Inspired by Anthony Roberts of Kelly Services in Florida. From his LinkedIn Discussion entitled: "Are Recruiters Really Necessary" posted on the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Discussion Group Aug 6, 2011.
External recruiters are actually not necessary if the internal process of recruiting quality candidates has been solved. However, plan on solving that challenge often, because each time recruiting quality candidates has been solved--things will soon change--like the competition, the economy, geography, technology, the markets, candidate availability, candidate affordability, etc.
And so, adjustments will have to be made to accommodate what it will take to find, attract and land quality candidates in the future--again and again. And "so it goes"*. (*...paying my respect to Kurt Vonnegut who, among others, grasped the logic of anticipating logical outcomes in life.)
@Brian--exactomundo...to my point, the moment you feel you're on top of your latest staffing challenge, some new dynamic can require a significant adjustment or suffer the consequences.
Employers have long attempted to build internal recruitment "Delta Teams" and some work well. However, problems can also arise, e.g., the new cost factor; the right leadership; crossing hiring managers who have their own agenda; diversity spins that can alienate more than ingratiate; and aggressive approaches that can tarnish a brand name, etc.
@Amber--sad but true...the overworked, under appreciated internal recruiter having to work in a high-demand work environment where two have to do what five employees did just two years prior. And who's to say the best recruiter was retained (sometimes the more experienced-older-recruiter is let go and the recent college hire is kept). Compound that with a cumbersome ATS and independent acting hiring managers and you have the makings of chaos.
In those cases where chaos is rising--an effective external recruiter/recruitment team can do wonders in getting the right people in the right positions as a step in the right direction.
So I think I understand where you are coming from. "Think" is the keyword. However, your two statements within your first paragraph seems as if it may be a paradox. A contradiction.
I think as Recruiters from various geographical locations therefore different clients or even apart of in house recruiting, we all come across different experiences and situations when it comes to dealing with "Recruiting"
I see people expressing on this thread that it is possible to NOT REQUIRE external recruiters. This may be true if your dealing with a start-up company or a company that hasn't chosen the right steps to scale up.
In my experience being in this game for a little over four months I would have to say I disagree. I believe and see it true, based on experience through working with top web companies such as Pandora, Yahoo, Apple and more that these companies understand the value and see that it is required to hire external recruiting services if they are in the process of growth and creating stability.
There should be no reason that I can think of, that would not require external recruiters.
The closet two things I can think is if the company is in a slow growth spurt or they have created A smart CYBER KILLING MACHINE ROBOT that creates a system that does not require neither a sourcer or even a recruiter. (Like that will ever happen anytime soon) Sourcing by it self however, can be achieved through Machine learning Technologies. Which would require a decent amount of funds for an R & D program to accomplish.
In conclusion, enterprise companies (like yahoo) will always recruit outside agencies to hire for there roles (maybe even along with there in-house recruiters) And start-up companies who are aggressively scaling up see the value in a quality external agency that shows a good track record, and promising current and past clients.
My observation regarding employers is meant to point out the contradictory, illogical and paradoxical decisions they make on a regular basis. Why? Because they can, and do, operate both logically and illogically.
On the subject of recruitment--even if an employer concludes that an external recruiter could be a great help to address recruitment challenges--it does not necessarily follow that external recruiters will actually be used. Their decision could be driven by budget issues. They can even be honoring a tradition of never using search agencies.
My point also applies to the condition that the employer actually has their recruitment act together--and has no need to engage external recruitment assistance. The fact is--that comfort zone can abruptly change (for a number of reasons mentioned earlier). And then the question becomes--can that employer continue to be competitive in their industry/market if the quality of their hires falls below their standards?
If they become a target for poaching competitors (who use external search agencies to do such recruiting) and lose several key, quality employees--can they effectively replace those losses with their internal staffing mechanism alone? Or do they go ballistic and also engage a hardcore external recruitment professional to help ensure survival first, and then growth?