Are you hiring or plan to be anytime soon?

There is much debate with regards to talent acquisition and whether companies ought to be using external recruiters, hiring internal recruiters, or doing a combination of both.

So when should you use one strategy over the other or a combination of possibly all three strategies? There is no right or wrong answer and it sort of depends. But no matter the strategy you’ll very likely need to utilize recruiters in some way shape or form.

Kim Ogles, Senior Corporate Recruiter and Tony Seminary, founder and CEO of IT Motives are going to weigh in on this topic. So let’s take each strategy and break down the benefits further.

Before we do let’s make an introduction of Kim and Tony.

Kim’s bio:

I’m a seasoned technology recruiter with decades of talent acquisition and recruiting team management experience for Fortune 500 companies. I’m experienced on all sides of staffing models including Corporate, Agency, Search & Contract/Independent Staffing. Further, I thrive on high-volume, fast-paced, challenging roles. I’m highly skilled in areas of client and candidate management, recruiting & closing top-level candidates, and I have a personal and professional commitment for Diversity & Inclusion in recruiting and hiring. Industry experiences include Software, Hardware, Information Technology, Electronics Design, Manufacturing, and Environmental Consulting. I’m a very proud grandmother of a four-year-old and avid Seattle Seahawks fan!

Tony’s bio:

I’m the Founder and CEO of IT Motives and have been in the technical recruiting field since 1996. I started as a recruiter, then moved into account management, and then started IT Motives in 2008. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are near and dear to my heart. Further, I’m passionate about building long-term relationships, growing people, and making career connections. That is my why. What is your Why? I’d love to learn your story and get to know you better, so feel free to reach out to me. When I’m not at work I love to do things such as traveling, camping, kayaking, and going to Pow-Wows. I’m also the proud father of my daughter Angelina and I really like spending time with her.

Kim’s take:

Using External Recruiters

External Recruiters provide a helpful and often cost-effective augmentation to a company’s hiring strategy. They can be invaluable when hiring niche technical skills, executives and during peak high-volume staffing efforts. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) firms can be also an excellent resource during high-volume, low mix hiring environments and temporary seasonal hiring  (like distribution warehouses during the holidays, call centers, manufacturing operators). I recommend limiting the vendor support to two or three, deeply vetted agencies that really understand the businesses hiring needs, pains and goals. Agency recruiting success will increase greatly, when they have open, transparent communication with Human Resources AND the hiring teams. Agencies will also be far more motivated to work on a client’s open role; if they are not competing with a bunch of other agencies.

Hiring Internal Recruiters

Strong internal recruiters can be a major asset to companies. They have the benefit of close industrial knowledge of the company products, culture, business plans and strategies for future growth (and the talent needed to support those plans). They also have direct insight to Diversity & Inclusion goals. Skilled internal recruiters, armed with the institutional knowledge, should be able to provide a stronger, qualified candidate pool with shorter time to fill. Not all companies have the volume of open jobs or hiring needs to a full time internal resource. The decision to hire internal recruiters should be based on headcount forecasts, types of roles being filled and budget.

Combination of both Internal & External Recruiters

In my experience, the combination of both is the most common model. Internal Recruiters & resources can be taxed (especially during times of high recruiting & hiring). Not all internal recruiters will have the experience or network reach to effectively source and screen all types of roles that a company might need to hire. For example, a very talented and skill Sales or Finance Recruiter, might not have the same results as a Technical Recruiter. External agency support is great when a company has a one-off role that is only filled once every year or two.

There really isn’t a one size fits all staffing model. Any of these options or combinations of; really depends on the needs of the company, the volume of open jobs needing to be filled and the resources & skills of the internal staff. What I am confident of? A communicative relationship between the internal and external staffing resources is essential!

Tony’s take:

Using External Recruiters

You tend to work with external recruiters for things such as contingent and retained searches. These companies normally have multiple recruiters on their staff, and you can leverage their vast networks. And if you work with multiple companies in this way, they can really scale your efforts from their networks. External recruiters are going to cost you more money, and on average you’ll pay a vig in the range of $20,000 to $40,000 per placement. Assuming you need to find talent quickly, this is a great option. The nice thing about working with external recruiters is that if you’re working with them on a contingent basis, it doesn’t cost you anything to work with them until they make a placement. There is a time investment up front, but that is minor relatively speaking if you compare this time to a five figure pay out.

Hiring Internal Recruiters

You are growing rapidly and you are confident you’ll be around for a while. You are thinking of an IPO eventually, perhaps some M/A activity, or just plain and simply a lot of organic growth. You just know you are here to stay. Then you go out and find a recruiting team that is dedicated to finding your team for you. This can be a cost effective way in the long run to avoid the price tag that comes with using external recruiters. And as you recruit for positions, you have your employees (and not someone else’s) advocating and selling the sizzle of your company.

Combination of both Internal & External Recruiters

It takes time to find recruiters, just like it takes time to hire any kind of talent into your organization. So as you embark on finding an internal recruiting team, you need to keep your relationships going with your external recruiters. As you hire internal recruiters, you will slow down a bit with your external recruiters. Mostly because of cost. But let’s say you hire two recruiters to your staff and want to try and have them exclusively fill your requirements, keep in mind you are limited to their network. Whereas if you’re working with a few external firms, you would have access to several recruiter networks depending on the size of that companies staff.