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In-House Hiring Vs. Using a Recruiting Firm: What’s Best in Today’s Market?
HR manager struggles to review candidates virtually because she's not using a recruiting firm.

One key decision that many companies have to make today is whether to hire in-house or use a recruiting firm. Factors such as current market conditions, budgetary restrictions, and the nature of the position itself all play a part in determining which option would be better for your business.

Of course, both paths have their pros and cons. Let’s discuss a few key differences between in-house hiring vs. using a recruiting firm, and some benefits associated with the latter option.

Key Differences Between In-House Hiring vs. Using a Recruiting Firm

The following list is by no means comprehensive. However, it does offer some insight into key differences between the two approaches.

Difference 1: Recruiting firms are better positioned for recruiting. 

In many cases, in-house HR may not have the experience or bandwidth to proactively recruit ideal candidates. They may simply post the open position online and wait for candidates to apply. Then, they forward those applications and resumes en masse to the hiring manager.

While that method can work, recruiting firms like The Doyle Group have found that proactive recruiting is often more efficient in the long run. For example, these firms can work with clients to gain an understanding of their culture, values, and current needs. Then they match up candidates that align with those key attributes. 

In addition, proactive recruiting means reaching out to passive candidates who may not actively be job seeking, but are interested in exploring their options. Actually, if you just post a role online and wait for applications to come in, you are missing out on about 70 percent of the global workforce, according to a study by LinkedIn. Therefore, a recruiting firm that takes the initiative can help you gain access to a much wider talent pool.

Difference 2: Specialty firms can go wide and deep into technology. 

Internal HR representatives often have to wear “multiple hats” on a day-to-day basis. For instance, they may have to manage responsibilities such as worker’s compensation, benefits packages, internal concerns and complaints, etc. They may be effective as generalists. However, they may not have the expertise to understand and distinguish between specific tech roles (e.g., software engineer vs. data engineer). 

In contrast, recruiting firms that specialize in tech roles have a solid understanding of what each position entails, and which candidates have the skill set necessary to make for a successful hire. This combination of HR experience and tech expertise can be an invaluable asset for companies that must fill vital tech roles.

Difference 3: Firms typically have databases/networks of candidates with relevant skill sets. 

Internal HR departments are often “under the gun” to fill positions as quickly as possible. As a result, they may settle for candidates who are available and ready to work immediately, even if they’re not necessarily the best long-term fit.

Here again, working with a recruiting firm may prove to be advantageous. For example, at The Doyle Group, we have an extensive database of candidates who are categorized by skillset and experience.  We’ve developed this talent network over many years. Thus, we have access to a wider, deeper talent pool than many business organizations. In addition, when filling positions for a client, we always look for a candidate who’s not just available. We look for who’s also most likely to add value for years to come.

As an example of our success at placing high-value candidates with client businesses, consider these statistics:

  • In 2021, 49% of our consultants were converted to full-time employees with the client
  • 72% had their contract extended.
  • 97% completed their contract.

Difference 4: The overall hiring process is different (and sometimes more comprehensive) with recruiting firms.

It’s true that no two companies implement the exact same hiring process. However, in general, recruiting firms are often in a better position to obtain a full picture of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

For example, at The Doyle Group, we pre-screen candidates for client requests. Then, we conduct comprehensive interviews to get a feel for each applicant’s skill level, experience, and personality. We take note of how they communicate, how timely and responsive they are, and how effective they are at accurately depicting their own strengths as candidates. We also provide coaching and career counseling for our candidates. This includes giving them guidance on composing a professional cover letter detailing why they would be a good fit for the role, and an effective resume. 

With all of the screening and support we provide, it’s no wonder that the candidates placed with our clients are less likely to leave.

Benefits of Using a Recruiting Firm

Some of the biggest benefits associated with using a recruiting firm include:

Scalability

If several positions unexpectedly become vacant at once, or if your internal HR team is already at full capacity, then working with a recruiting firm can be a real lifesaver! Instead of having one or two recruiters on your team, you’ll gain access to several recruiters working hard to fill those key roles. Of course, once the “storm” has passed, you always have the option to scale down again.

Time Savings

Filling roles (especially tech roles) can require a huge time investment if you do it on your own. In contrast, using a firm typically offers significant time savings and a higher level of efficiency throughout the process.

Flexibility

Internal HR teams often focus on direct hires. However, our model at The Doyle Group offers clients several options. These include contract, contract-to-hire, project-based consulting, direct hire, and executive search (depending on each client’s needs). With many of these options, you can capitalize your expenses instead of eating them on the operational budget.

Longevity

Finding the right fit for your open role generally means less turnover at the position. In turn, there’s a lower chance that you’ll have to deal with the costs of a bad hire. In fact, many firms guarantee that they’ll either find a replacement, or refund the client, if a placed candidate doesn’t work out within a certain amount of time. (Interestingly, 100% of placements from The Doyle Group in 2021 remained employed, even during the Great Resignation).

In summary, using a recruiting firm may be the key that unlocks the door to higher-quality talent, less turnover, and increased value for your company. Explore our recruiting and consulting services in more detail. Reach out to our team at The Doyle Group today to begin the conversation.