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What is the Benefit of Using a Recruitment Agency vs Hiring In-House?

November 1, 2019
Gareth Whyatt
inhouse vs recruitment agencies

When it comes to hiring new staff, businesses are faced with the choice of using a specialist recruitment agency or letting an in-house team handle the responsibilities.  

When recruiting for specific sectors such as FMCG and food manufacturing, recruiting can become a highly specialised process. In this case, using an expert recruitment agency and their years of experience can be highly effective.  


Candidate, Industry and Business Knowledge 

 To be a successful recruiter, you must commit towards developing a comprehensive understanding of not only the client’s business, but the competition, the industry and its trends too.  

In many cases, it’s the HR teams that double as the in-house recruiters, and this means that as well as recruitment, they need to have their hand in legal requirements, strategy, budgeting, reporting and planning. While their understanding of the business may be unrivalled, it’s unlikely that they will have the capacity and time to take an in-depth look at competitors. 

This means they will be unaware of the products, services and the employer brand that is being offered elsewhere, in comparison to the value your businesses offer candidates. The HR team is often limited by its size. They’re dealing with a wide breadth of tasks and responsibilities which leaves little time to develop their expertise of the role in hand.   

Specialist recruitment agencies should work alongside HR teams and neighbouring departments to achieve the best results. This partnership allows for fast and effective identification of the ideal candidate. Working together, an individual that aligns themselves with company values and culture and possesses the qualities needed to drive the business forward, can be found. 


Talent Pools 

Recruitment agencies are motivated to consistently provide the best talent to their clients. While in-house recruiters often take a reactive approach to talent sourcing, recruitment agencies are committed to constantly growing and maintaining a resource pool of talent. This includes both active, and passive candidates.  

This means that not only is the time span shortened to fill the position, but you will only get presented with high quality candidates with the required expertise, experience and soft skills. 


An extension of your brand 

Working with a third-party, such as a recruitment agency, means that you can cast a wider net when it comes to advocating your employer brand.  

While in-house recruiters and HR teams maybe have more of a focus on internal matters, meaning the reach of your brand in front of candidates will be limited, recruitment agencies can behave as brand ambassadors, selling your brand to potential candidates.  



In-house recruiters are often restricted with finding quality candidates that deliver value to the business. This is because their roles carry a long list of time-consuming responsibilities and they’re limited by the specific directives from senior management, leaving little time to test new talent sourcing strategies.  

The role of a recruitment agency is to find idyllic candidates. This means part of their role is to be creative, apply their experience and test bespoke methods that find the right candidates for your business. An example of this is to take a head-hunting approach to find the right talent for your business, by personally seeking out, researching and approaching candidates – rather than inviting a broad spectrum of individuals to apply.  

For a large business or corporation, the hiring process requires multiple members of staff to be involved in the sourcing, vetting and interviewing processes, turning it into a highly complicated, expensive and time-consuming procedure. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that companies turn to recruitment agencies, to streamline the process. 



It’s often the case that businesses will not require a full-time in-house recruiter. If you do not have a high staff turnover, having a permanent member of the team purely dedicated to recruiting new employees will be a loss to the business.  

Recruitment agencies are there to partner with when required. Their focus on filling the role with the right candidate that will progress with the business will mean that it will be done quickly and to a high standard. Ultimately, recruitment agencies are an investment in an economy of scale. 



There is an enormous technology resource on the market, and this also applies to specialist recruitment technology 

While many in-house hiring departments cannot justify the budget required to invest in technology specific for recruitment, many recruitment firms have already utilised new software and applications on the market.  

This technology can streamline the recruitment process, use psychometric testing to unearth candidates’ behaviours and values and eliminate both unconscious and conscious bias, to create truly diverse workforces. 

There are many opportunities for great synergies to be created between in-house HR departments and recruitment agencies. They do not have the capacity to devote to the whole recruitment process and can draw on the experience and expertise of recruitment consultants.  

If you would like to further explore the benefits of using a specialist recruitment firm, contact a member of The Sterling Choice today 

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About The Author

Gareth Whyatt

After 12 years’ experience within the industry predominantly focusing on Operations and Supply Chain, founding The Sterling Choice has provided me with the opportunity to take a step back and focus on my passion for developing people and teams! As the self-proclaimed Head of Training I love seeing people develop and grow through the recruitment ranks and ultimately achieving both their personal and business goals.

For me The Sterling Choice is all about fun, results and collective success

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