External vs in-house recruitment
I get the feeling that the ‘argument’ of external vs. in-house recruitment is one of those topics that has gone around and around in circles, and as an in-house recruiter, you may think I could be a little biased...sure, I’ve heard the line managers complaining about recruitment - it’s all just CVs and interviews for months on end until a miracle happens and you find the right person. But I must admit that hiring into my own team is one of the tasks I enjoy least – it takes up so much of my time and it takes so long to find the right person!
Well, of course it can feel like that depending on what you’re looking for and how you go about finding those great, and sometimes elusive candidates. But what happens before you get those CVs on your desk – how should your business go about the job of recruiting?
There are a number different recruitment models and it can be tempting to go for the latest one, much like getting the latest mobile phone or techie toy, each one better than the last. I’m the type of person who struggles when I learn how to use a new phone…to the point that I recently had to ask for help working out how to make a call (and no, I’m not an octogenarian!). The question is what are your options and what’s right for you and your organisation? Broadly speaking, I’d say there are three main methods to how you go about recruiting and each has its benefits and drawbacks, but each is right for different organisations.
Firstly, recruitment may be just part of your everyday job, whether you’re in HR or you’re a line manager. This generally works well in a smaller organisation, or where the HR structure has a generalist team who help to support. It’s great to have the control over the process but it can be time consuming, taking you away from business critical tasks, and it can be less cost efficient if you’re going out to agencies each time. You may be able to negotiate rates with these agencies, especially if you are using them often, so do try to get the best deal you can!
Secondly, the in-house recruitment team. Great to have people who are an extension of the business and ‘get’ what you do and can pick up some of the leg work, but what happens in tough times? It’s not just recruitment agencies that have had to make job cuts. An in-house recruitment team is an expense to the business and needs to be able to add value; this can be a tough ask when recruitment is typified by cyclical peaks and troughs. However, when you have a dedicated person for your recruitment and all that goes with it, it really does make a huge difference!
Lastly, recruitment process outsourcing, it’s been around for a while but to me, it does still feel a little bit like the new kid on the block. I’m not an expert but it does provide a service which is almost a middle ground between the two other models. The problem is, with any outsourcing, there is a lot of work up front to get it right, to communicate it and to get people using it rather than doing their own thing. However, once the foundation is laid, hopefully the service will do what it’s supposed to (and therein lies the risk as well).
So what’s best for you and your business? Whatever you do, make sure you do your ground work and crunch the numbers – speak to other businesses and see what works for them too, do your research of what the pitfalls and opportunities have been for others. You never know, maybe a little bit of everything could be the answer.