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Sourcing the best candidates is vital to a business’s success, one wrong hire and you’ve wasted time and money. According to Wellingtone SMEs could be wasting £69 million on poor recruitment decisions with 22% of new recruits leaving their new jobs within the first six months. It’s even more pressure for in-house recruiters as weak recruitment choices are likely to damage the brand. It’s no wonder the ‘in-house vs agency’ debate is still on-going. We recognise both methods have their advantages but we also recognise the methods can’t work in isolation. Yes, we said it, recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters need to work together.

We’re of an opinion that recruitment should be judged on return on investment, and more specifically, cost vs reach. With this in mind, the machine can be built from the ground up employing a much more holistic strategy.


Saying “it’s cheaper to hire an ex-agency recruiter to work in house” is too broad a brush when thinking about cost. You need to think about the effect in-house has on your current suppliers, brand, headcount, training and development costs, intangible costs such as poor performance and unauthorised absence. The recruitment infrastructure also needs to be factored in: what tools do they have to do the job. At a minimum, the LinkedIn Recruiter Lite platform starts at£80 a month for the basic package, then you’ll need job boards as, according to LinkedIn, 60% of job seekers still turn to them to find new opportunities. Advertising on these can range from £5 to £500 per vacancy and Database searching can work out from £100 a month per board.

If an ex-agency recruiter says “I can demystify the agency myth and bring all this knowledge to your company, in turn slashing your agency costs by 50%” then you’d be mad not to hear them out,BBM for PC but be weary of being drawn to the nice shiny stuff. All that glitters is not gold. Ask them these key questions:

•   What specialism do they have?
•   How do they track their market?
•   What is their engagement model and how effective has it been?
•   How many new candidates do they uncover on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?

The answers to these questions will be varied but within the answers lies the key question. If you do all these things then you must be best in class at what you do so why do you want to leave a commission based role where you’ll earn 4 times as much as what we’re prepared to offer you? Now we might be slightly biased on this subject but these are merely questions designed to get people thinking. You might only need someone to co-ordinate your recruitment in house: undertake some initial screening on the phone. sell the brand and organise line manager interviews. In which case you’ve probably got precisely what you need so then you’ll still have your reliance on the supply chain which brings us nicely onto our next point.



If you are currently sourcing great talent from referrals and in-house perhaps agencies aren’t for you, but you might not be finding incredible talent. In-house has a significantly smaller reach than that of an agency and face challenges when hiring senior and more niche candidates. Acknowledging the limitations of internal recruitment will highlight gaps agencies can help fill. When you have identified the gaps you can then identify the best possible agency for the job. If you’re consistently struggling with IT security roles yet your PSL is full of generalist IT recruiters then perhaps it’s time to shake things up. You might need to pay more for the specialism but your reach is far wider and you only pay for candidates who you deem to be special enough to warrant the fee anyway! This is where an ex-agency  recruiter will be able to offer added value. They will know who to go to and will talk the right language to get the rules of engagement agreed. They will know the buttons to push and levers to pull to get the best model carved out for all parties. Working alongside the business, they should be able to identify risks and issues in advance and create a more robust model that can reach the largest audience possible. For example, recruiters need skills in copywriting, SEO, screening, engagement and more, but not all of them do. An agency can help you improve the impressions of your message, proofread your job description and engage a larger audience.

We believe in constructing a recruitment team with the right players in the right place all broadcasting the same message. If we fight with each other or jockey for the position we allow better, slicker outfits will widen their reach and pick off the top talent. In-house and agency need to work together: just remember why would you want either agency or in-house when you could have agency and in-house?


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