In-house or agency
Toby Levy
Monday, May 20, 2019
3 min read

In-house vs agency – is there a right way to recruit?

Each time a team has plans to grow, there is always one question that comes up time and time again; should a company conduct its own hiring internally or employ an external recruitment agency?

There are pros and cons for each, whether that be saving time – usually a pro – or budget – usually a con. But it isn’t always as clear-cut as that. Managing (multiple) agencies also takes time and an internal team also costs. So how do you know which is the right approach for your team?



Can we as a company attract candidates ourselves? Do we have a strong pipeline, or could we benefit from some additional support? If you’re hiring for Monzo or Revolut, you will likely get hundreds of graduates emailing directly each day looking to impress the internal talent team; who themselves have a team dedicated to sifting through CVs. But if you’re a smaller start-up, without this capability, external support could be the answer. After all, recruitment agencies usually have the upper hand on connections and contact with proactively sourcing prospective candidates.



Requirements can change, calendars can (and do) change; so, who must pick up these last-minute changes? Having an agency manage the hiring process means that when these curveballs are thrown at you, you can pass on the baton – leaving you to deal with the remaining 99 problems on your to-do list.



For smaller businesses with smaller budgets, cost is everything. The cost of hiring through an agency varies greatly depending on the agency itself, however, a great one should be able to get you value for money (i.e. find you a superstar at a reasonable price). Hiring and developing an in-house team can be expensive once you factor in salaries, access to resources, and time – time is money!



It is important to realise that any person, whether part of your business or not, who engages with prospective candidates is representing your company – so put in the time to make them your partner. If you opt for agency support, make sure you take the time to help them really know the business, know the role, and know exactly what the business is looking for – both in terms of CV and personality. (Similarly, if an agency isn’t requesting this, they may not be the right fit for you). Just sending out a job spec to a recruitment agency without any further details or context is not going to produce the best results.


So is there a right way to recruit? Of course - it depends. It depends on what you want to achieve and how quickly your company is looking to grow. The right recruitment partner can save you time and, if briefed correctly, can really add value to your recruitment pipeline, whether you are actively searching for people or not.

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