Hiring the right talent for your organisation is always a top priority for business leaders. Whether you are marketing your employer brand to attract great people, or actively headhunting for new hires, it often begs the question: Should we use an external recruitment agency or employ an in-house talent acquisition professional / team? To help you decide what the best option for your talent acquisition needs is, we listed a few pros and cons of choosing an internal recruiter over an agency.

Internal Talent Acquisition Pros

More control over the candidate experience

Opting for an in-house talent acquisition employee (or team depending on your organisation size) means that you have full control over how the candidate experience is delivered. You know exactly how long the time is from the application to the first candidate call, you can ensure that the company and job opportunity is delivered to the candidate exactly how you want it to, and you will be able to deliver feedback directly without going through another person.

Important to note: One thing to note is that maintaining a great candidate experience can be extremely time consuming (especially if you are recruiting for multiple roles), so while looking after this internally may seem like a positive you may have better success with an agency option. As long as the agency you use is fully briefed on your company and knows how to “sell” the opportunity appropriately you should still deliver a great candidate experience!

Reduced recruitment fees

This is one of the main reasons that a company will employ an internal recruiter instead of using an agency, to try and reduce those hefty agency fees! Think of it this way, if you would have used an agency for 10 annual placements with an average recruitment fee of £4,500 but instead secure those same placements through one internal recruiter who is on an annual salary of £35,000 then you will reduce your recruitment costs for that year.

Important to note: While a salary for one person may seem lower than the alternative recruitment fees you would have to pay, it’s important to remember that you may have additional costs for things like job board advertising, LinkedIn recruiter licence, and applicant tracking software etc. Your internal recruiter may well reduce your overall spend on talent acquisition, but the focus is likely to be more about the added value they will bring to your talent acquisition as opposed to saving a few pounds!

Access to data to refine your strategy

By managing all talent acquisition internally you will have full visibility of what works and what doesn’t across various departments of your business. You will be able to track candidate source, time to hire, cost per hire, interview success and more! Basically you will get a full insight into your talent acquisition allowing you to make more informed choices for the future such as when to advertise a role to ensure it is filled in time and which job boards / social platforms to spend money advertising on for specific roles.

You know the culture inside out

Who better than an employee who works in your office every day to shout about your company culture for your talent acquisition plans! An internal recruiter will already know what your company EVP’s are, what the working environment is like, what the office dynamic and what your company perks are. This makes writing adverts, building recruitment marketing campaigns and speaking to candidates a whole lot easier!

You are there at the coalface

The fact that an internal recruiter is based on site means that they are able to share up to date information and even post live content as it happens to showcase your employer brand. An agency recruiter may be able to offer some form of recruitment marketing on your behalf, but they are unlikely to be able to share a real insight into life as it happens in your organisation. An internal recruiter based on site can share images and videos from office happenings and company events that will help to bolster your overall talent acquisition strategy.

Internal Talent Acquisition Cons

Reliance upon the 9-5

The reason that recruitment agencies are so effective is because their consultants work tirelessly round the clock over weekends and evenings to find the right candidates. A 9-5 internal recruiter might be able to find good candidates, but the majority of the recruitment magic will happen out of the normal 9-5 because candidates in work simply struggle to speak about new opportunities in this time! Even if an internal recruiter can chase up messages and emails the following day, you run the risk of missing out on great people because other agencies move quicker to secure interviews while your in-house team are out of the office!

Not as much access as a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies might come with a hefty fee, but part of this is because these agencies have access to some of the best tools to help them attract and source great people. Agencies will have access to multiple job boards, CV searching, CV watchdogs, LinkedIn recruiter, LinkedIn jobs, Candidate CRM and loads of other tools that can help them find great people. This isn’t to say you cannot get your own access in-house, but be prepared to stump up the money out of your talent acquisition budget if you do!

Your talent pool isn't as full

Building a talent pool is a fantastic way to future-proof your talent acquisition strategy, as you can build a collection of candidates who would potentially be interested in joining you in the future. The problem is it can take a long time to build a big enough talent pool internally so you might be waiting years until you can reap the benefits! Recruitment agencies however have ready made talent pools that they can delve into when a specific hiring requirement comes up!

In-house talent acquisition expertise might not be niche enough

One advantage of going out to agency for a specific vacancy you need to fill is that you can choose to use an agency who has niche expertise in that field. For example your company may be recruiting for a Sales Manager, a PHP Software Developer, a Chief Financial Officer, a PR Officer and a Data Scientist. Every one of these roles requires a niche understanding of different skills and experiences, so expecting one internal recruiter be able to know every single one can be a bit of a challenge. If there is a hard to fill role that your internal recruiter is struggling with themselves, going out to a specialist agency might be the answer for you.

It can take longer to make a hire

A recruitment agency (in the majority of occasions) will be able to fill the role quicker than an in-house recruiter, simply because as we have pointed out they work out of the usual hours, have better technical access to find people and probably have a ready made talent pool of candidates to talk to about your role. Also there is the obvious factor, that agency recruiters are motivated to do deals to secure their commission so they will often break their backs to find a great candidate as quickly as possible.

So there are just a few of the pros and cons of choosing an in-house recruiter over an agency for your talent acquisition needs. At the end of the day, no two organisations are the same so it’s importantly to really weigh up all of the options before deciding what is right for you. If you’d like to know more about working with an agency recruiter then feel free to contact our parent company Searchability, who specialise in IT and digital recruitment within the UK.

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