Nov 3, 2021 11:07:33 AM | 3 Min Read

RPO vs MSP: What's the Difference?

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RPO vs MSP: What's the Difference?

Outsourcing talent management has become more and more popular through the years.  It is a way for corporations to ensure that they attract high-quality candidates for open positions and fill those positions efficiently.  But which route is the best way to go when outsourcing?  There are many options, but in this blog we are putting our focus on Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Managed Service Providers (MSP).

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

An RPO is a service that transfers all of your company's hiring process to an external team.  They act as though they are working for your company, so candidates never know they are talking with an external recruiter.  They act as an extension of your organization and take care of the hiring process while communicating to the Hiring Manager and HR throughout the process.  The RPO process can be customized to what your company needs.

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

An MSP offers a similar experience to RPO as they act as an external arm to your company.  The most significant difference is that an MSP is strongly focused on temporary workers.  This could include contractors, freelancers, etc.  Companies are fans of utilizing an MSP for temporary workers for the same reasons they enjoy working with an RPO: a decrease in cost to hire and time to fill.

So what's the difference between RPO and MSP?  

1. Workforce

As previously mentioned, the type of workforce is a differentiating factor between RPO and MSP.  RPO's focus is mainly on permanent employees, while MSP is primarily focused on temporary employees.

2.  Sourcing

RPO uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to source candidates.  The ATS tracks candidates from their personal network.  MSP utilizes a Vendor Management System (VMS) that goes through other staffing agencies' databases.

3.  Technology

As far as superiority, an MSP that uses a VMS is superior to the ATS system of the RPO.  The VMS is designed to pull talent from networks and databases of multiple staffing agencies and vendors and stays with candidates to payment.  The ATS is designed to only pull from the external agencies' network and tracks the candidate's progress until hiring.  The VMS has more functions, but depending on the type of work needing to be filled, an ATS would be adequate.  

And there you have it!  Depending on what type of positions your organization will need to be filled will determine which route you take.  Both choices will provide you with a lower cost to hire and time to fill, among other benefits!

endevis has evolved into a national talent & workforce solutions provider with offices throughout the nation. With a focus on healthcare, engineering, and IT staffing, the organization has won a handful of awards across its Professional Direct Placement, Professional Contract Staffing, and Recruitment Process Outsourcing Solutions. For more information, please email

Topics: Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Recruitment Process Outsourcing

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