Which is the way to go: direct hiring or recruitment agency? Both have their advantages. Businesses today “continue to take a long hard look at their bottom line and there’s been a definite trend towards cutting out the middle man and hiring direct”.
This article was inspired by “So you think you can hire?”, by Alastair Cartwright, and many of the ideas in the original article have been republished in this blog post.
by Jens Trulsson
It is now best practice to afford a “prospective employee the same consideration you would a client or customer”. In a world where reputation is all, every organisation should factor this 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 mediums such as Facebook and Twitter. Conversely, a positive candidate experience, whether the candidate is successful or not, can help enhance” the organisation’s brand.
However, taking the hire function in-house doesn’t guarantee a great candidate experience. The offer process is a traditional agency area and it’s a make or break stage of the process that affects what opinion a candidate takes away with them.
HR’s biggest challenge is to bridge the gap from transactional function to strategic partner. HR teams should identify skill gaps and predict where business growth lies by identifying the right employees with the abilities and vision to move the business forward. Actually identifying the suitable talent to enable this type of strategic hiring is the biggest hurdle to overcome for in-house teams.
The agencies’ edge have been their early adoption of the available online tools and strategies. Employing resources such as LinkedIn and applicant tracking systems are simple ways of improving candidate identification.
In-house teams have the potential to out-perform agencies, especially for volume hire and middle management roles. There will always be a place for a third party 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.
The value for an organisation is having a skilled, experienced and well supported in-house recruitment team on board. Direct hire can be about much more than improving your bottom line if done well, it can make real strategic difference to an organisation.