In 2005, John Younger, Kevin Wheeler, Jimmy Taylor and Mike Mayeux shook hands and created the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving the RPO industry.
The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) was created as the first ever association of RPO thought leaders. Over the years this great industry has grown; however, true thought leadership has slipped into a bit of a slumber over the past few years. A couple factors caused the organization to hit the pause button. First, the economy was great; the founding companies were growing and members were all very busy trying to manage the 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. After working for a couple years to get that merger done, the RPOA pulled back from the merger. The merger stalled for months as parties waited, one on the other, to move the deal forward. During this time, the members were tremendously under served. John 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 we 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 issues on a monthly basis. Additionally, the RPOA changed their membership framework and added a couple new levels. Other changes, besides the launch of a new website, was that RPOA purchased an Association Management Software to assist the Board with communication, member management, and blog, and hired Jennifer Ilko to as the first Executive Director to manage the association.
After Jennifer Ilko took a personal leave in 2012, Lamees Abourahma was selected as RPOA Executive Director. With no industry knowledge in recruiting or human resources but strong leadership, technology, and marketing skills, Lamees started developing educational programs and resources to achieve RPOA’s mission of education the market about RPO while introducing new benefits that provided members with visibility, credibility, and business opportunity.
Member roundtable calls that RPOA hosted previously were losing traction – largely because of the rivalry nature of the RPO community. The new RPOA membership, unlike the original group, were reluctant to help each other and rather were looking for business value.
The RPOA Leadership Forum was introduced- this was a monthly webinar program hosted by RPOA and presented by an RPOA member on an RPO or recruiting-related topic and was open to the public. This program gained popularity and was well perceived by members and the public.
Over the next three years, RPOA’s hosted and produced a couple dozens of leadership webinars and published hundreds or related blog posts. The RPOA started with a database of 200 contacts and a website that attracted 800 visits per month in 2012. By the end of 2015, RPOA has a growing database of 3,500 HR professionals and executive, a mostly organic website traffic of almost 10,000 visits per month, an active blog with over 200 articles, and an RPO Buyers Guide of more than 100 approved RPO vendors worldwide.
As the organization was going through a growth period, a restructuring was needed in response. RPOA founders, John Younger and Mike Mayeux, agreed that the organization and members will be better served with a new, fully-committed leadership. On July 17th 2015, the original RPOA, Inc. entity was dissolved in California, and a new entity was established as Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association, LLC in Richmond, Virginia with the vision to be the leading educational resources for RPO online.