The Pros and Cons of Working Without a Recruiter

Recruitment is a central component of many job descriptions for human resource professionals. The hiring process involves finding suitable candidates to fill open positions in the business, which takes hard work and patience to find someone who will succeed not only in the job but in the overall company as well. 

Considering that recruiting new talent can take an immense amount of work and time, many companies are beginning to work with recruiting firms to fill job vacancies. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons you should carefully consider when formulating a strategy for your next hiring venture.


To trust or not to trust?

Pro: A recruiter will save you valuable time and money sorting through resumes and conducting initial interviews. Their profession essentially mandates they have a running list of connections throughout various fields, relationships that are cared for and can be called upon when the right position is available. HR professionals do not foster and grow relationships for the same purposes as recruiters, thus giving recruiters an advantage in contacting a wider reach of candidates.

Con: For many HR managers, it is important to be part of the hiring process and by hiring an outside recruiter, human resource professionals are somewhat taken out of the hiring process. For some teams, the loss of control and power over the initial job search can seem, at a glance, unsettling.

Verdict: A great amount of trust is needed in the recruitment firm, as outside companies do not understand the company as well as HR professionals do and can misjudge who would be a good fit. It’s important you choose a recruiter or headhunter who can take the time to research and understand your company’s culture, not just the position available.

Take into consideration also the specialty of the recruiter-- do they have experience recruiting within specific industries or niches? A specialized recruiter can help bring you more exact results and will naturally understand your business and its needs more fully.


The job board dilemma

Pro: Job boards and social media can be inefficient and can cause businesses to lose out on highly qualified candidates, simply because they were not reached or because the team was saturated with a pile of irrelevant resumes.

According to Forbes, 80% of jobs are not listed on job boards, and job boards are referred to as a “maze of confusion”.  Most jobs are filled through networking, which is exactly where recruitment firms are necessary. HR professionals do not have the same extensive network of contacts that recruitment agencies have. 

Con: Job boards do provide a lower cost option to advertising a position. This is especially good for positions that do not require specific or high-level skill sets and can be filled more generally. Another option is to ask your current employees for referrals, this is a free solution that opens the doors to candidates that would go otherwise unreached.

Verdict: Hours could be spent scouring job boards to find the few relevant candidates, which wastes valuable time, and you’re not certain at the end of the day that your team has been able to reach the most qualified talent. Recruiters take the time to find the right candidates for the company and have access to an extensive network of connections that they have carefully cultivated for years. 


Decision time

Pro: There is often a delay between identifying the right candidate for the job and actually hiring and beginning the onboarding process. Many human resource professionals express frustration with this process and the miscommunication or inaction between upper management and the HR team. By working with a recruiter, an objective third party enters the picture and has more flexibility to pressure upper management for a decision.

Con: At the end of the day there is no guarantee a recruiter will be able to get a decision from upper management or a board faster than the HR team.

Verdict: Human resources teams have a lot on their plate, and begging management for a decision does not need to be one of them. There are also emotions of frustration and negativity when the great candidates slip away due to indecision. Your best bet is to enlist the help of a recruiter and together stress the uniqueness of the candidate and the importance of a swift decision.


Finding the right recruiter

Once a company has decided to hire an outside recruiter, retained search firm (What is a retained search firm?) or any recruiting firm, the question becomes how to find the most relevant recruiters that will lead the most effective search. Businesses should take into account the position’s field, niche, and special skills required. By working with recruiters that specialize in a specific industry or location, you are that much closer to securing a successful partnership and candidate search.

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