RPO best practice: how to use the 3-C strategy to win over your internal stakeholders


Business transformation projects are complex and rarely is there a unilateral decision-maker. The authority to make decisions usually rests with groups of individuals – with research from Forrester noting that 63% of B2B purchases have four or more people involved. In large-scale recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) decisions, stakeholder groups can extend up to 15 individuals or more, all with different drivers and expectations, so it’s important that you take the time to identify what value each individual can derive from the solution and communicate this throughout the process what they perceive to be the end-goals of the transformation.

The decision to outsource to an RPO provider is a large-scale, complex decision for any business and you need to build a strong business case to gain  buy-in  from your stakeholders. In our experience working with clients for 25 years, we suggest focusing on the 3-C’s to ensure stakeholder engagement and buy-in from the offset:


It is important to communicate early, often, broadly and through a variety of mediums.

Key leaders are important but open, frequent communication with those who are closer to the day-to-day operations can be considered best practice. 

Additionally, include “insiders”, those who have informal influence over certain functions. One way to identify these individuals is to look at previous enterprise-wide or transformational projects and find who helped drive the initiative and who may have posed objections. In other words, who can derail this? Engage these stakeholders and ensure they have an opportunity to voice their concerns, identify possible obstacles, objections and offer suggestions. The ability of key stakeholders to participate and provide input at this stage can determine the success of the project.

Cross-functional Wins 

Having clarity on the business problem you are trying to solve is the foundation to engaging and convincing stakeholders successfully; ensuring you tie the problem solving to a C-level or overarching strategic initiative is key. However, it is also important to address the needs of each department individually from an impact and benefits standpoint – it can be a tricky balancing act. This presents an opportunity to break down silos and begin the process of alignment back to the common goal. 

Combatting Concerns 

Often a large-scale transformation project, like outsourcing can result in a sense of culture shock. Be aware of your culture, possible challenges it may bring, as well as how it can be leveraged. Consider ways to use this to your benefit. For example, if you have a more detail-oriented culture, your business case may need to include additional data and market research. If you have a highly innovative culture, you may consider including content on the innovative technology an RPO brings or that the RPO will enable talent acquisition channels to recruit in-demand talent faster. 

Another natural and common reaction is for employees to come up against a fear of the unknown and for stakeholders to worry about brand integrity. Based on our internal research, we’ve identified some points of consideration that could be valuable discussion points for these concerns. These include focussing on how an RPO solution has a defined scope and typically enhance existing teams. As well, looking at how an RPO partner will help to clarify your brand and employer value proposition. Getting stakeholders on board is crucial to the process. We believe that gathering information and sharing ideas and concerns is as important as the summary information that ultimately lands in your business case document. 

To discover more about how to win over stakeholders and the core learnings you need to include in your document, download our guide to Building a Business Case for Outsourcing your Recruitment.