One of the difficult questions facing HR department heads is whether it is better to build up a strong internal recruiting department or leave the headhunting side to a third party. A lot of this depends on the size of your company, how many hires you make per month, and the level of position. If you are hiring a large number of interns, summer students, trainees, and so on, you should generally do this internally.
For mid or senior level positions though, third party recruiters offer several advantages:
1. Time is money – there is a process to recruiting, and part of it involves the inevitable sifting through all of the non-relevant, inappropriate resumes that are submitted in response to ads on job boards or web sites. Recruiters are paid an agreed-upon fee, and good or bad, time is not calculated directly into this equation. Paying an in-house employee to do this does not make sense. Some companies though will hire a third party and pay them by the hour to do this – we have done this on several occasions.
2. Internal recruiters can waste a lot of time looking at inappropriate resumes – but third party recruiters are not restricted from recruiting directly from your competitors (unless you have a non- compete agreement with a specific company). Direct recruiting is not something in-house staff can conscionably do, and it is far less time-consuming than looking at resumes from job boards. The person you normally want is working for your competitor and not looking at job boards anyway.
3. There is also the economy of scale offered by recruiters. They are often looking for similar people for similar organizations. The process of advertising, a list of potential competitors, a list of people applying for these types of positions, people whom they may have already qualified are likely all there and ready to go.
4. Headhunters have excellent databases of professional people and often are affiliated with other headhunters, expanding their databases many fold, and leveraging the social media power of more than one search firm. They are thus able to enlist the help of other headhunters to help with your search, in a process seamless and invisible to you (as we are able to do courtesy of our membership in NPA – National Personnel Associates).
5. Often a resume does not truly reflect the applicants’ skills and backgrounds. Many headhunters will, with the cooperation of an applicant, edit her/his resume to properly reflect what they do. This is not something your staff would do, and this person could turn out to be your next great hire. Your internal recruiter may have rejected her/him.
(We are also affiliated with a company that does resume editing – EditMyResumeNow.com).
6. Third party recruiters are very helpful when you want to hire contract (temp) professionals, such as CPAs, IT specialists, Project Managers, and others. These people prefer to work contract, and are often on recruiter databases and can be on their payroll, making your job easier. This can be a very fast process and can do a lot to alleviate stress within your organization.
7. Recruiters normally vet applicants, do reference checks, and help ensure that they are the right person
who will stay with your company and do a great job – the cost of a bad hire is exceptionally high.
8. Importantly, third party recruiters can talk money with a candidate – they will be able to manage a candidate’s financial expectations and find out what offer is likely to be accepted. This makes the process easier and helps each side come to a mutually acceptable agreement, avoiding having the process go off the rails.
A good recruiting company can become your trusted friend and advisor – they will not leave your company and take a job with your competitor, as your in-house recruiter might. They will come to learn the strengths and goals of your company and be able to extol the benefits of being your employee. You will feel comfortable leaving the recruiting to them. Outsourcing recruiting to a third party works.