Delivering Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions across EMEA


A different perspective on delivering RPO solutions across the EMEA region

Twenty years ago, McKinsey published their now seminal article on the ‘War for Talent’, which prompted many businesses in North America to take a more proactive approach around workforce planning to address the imminent challenge of a diminishing labour pool.

Over the last two decades, the rise of globalization has seen this ‘war for talent’ emerge as a truly global issue and a pressing concern for many CEOs, particularly those who lead multi-national companies or who work in regions where there’s a comparatively constrained local workforce.

In response to this challenge, we’ve seen the emergence of new roles like the Chief Talent or Chief People Officer, as well as the rapid development of the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) industry as companies look for support in sourcing, managing and retaining talent.

Today, organizations who choose to work with an RPO provider will typically develop an RFP (Request for Proposal) that outlines the markets they work in and where they need support.

Whilst there’s a growing shift towards working with single-source global providers, many tenders are still split into three distinct regions: the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia Pacific. Whilst all regions have their own unique challenges, EMEA is arguably the most difficult to resource, in large part due to the complexity of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) markets. Collectively, there are over 70 countries and 1.5 billion people in the MEA region compared with 50 countries in Europe and a total population of 750m people.

When selecting a provider to deliver RPO solutions across the EMEA region, the conventional approach is to partner with the firm who can best support the largest proportion of the hires required. Whilst this means that clients usually get high quality support across their major hiring locations in mature markets, this is typically at the expense of delivery capability in less mature markets – the Middle East and Africa.

The downside to this approach is that for many companies, the MEA region represents a significant growth opportunity, but this growth cannot be realised if those companies are unable to acquire the talent they need in those locations. As a result, we believe this approach needs to evolve.

Delivering RPO across the Middle East and Africa with MEA is a complex business, so employers who want to grow in the region need to partner with an organisation that can offer a combination of global best practice and local expertise. Whilst we recognise the commercial drivers behind supply-chain consolidation, we have also seen the results that can occur in less mature markets when EMEA is treated as one. Whilst many of the leading global RPO vendors have experimented with a presence in the MEA region, for Parisima it is home.

Delivering RPO solutions across EMEA