Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) when an employer outsourcers or transfers the all or part of the staffing process to an external service provider.
A true or total RPO solution involves the outsourcing of the entire recruiting function or process to an external service provider. This provider serves to provide the necessary skills, tools, technologies, and activities to serve as their client's virtual "recruiting department".
This definition differs from occasional recruiting support often provided by many temporary, contingency, and executive search firms. While these organizations do provide an invaluable service, they do not qualify as RPO as it does not involve the outsourcing of the recruiting process.