In 2005, John Younger, Kevin Wheeler, Jimmy Taylor and Mike Mayeux shook hands and agreed to launching an organization that recognizes recruitment process outsourcing as a unique industry requiring a common set of requirements and standards.
The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) was created as the first ever association specifically for recruitment process outsourcing professionals. The industry continued to grow and mature; however, a couple factors caused the association to hit the pause button and slip into a bit of a slumber. First, the economy was great. The founding companies were growing and the founders were all very busy trying to manage their growth. Second, the economy tanked and members were all very busy managing the free fall.
There was one other factor that led to the silence over the following few years. In 2008, the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) and the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Alliance (a special interest group of the HROA) agreed to a merger. However, the merger stalled for months as parties waited, one on the other, to move the deal forward. During this time, the members were tremendously underserved. Younger poured his heart and so much time and resources into getting this deal done (and for that the RPOA is very grateful). Likewise, the Alliance invested time and energy into the merger and along the way developed a great deal of mutual regard for each other.
In 2010, the RPOA Board agreed unanimously to end all merger activities and rather focus all their efforts and resources back on the members. The immediate goal was simply - GET PEOPLE TALKING AND COLLABORATING WITH ONE ANOTHER. The RPOA resumed their executive member calls where participants discuss real business issues on a monthly basis. Additionally, the RPOA changed their membership structure, moved their website to an association management software, and hired Jennifer Ilko as the first Executive Director to manage the association.
After Ilko took a personal leave in 2012, Lamees Abourahma, a technology consultant and entrepreneur who was initially contracted to develop a technology tool for the association, took over the executive director role. With no industry knowledge in recruiting or human resources but strong leadership, technology, and marketing skills, Abourahma ran the association and started developing new educational and marketing programs.
Member roundtable calls that RPOA hosted previously were losing traction – the calls lacked structure and participants were reluctant to have an open and meaningful conversations to help each other. The program, therefore, was retired and an alternative webinar program, called the Leadership Forum was born. The Leadership Forum webinars, presented by industry experts and thought leaders, introduced topics of relevance to the RPO and talent acquisition community. Free, open to the public, informative and educational in nature, the Leadership Forum was well perceived by the RPO and TA community. Currently, the RPOA hosts about six to ten webinars each year. Since 2012, RPOA’s hosted over fifty speakers and organized over forty webinars.
As the RPO industry continued to grow and the association needed to better serve the PRO community, a restructuring was needed in response. RPOA founders, Younger and Mayeux, agreed that the organization and members will be better served with a new, fully-committed leadership. On July 7th 2015, the original non-profit entity was dissolved in California, and a new for-profit entity was established in Richmond, Virginia, under the same name.
Today, with a new leadership, a revised business model, a talented team, and a committed core membership, the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association serves close to 6,000 members worldwide and is the online hub for more than 12,000 monthly site visitors.