Revolutionising Blue-Collar Recruitment with Project RPO

4 minutes

What is Project RPO? In a project-based Recruitment Process Outsourcing&...

What is Project RPO? 

In project-based Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solution, an RPO partner works to understand the client organisation’s culture, fundamental values, and hiring goals to formulate a solution that encompasses all or selective aspects of the recruitment process.  

Project RPO is a short-to-medium term recruitment solution, optimal for projects like establishing new locationsstart-ups, flexible logistics, ramping up resources, or other project-specific hiring needs. 

Why is Project RPO increasing in popularity in the blue-collar sector? 

Historically, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, particularly Project RPO, has been linked to white collar, professional staffing markets; given its association with specialist roles anperception of being cost-intensive. 

Post-pandemic, however, we have seen a significant shift in this mentality, especially among blue-collar sector clients, who are increasingly opting for this model. There are a number of reasons for this shift, including: 

  1. Skills shortages 

Across the UK, there are still skills shortages. According to research by Cpl's Talent Evolution Group, 93% of hiring managers are concerned about a talent drought in 2024.  Demographic changes, such as the aging population and a decline in EU workers, are shrinking the pool of available, skilled, and qualified candidates. Many companies have decided that in order to attract the skills needed, they need to offer permanent roles to candidates that entice them and stabilise attrition. 

  1. Temporary labour costs  

The cost of hiring temporary labour has been significantly influenced by a variety of factors. Changes in legislation, annual increases to the National Living Wage, ongoing increases to agency rates, and skills shortages have all played a role in driving up these costs. These elements combined have created a challenging environment for businesses that rely on temporary resourcesimpacting their financial planning and operational strategies. 


  1. Emerging brands and distributors 

Post-pandemic, we have observed a significant increase in the number of new ‘startup’ businesses that have excelled and, in some cases, grown exponentially overnight.  Rapid expansion has led to new manufacturing and distribution sites. Internal talent acquisition teams, typically comfortable in recruiting white collar professional roles, have had to adapt to the nuances of recruiting different and more challenging skill sets. 

  1. Antiquated operations 

Clients across multiple blue-collar sectors have invested in new, ‘shiny’ operations.  Old, dilapidated sheds being replaced with state-of-the-art facilities, introducing new ways of working and processes.  Attracting a permanent workforce that is committed is of paramount importance for the new operation to succeed.  

  1. Brand awareness and employee value proposition 

There will always be a recruitment market for temporary resources, but candidates wants and desires have changed in recent times.  While temporary work offers flexibility, the lure of a permanent roles with a noted brand that looks after its people has become even more prevalent in recent times. 


How can project RPO support blue-collar organisations? 

Project RPO provides comprehensive support tailored to the unique demands of blue-collar sectors. Here’s how a project RPO can enhance your recruitment strategy: 


  1. Access to Top Talent 

    A majority (64%) of hiring managers in the UK identified access to a larger talent pool as the main reason they would outsource or consider outsourcing their talent acquisition to an external talent or recruitment expert. Eliminate the time-consuming processes associated with talent attraction and acquisition. Project RPO services utilise a vast network, cultivated talent pools, and specialised expertise to connect organisations with the most suitable candidates, saving both time and resources. 

  2. Cost-Effective Hiring 

    Budget constraints should not hinder your recruitment efforts. Nearly half (45%) of UK-based hiring managers have or would consider outsourcing their recruitment process for cost savings benefits on advertising, candidate sourcing, background checks, and other recruitment-related tasks.  Project RPO is structured to provide cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality. This solution is fully customisable, scaling up or down as your needs evolve; ensuring you achieve efficient hiring outcomes without exceeding financial limits. 

  3. Streamlined Processes 

    Simplify your entire hiring process with project RPO. From initial job postings to the final stages of onboarding, project RPO partners streamline and manage every detail, enabling you to focus on what matters most – your business. 

  4. Talent Technology and Reporting 

    The success of your organisation relies heavily on data and analytics. A project RPO solution can provide targeted recruitment technologies, such as Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to effectively monitor metrics that are key to driving business growth. Your RPO partner will meticulously document each phase of the recruitment process, providing real-time reports and in-depth analyses for quick decision-making. This robust data tracking system both enables swift decision-making in the present and streamlines recruitment process reporting for the future. 

  5. Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing 

    Project RPO partners can work to develop and refine your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), best articulating the elements of your brand that make you an employer of choice and helping you to stand out from the crowd in localised and international markets. Furthermore, 70% of the workforce consists of passive talent not actively seeking new opportunities,1 who are unlikely to be visiting your career site and job boards. An RPO provider will act as an extension of your internal talent acquisition teams, enriching your talent pools through direct recruitment marketing campaigns and proactive candidate sourcing to engage highly qualified, passive talent. 

Is project RPO the right solution for your organisation? 

The shift towards project RPO in the blue-collar sector signifies a revolutionary change in how organisations approach recruitment. This model offers a tailored, strategic partnership that not only addresses the immediate hiring needs of companies but also aligns with their broader business objectives 

By providing access to top talent, customised solutions, efficient processes, cost-effective strategies, and a partnership approach, project RPO stands as an indispensable asset for blue-collar organisations navigating the complexities of today's labour market.  

Whether expanding into new territories, launching new operations, or simply striving to stay competitive in a landscape marked by skill shortages and evolving candidate expectations, project RPO offers a pathway to success. 

The Talent Evolution Group at Cpl focuses on leveraging cutting-edge technology, coupled with personalised strategies tailored to the specific needs of each client. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights and our extensive network, we've been able to match skilled workers with the right opportunities, driving efficiency across multiple sectors. 

Ready to learn more about how project RPO can revolutionise your blue-collar talent acquisition process? Schedule a call to learn more. 


1. Hiring statistics. Available at: (Accessed: 22 April 2024).