Headhunters Vs. In House Recruiting – a Comparison

Which is better, using a headhunter to hire staff, or using in house resources? When it comes to finding and hiring great talent, human resource staff members have two options. They can use in house staff to recruit, interview, and vet out potential employees, or they can rely on the services of a recruiting firm.

There are benefits and potential downfalls to either solution. Let's explore the good and bad sides of both options. Hopefully, the similarities and differences described in this article will help hiring managers determine the best recruiting and hiring options for their companies.

The Advantages of Using a Recruiting or Staffing Agency

1. Vetting is probably the best reason to using a staffing agency. When you use a reputable headhunter to find talent for you, the candidates they send in your direction have undergone any required background checks, had their references verified, and have undergone an initial screening to ensure that their skills and personalities match your requirements.

2. Many headhunters are also willing to administer skills testing before submitting candidates for your consideration. Many HR managers and hiring authorities feel that outsourcing this process is well worth the expense of using an outside recruiting service.

3. An additional benefit is that details, such as salary range, time until conversion, benefits, and hours are usually handled by the recruiter, before the prospect sits down for an interview. If the candidate knows all of these thing up front and still comes to the interview, then that “ground” has already been found to be acceptable.

4. Some firms prefer to use outside recruiting services for their own piece of mind. Many companies utilize staffing firms to place candidates into contract-to-hire positions. This means that the staffing company handles tasks such as payroll and benefits during a brief period before the employee is converted. If the employee does not work out, the company may be able to recoup some of the fees they have paid. If the prospect engages in gross misconduct, it is also possible that any money paid towards salary and benefits will also be refunded.

5. Next, many companies do not have the manpower to dedicate to the recruiting and screening process. Using a recruiting firm saves them from having to dedicate their human resources to the task.

6. A great benefit of using a staffing company is this: staffing firms have databases full of prospective hires at their fingertips. Many companies prefer this to posting advertisements for jobs on various job search websites, and pouring through resumes of candidates who do not fit the posted criteria.

7. Finally, while in-house recruiting often means that a potential employee must sit for several interviews, companies who use the services of a headhunter can usually make a hiring decision within one or two interviews.

The Advantages of Using In-House Hiring

1. Cost savings is one of the primary reasons that companies opt to do all of their recruiting, screening, interviewing, and hiring in house. Many small and mid-size businesses simply do not have the funds to use recruiting companies, or they prefer to use those funds for salary and bonuses, training, infrastructure, or marketing.

2. A second reason that many companies prefer to keep their hiring in house is that they believe that they are better qualified to find candidates who fit in with the company's culture. This is becoming more and more common, as managers realize that hiring decisions can have an impact on a company's work environment, or even, in some cases, their brand.

3. There is an occasionally justified fear of sales pressure and shady recruiting and vetting techniques on the part of employment services. While the majority of headhunters are ethical in their processes, some will fudge candidates’ qualifications or cover up potential red flags, in order to get their prospect placed and to collect their fee. Others use high pressure sales tactics which are irritating at best, and downright disgusting at worst.

4. Finally, many hiring managers forego using staffing agencies simply because it is easier than ever to locate potential employees. Job websites such as Monster, Indeed, Dice, and CareerBuilder are full of resumes that have been posted by candidates looking for work. In addition to this, managers can post job openings on these websites for far less money than they will spend on a recruiting service. There are also government based resources, such as state unemployment offices, that can also connect businesses who are hiring with potential employees. These services are often free to companies, as long as they abide by certain rules regarding recruiting and hiring processes.

Choosing a Hiring Approach

Whether or not it is better to use a headhunter or in-house recruiting to find new employees depends on the needs of each individual company. Some managers may conclude that they are better off concentrating their efforts in areas other than recruiting and hiring, while others feel as if outsourcing that function does not give them the control and influence over hiring decisions that they would prefer to have. Many companies opt for a mixed approach. They may use headhunters to fill support positions or contract positions that may periodically become available, but they will use their own HR staff to recruit and hire people into positions that are mission-critical. It appears as if the answer to the initial question is that either or both approaches may the best, dependent upon the company's budget, culture, and hiring needs.

Bio: My name is John Unger. I'm blogger and editor for AssignmentMountain service. I write articles and for other websites as well. Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Google+ 

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