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A Recruiter’s insight into RPO vs Consultancy

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 3 years ago
  • Author:by Peter Brittain

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How long have you been in recruitment?

As of  this month I have been in recruitment for 2 years. I got into recruitment, like everyone else by luck!

I had always been interested in recruitment throughout my degree. My interest was further compounded when I was in San Diego working for a global tech company. As part of my larger role there, I took on running the summer internship program and assisting new graduates match with the right role. When I came back to the NI I couldn’t wait to get stuck back in! I got into an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) function in Belfast, for 18 months, went inhouse in a global tech giant, and now I’m happy to say I’ve found where I fit in best – VANRATH.

Why did you leave RPO/Inhouse to join an Consultancy

I left RPO to move into inhouse as I wanted to have full oversight of the recruitment process. Whilst I was in RPO I was a Senior Sourcer and my involvement dropped once interviews were arranged – I wanted to be able to be the point of contact for the candidates throughout their whole process which inhouse afforded me the opportunity to do. When I was in RPO I was working on tight SLAs of 72 hours for contract/contingent recruitment. Inhouse just happened to be much slower and I didn’t gel with the process, so I moved to Consultancy. I’ve slotted back into contract recruitment, on a fast paced constant moving desk, with full oversight from sourcing to offer – the mix I had been looking for from Day 1 of my recruitment journey!


I moved to VANRATH for multiple reasons, mainly due to the care and attention throughout my interview process. Meeting Barbara and Damian face to face, was refreshing after 12 months of no meetings! Immediately I felt comfortable discussing my experience, the role that they saw me in, and meeting the team at 2ndstage. I could tell the culture, the driven nature and the supportive network was exactly where I could see myself as my next step, and for a long time to come!

What were the challenges changing from RPO to Consultancy 

Coming from RPO to Consultancy is always a different way of working. For me as an experienced contract recruiter the actual job at hand is very similar. Talking about fees, and words like ‘daybook’ were alien to me, but now part of my daily vocabulary. Everyone always thinks that KPIs are hammered home in consultancy, and I think there’s an air in Belfast that VANRATH is a stickler for these. We work to targets that (if you’re good at your job) are easy to hit, and should not be an issue! I actually think my KPIs in RPO were harder to maintain – perhaps that’s a reflection on how mature VANRATH has become as a business!

Best bits of working in VR


Kidding, but it’s a great perk to have on a Friday afternoon (after the free breakfast has digested). VANRATH has offered me a chance to further myself as a recruiter – go wholly 360 and own my processes. I’m kept up to date with tech developments from the IT Permanent team, Ryan has coached me on SQL specifically. The encouragement to be better, do better and look after yourself is refreshing. There isn’t an air of ‘my job my candidate’ we’re truly a team here, and no top drawer antics like other agencies I interviewed for operate. 6 months on – I know I’ve made the right decision!

What is your advice to anyone coming from RPO or looking for a career in 360 recruitment?

Do it! Jump! The opportunity to take full ownership of a candidates recruitment lifecycle is so rewarding seeing your hard work come to fruition! Consultancy has the stigma of being cut throat and I was always warned about it – I should never have worried, and neither should you.. especially if you join VANRATH and work alongside me!

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