The debate on Recruitment Agencies vs In-House Hiring has been ongoing for many years. Today as businesses continue to take a long hard look at their bottom line, there has been a definite trend towards cutting out the middle man and hiring direct.
Moving away from the agency model has much to recommend it. Aside from the obvious cost reductions, we’re also in the age of the employer where everything from CSR policies to the interior design of the office must reflect the vision and values of the organization. Handing over the delivery of recruitment to an external agency with its own motivations could be potentially damaging. And, with the right skills, strategy and implementation, an in-house team is well placed to create a positive candidate experience. A step in providing a good candidate experience is the theory of candidate as consumer–in a world where reputation is all, it’s something that every organization should factor into their recruitment strategies. A prospective employee handled shabbily by a recruitment consultant can have a disproportionately negative impact on a brand reputation thanks to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A positive candidate experience whether the candidate is successful or not on the other hand, can help enhance the company’s brand. There are, however, skills and tactics that in-house professionals need to ensure are up to par if they are to perform as well as they could. Managing the offer process is one area where responsibility has traditionally been handed to an agency. It’s a sensitive stage of the process, one that can make or break the deal, as well as having an effect on what opinion a candidate takes away with them.
On the other hand, print advertisements and posts on job boards can sometimes be expensive and inefficient tactics. Agencies have had the edge in their early adoption of the online tools and strategies available, and often know what skills or qualifications you are looking for in a candidate. They also do the preliminary work for your company by doing first interviews and in weeding out unsuitable candidates. They are also considered more beneficial for higher level roles where very specific skills and experience are required and industry sensitivities dictate a more tactical approach. Agencies, executive search companies and head hunters have the networks, tools and negotiation skills that are just not practical for companies to have on the payroll.