Recruitment Agency Versus In-house

Why you should consider switching to a recruitment agency if you have an ‘in-house’ recruitment solution…

Larger companies may have the luxury of a number of staff, each with their own role, rather than one person who’s chief, cook and bottle-washer. Within companies of such size, it’s quite possible that a HR department nestles, that’s sometimes tasked with the recruitment of new employees. It seems a fair enough expectation, that the people tasked with looking after the company’s people recruit new people. With a knowledge of employee policies and an understanding of what it’s like to work within those four walls, aren’t they – excuse the pun – the best people for the job?

Well, not necessarily, no.

Recruitment, when done properly, is more intricate than it may seem on the surface, and requires many different skill-sets to ensure the best person is chosen for the vacancy in hand. If you’re not convinced by that statement, at least recognise that you need to read on, because the cost of a poor hire could run into the thousands, and cause disruption to customer service and ultimately your brand, not to mention the wasted funds spent on induction, training and development the departing employee never got the chance to use. The morale of your other employees is bound to take a dip too, when they realise they’ve yet again to ‘tighten the ranks’ and shoulder more of the burden than their role and pay cheque rewards them for. Suddenly, the situation can echo rats deserting a sinking ship.

Far better to get the right person for the right role from the off. Which means the drafting of accurate and attractive advertisements, to draw in the best talent. Given that the majority of today’s jobseekers use the internet or their mobiles to find their next position, an understanding of SEO is essential too.

From there, filtering and screening skills are necessary, and very specialist. Reading a batch of near-identical CVs, the agency recruiter has to read between the lines, to ascertain whether that person not only wants the role, is a good fit for the position in terms of skills and experience, but that they project the right image and enthusiasm that sees them slot straight in with the company’s internal culture. It’s definitely a challenge, when shortlisting for interview, to ascertain all that from two pieces of paper.

Then onto the interviewing stage. Intuition, advanced communication skills, and being a good judge of someone’s persona, are essential when seeing people in person; it’s a very different approach to training or assisting people as employees. Much of what is said in an interview is embellished or intended to impress; pinning down someone’s true nature when you’ve just met, and in a short time-frame, is not something everyone could do. It involves an understanding of both psychology and sales, investigative approaches and listening skills.

From a time viewpoint, outsourcing recruitment to an agency not only ensures the right person is hired, under the right terms, effortlessly and effectively, it also allows the HR department, and everyone else under the company’s roof, to focus on what they do best. The time and impact recruitment can have on other operations when recruitment is carried out in-house can be awkward, unnecessary and damaging.

The reach of an agency and methods to secure the best talent are often outside the knowledge and access of in-house recruiters. Agencies’ burgeoning databases of experienced candidates already on the lookout for their next challenge is like a profitable mine ready to be excavated. Particularly of value when it’s a niche role that’s vacant – an agency is highly likely to have just the person a company may spend months looking for, as they have no real idea where to find him/her.

We’ve used a HR department as the example of in-house recruitment, but the point still stands if managers of the position that needs filling try and find the right person themselves. Again, relevant recruiting skills may not be there, and even though a manager can claim to have a good understanding of what the role involves, this can differ greatly from what the outgoing employee thinks is requisite. And they have to recruit their next protégé whilst meeting their own targets and under everyday pressures. It doesn’t sound that effective, does it?

The candidate experience is also a consideration, one that will be automatically addressed by a recruitment agency. Company culture, employee satisfaction and the morale of the workforce may not be tangible things, but do away with them and you can definitely see the impact they have on a business.

The experience, skills, reach, and history of successful placements offered by recruitment agencies are huge benefits too valuable to discount or overlook. To find special people for your company, it takes a special approach. Let your in-house team get on with what they do best and leave recruitment to the experts.