

2. Clarify Expectations and Goals for Your RPO Program

At the beginning of your toll out, have an open discussion with your RPO provider about what success looks like for your organisation today and going into the future. It may be helpful to hold a workshop to specifically determine what stakeholders want out of the RPO program and how those goals can be measured.

Define clear, measurable goals aligned to business objectives like time-to-fill, candidate quality, requisition volume, diversity and more. Both you and your RPO team must work toward, and measure against, the same goals.

If historical data on key performance indicators (KPIs) is available, now is the time to provide it to your RPO contacts so they can use the data to set a baseline for future measurements. But if this isn’t available your RPO partner should be able to help you benchmark against other organisations.

👉 Debunk common RPO myths.

3. Foster Open Communication and Trust

This cannot be overstated: communication is essential to establishing a strong working partnership with your RPO provider. The more you communicate, the better your RPO team can serve you. The RPO team should ask your stakeholders about their experience, what they want to achieve with the new engagement and what potential obstacles the team might encounter.

It’s important to be open about what is happening in the company. If something is working against the RPO process, let the team know so they can work around it. For example, if you’re not documenting things in your ATS or if HR is performing tasks expected of the hiring managers, don’t hide it. It may not be the best practice, but if it works, and everyone is aware, that’s what matters.

Remember, RPO providers can only advise you on best practices; ultimately, they are there to serve your needs. Communicate openly, and your RPO team can make the decisions that will ensure you have a positive experience. The more collaborative the partnership is, the smoother the transition will be.

rpo program

4. Invest in Change Management

A typical implementation for an enterprise, full-cycle RPO engagement is 30-60 days, with a 90-day transition period afterward. Modular RPO engagements will have much shorter timelines. No matter what RPO solution you choose, map your timelines out before beginning implementation, and stick to the timetable and deliverables. However, realise that you get just one chance to roll the process out well. Thus, you should keep your rollout date flexible enough to get the process right.

It’s also useful to set within your organisation the expectation that the first 90 days of a new RPO program are a learning curve for all involved. Proactively manage change by clearly communicating process changes, providing training if needed, and getting buy-in from hiring managers and other stakeholders.

5. Identify Challenges in Your RPO Program Upfront

Don’t assume that your RPO provider knows what the potential hurdles to adoption will be at your organisation. Talk about your concerns and what you see as risks. For example, if a division has historically been run by a person with a negative view of recruitment who will likely go directly to a staffing agency or circumvent the process, share this with your RPO partner.

Together, make contingency plans to address how such situations will be handled, and categorise risks by the level of fallout that may occur. Be sure to discuss what kinds of issues are considered common mistakes and what kinds of things absolutely cannot be allowed.

6. Build an Agile, Tech-Enabled RPO Program

Be prepared to work in an agile way, continuously optimising processes and innovating together. You should work collaboratively with your RPO partner to take full advantage of the latest recruiting technologies like AI-enabled sourcing, virtual interviews, chatbots, and more. Remain flexible and adapt to changing business needs and market conditions quickly.

Technology and automation enable your RPO provider to scale talent acquisition strategically to help you remain flexible and adapt to changing business needs and market conditions quickly. Technology can create a better candidate experience, facilitate better collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers, and equip you with better analytics so you can measure ROI.

RPO has evolved into a more strategic, technology-enabled partnership. By focusing on these key areas, talent acquisition leaders can ensure their RPO engagement will deliver great talent and business impact in today’s world. Taking the time to communicate and build relationships with your RPO partner can make a huge difference in ensuring a smooth and successful rollout.

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The energy and utilities industry is undergoing a massive transition as providers move to green and renewable energy sources and adjust to changing energy use patterns across the globe.

This means the sector is facing a unique set of talent challenges. In many areas of the globe, energy job growth is outpacing the rest of the economy. At the same time, the workforce is aging, creating a massive talent gap. In fact, according to McKinsey, the massive growth in solar and wind projects expected by 2030 will make it almost impossible to staff these projects with qualified development and construction employees as well as operations and maintenance workers.

Now, talent leaders need to think big—not just to attract more and younger workers, but to reskill workers in the shrinking fossil fuels industry and plan for the future.

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for energy and utilities talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your energy and utilities hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

Estia Health: Recruiting Registered Nurses for Aged Care

Estia Health: Recruiting Registered Nurses for Aged Care

Aged Care Recruitment in Australia

Estia Health: Recruiting Registered Nurses for Aged Care

Estia Health needed to source critical healthcare roles in their most hard-to-fill locations. PeopleScout’s sourcing expertise and EVP insights helped them exceed their targets in one of the tightest candidate markets in memory.

600 + candidates screened
0 drop outs occured across the entire recruitment process
4 months to fill critical vacancies


Estia Health is one of Australia’s largest aged care operators, with 72 residential aged care homes in SA, VIC, NSW and QLD. The aged care sector in Australia is suffering from a major skills shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, international border closures and a large number of workers leaving the sector.

Estia turned to PeopleScout for project recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) to support the recruitment of registered nurses and support staff across a number of critical locations where they were getting little to no response to their vacancies. 


Two senior recruitment business partners supported Estia across five locations who drove passive and active recruitment for registered nurses and aged care workers. PeopleScout researched Estia’s target market to understand what motivates workers in the healthcare sector to accept a role. Following this, our team provided recommendations on the lifestyle bonuses they could offer as incentives for workers to travel to their locations. We also coached Estia on how to boost their employer brand to raise awareness of their opportunities, which has delivered a long-term impact within a challenging market.


PeopleScout worked within Estia’s existing ATS system and screened over 600 candidates. We were able to speed up the process for successful candidates and in a number of locations achieved zero dropouts throughout the screening and background check process.

Over a 4-month period, our team placed 14 permanent positions across:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Personal Care Workers
  • Hospitality Support

With a large worker exodus across the sector, recruitment in the aged care sector in Australia is still an ongoing challenge. However, PeopleScout has proven our ability to make a significant impact in a short period of time for Estia Health.


  • COMPANY: Estia Health
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Advisory
  • ABOUT ESTIA HEALTH: Estia Health manages 72 residential aged care homes across Australia, supporting over 8,000 residents and their families at an important time in their lives.

Apprenticeship Recruitment: The Key to Future-Proofing Your Talent Pipeline?

Apprenticeship recruitment has taken on more importance in early careers programs in recent years. In Australia, the number of organisations employing apprentices and trainees is at its highest level in over a decade with seven of the 10 fastest-growing jobs in Australia now accessible via an apprenticeship pathway. In the UK, there was a 22% increase in interest in apprenticeships from young people in 2022 according to UCAS.

Organisations and employees alike are waking up to the fact that many skills can be learned on the job—and that this is often more relevant training than a university degree. Whilst providing opportunities for hands-on experience and training, apprenticeships also help businesses to develop a talent pipeline that is equipped with future-ready skills.

Whether for workers just starting out or those changing careers, apprenticeships help people gain valuable skills and on-the-job experience as they move toward a career in their field. For employers, field and business apprenticeships are one of the best ways of engaging early careers talent or career changers.

In this article, we’ll explore how designing and offering apprenticeship programs can be a smart way for organisations to create their own talent pipeline, close their skills gaps, and diversify their workforce.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is paid employment that offers on-the-job training and is often accompanied by classroom-based learning. Some employers may offer their own in-house training while others offer it in association with a college, university or other training provider. An apprenticeship must last at least a year but can go as long as 5 years. Through in-depth, job- and industry-specific skills training, apprentices gain a nationally recognised qualification or certification upon completion.

Apprenticeship programs are a great choice for individuals who are early on in their careers, who are looking to upskill or who are exploring a career change. Employers are responsible for ensuring that apprentices work with experienced staff, learn job-specific skills and receive time off from work to complete their classroom training.

Different countries have different laws and regulations around apprenticeships including wages and working hours. There are also various funding programs and government schemes available to encourage both workers and employers to embrace apprenticeships. For example, the UK Government introduced the (controversial) apprenticeship levy in 2017 which uses business taxes to fund apprenticeship training. The Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program gives eligible employers in priority list occupations (ranging from aged care and dentistry to various engineering roles) wage subsidies for offering quality apprenticeship training programs.

Manufacturing Recruiters

Types of Apprenticeships

Types of apprenticeships differ from region to region. In Australia, apprenticeships are offered for skilled trades, whilst traineeships are for other vocations in sectors like hospitality, digital media and financial services. Organisations are increasingly embracing corporate apprenticeships and traineeships as a means of diversifying their workforce and creating opportunities for social mobility.

In the UK, a common misperception is that apprenticeships are just for manual or skilled trade jobs. Whilst there are many apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades, there are also apprenticeship opportunities for all kinds of careers from actuaries to arborists. For example, our client, National Highways, offers apprenticeship opportunities for project management, business administration, legal, surveying and data analysis.

There are different levels of apprenticeship including degree apprenticeships which correspond to an equivalent education level. In Australia, apprenticeships are typically delivered through Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and State or Territory Training Authorities and span levels from Certification II through to advanced diplomas. In the UK, completing a Level 2 apprenticeship is the equivalent of completing a GCSE, and a Level 7 apprenticeship is the equivalent of completing a master’s degree.

Benefits of Apprenticeships for Employers

Apprenticeship recruitment can be an effective way of growing and upskilling your workforce. Here are just a few of the benefits for employers.  

Building a Talent Pipeline

Companies in a variety of industries can build their own apprenticeship programs to help talent see the rewarding career opportunities available within their sector. As apprentices gain experience, organisations establish a pipeline of prospective employees.

Early careers employees see apprenticeship programs as proof of an organisations investment in their success and are more likely to stay with an organisation after completing the program. In fact, 90% of qualified apprentices stay on with their employers upon completing their training, and 69% of organisations say that employing apprentices has improved retention. Clearly, apprenticeship recruitment is an excellent way to “grow your own talent” and reduce attrition.

Closing Skills Gaps

According to McKinsey, a whopping 87% of organisations are aware they already have a skills gap within their workforce or will experience one in the next few years. Apprenticeships offer a way to develop a new generation of workers to help your organisation succeed into the future. A structured apprenticeship is an effective way to get a leg up in recruiting and retaining sought-after talent like software developers, data analysts and engineers. Indeed, 86% of employers said that investing in apprentices helped to develop relevant skills for the organisation.

The digital skills gaps alone could cause 14 G20 countries to miss out on a staggering $11.5 trillion USD in cumulative GDP growth. In the UK, companies like Dyson are partnering with the University of Warwick to offer apprenticeship training in agile software development, data science and machine learning. Meanwhile, automotive giants Ford and Enterprise are joining forces to offer technical engineering focused apprenticeships.

Boosting Diversity & Social Mobility

A third of employers agree that apprenticeships have helped improve diversity within their business. They are particularly effective for creating career opportunities and boosting earnings for workers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

As more people struggle financially with student loans and education costs, apprenticeships have become an accessible career path for workers of all ages and backgrounds and give participants a shot at career success. They allow workers from underrepresented groups to increase their earnings potential—to work and earn money in the field while they learn. If your company cares about being a catalyst for sustained change in the community, apprenticeships are a great way to achieve this.

RPO + Apprenticeships

As a leading recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider, PeopleScout helps organisations to obtain the talent and skills they need to succeed into the future through early careers recruitment solutions covering interns, graduates and apprenticeship programs. Unlike apprenticeship recruitment agencies, as an RPO partner our expertise in talent acquisition strategy and workforce planning means we’re better equipped to successfully integrate apprentice programs into your overall talent attraction and training strategy. Plus, we have experts on staff that can design an assessment centre that evaluates apprentice candidates against your organisation’s values, culture and other requirements.

webinar on-demand

maximising your impact with early careers recruitment

[On-Demand] The Hard Truth About Candidate Experience: Part One

The First Part of PeopleScout’s Candidate Experience Webinar Series

Talking Talent Webinar

Available Now On Demand

Heading into 2023, employers continue to face a challenging talent market. Beyond a shortage of qualified applicants, candidate expectations for the recruitment process have never been higher. Our latest research shows that fewer than two in ten candidates rate their experience as excellent, which means engaging top talent in the new year will require a new approach.

Make 2023 the year you focus on how you interact with job seekers. Join PeopleScout Global Head of Talent Consulting Simon Wright for the newest Talking Talent webinar, The Hard Truth About Candidate Experience available on-demand.

This bite-sized 30-minute webinar is part one of a two-part series that makes a case for the importance of a stellar candidate experience and provides the data to back up our recommendations for creating one.

In this first webinar, Simon will cover:

  • The state of the global jobs market
  • Current trends in job seeker behavior
  • The impact of changing consumer expectations
  • The cost of a poor candidate experience
  • And our forthcoming research!

Preventing Physician Burnout and Reducing Turnover

Exhaustion, stress and anxiety: these are the symptoms of a plague spreading throughout the medical community. Its name? Physician burnout. According to a study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine, physician burnout is on the rise and causing major disruptions in healthcare outcomes for both patients and the medical professionals charged with their care.  

In fact, according to the study, it’s estimated that physician burnout adds nearly $5 billion per year to healthcare spending in the United States. Problems such as insufficient care, patient dissatisfaction and malpractice lawsuits are all contributing to the cost of burnout among physicians in the U.S.

In this article, we dive into what physician burnout is, its effects on healthcare and what organisations can do to minimize and combat this troubling trend.

So, What is Physician Burnout?

The term “burnout” can seem like a nebulous catch-all-term for workplace stress and dissatisfaction. So, what makes burnout unique? For starters, burnout is officially a medical condition, according to the World Health Organisation, and is characterised as a persistent state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout includes emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from work along with a sense of poor personal accomplishment.

Although it can occur in any profession, incidences of burnout are more common in individuals employed in caring professions such as healthcare, social work, counseling and teaching. Common contributors to physician burnout are long work hours, a fear of being sued and having to navigate the growing healthcare bureaucracy and filling out time-consuming electronic medical records.

“Nearly everything a physician does in 2019 is monitored, rated, assessed and reported. The electronic health record has many benefits but it can also be a burden, adding substantially to the time physicians spend in front of a computer screen while robbing them of what brings them joy: spending time with their patients,” states Dr. Edward Ellison, executive medical director and chairman of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, in an article released in conjunction with the Annals of Internal Medicine study.

The Effects of Physician Burnout

Physician burnout is not new in the medical field. In a study conducted by the American Medical Association, Stanford and the Mayo Clinic, about 54% of physicians reported having at least one symptom of burnout – nearly double the rate of U.S. workers in 2014[KS1] .

For physicians and their employers, the effects of burnout are taking an enormous toll. Burned-out doctors tend to make more medical errors, and their patients have worse health outcomes and are less satisfied. This can contribute to a loss of reputation and revenue for employers and physicians.

“Physician burnout is known to be associated with increased physician turnover and reduced productivity,” said lead researcher Joel Goh, an assistant professor of analytics and operations at the National University of Singapore. “But the costs in monetary terms are poorly understood.”

The Annals of Internal Medicine study authors calculate that for healthcare organisations, the cost of burnout comes out to $7,600 per physician each year. The study cautions that these cost estimates are conservative, and only calculate lost work hours and physician turnover. What’s more, a survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation of more than 17,000 American physicians found that:

  • 54% rated their morale as “somewhat” or “very” negative about the current state of medicine
  • 63% were “somewhat” or “very” pessimistic about the future of medicine
  • 49% “often” or “always” experience feelings of burnout
  • 49% would not recommend a career in medicine to their children
  • 58% said the least-satisfying aspect of medical practice was too much paperwork and regulation

With such a staggering economic and professional toll, preventing and treating burnout in physicians is crucial to improving patient and organisational outcomes.

Identifying Physician Burnout

All too often, doctors spend far more energy concerned with the health outcomes of their patients, and their own personal health issues go unaddressed and unresolved. 

“It is always amazing to me how often burnout is actively ignored in healthcare. Research shows one in three doctors are burned out on any given office day,” remarks Dr. Dike Drummond, a career strategist for physicians who focuses on burnout. He began The Happy MD in response to the emerging burnout epidemic amongst physicians.

Outside of the mental, physical and workplace performance effects experienced by burned-out physicians, an estimated 300 to 400 U.S. physicians take their own lives every year. This number is higher than the suicide rate in the general population by 40% for men and an alarming 130% for women. This makes addressing burnout more than a financial or business imperative, but also one of great moral importance.

Because burnout is a slow and gradual process that increases over time, it does not happen from one day to the next. Instead, it can sneak up on physicians and their employers if both are not paying close attention to the warning signs. Below are some of the symptoms to be on the lookout for when combating burnout:

Physical Signs

  • Feeling tired and drained
  • Lower immunity
  • Frequent headaches, back pain, muscle aches
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits

Emotional Signs

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Detachment from patients or de-personalisation
  • Sense of failure and self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless, trapped or defeated
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increased cynicism
  • Decreased sense of accomplishment

Behavioral Signs

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities
  • Isolation from others
  • Procrastination
  • Using food, drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Taking out your frustration on others
  • Skipping work or increased tardiness

Understanding the symptoms and behaviors associated with burnout can help your organisation better intervene with physicians and help them identify and understand the emotional burden they are experiencing.

Managing Physician Burnout

Organisation-led initiatives and interventions are sadly few and far between for many physicians, leaving them on their own to manage and treat the symptoms of burnout. This can make it more difficult to manage stress and the emotions that come from working in healthcare. However, this does not need to be the case. Healthcare organisations can take steps to help physicians reduce the risk or severity of burnout.

One strategy is encouraging medical professionals to acknowledge feelings of burnout or exhaustion when they occur and providing assistance whenever and wherever possible. What’s more, promoting the following strategies can help your physicians to decompress and clear their minds:

Physical Activities

This can be accomplished through physical activities such as spending time at the gym, running, walking, cycling or yoga to name a few.

Personal Activities

Others include meditation, mindfulness, reading for pleasure, developing a hobby, going to the movies or spending time in a museum. These activities can be pursued alone; however, when combined with a partner, family members or friends, social interaction can enhance the restful nature of these activities.

Time Off

Another essential approach to reducing and managing burnout is for physicians to spend time away from work. Regularly scheduled vacation time helps reduce fatigue by allowing the mind and body a break from the daily grind.

Your organisation’s workplace culture can also play a part in reducing burnout. An important step in battling burnout is managing time and respecting limits. When dealing with emotionally exhausted physicians, consider reducing the number of patients they see or the number of new patients taken on, if possible.


Burnout is common and affects a significant number of physicians at all stages of their careers. It is a consequence of an exceptionally motivated, high-performing, competitive and perfectionistic personality combined with a fast-paced high-stakes profession that is practicing medicine.

While burnout manifests in individuals, it is fundamentally a response to organisational culture and work life. Recognition of, and willingness to address, these specific stressors will allow individuals and healthcare organisations to better prevent or alleviate physician burnout.