Internal talent Teams vs. Agency Recruitment

In a market where talent is at an absolute premium, managing the relationship between internal teams and external agencies is more important than it’s ever been.

I’ve been in recruitment for 14 years now, I’ve seen it all and we need to adapt and work together. 15 years ago, you’d find it hard to come across an internal team but now that’s very much a thing of the past.

Internal recruitment is on the rise in a market where the agency landscape is becoming more saturated by the day and appreciating the work, efforts and service that the good agencies deliver should not be forgotten. For most businesses now, companies go internal first to keep costs down; they feel an internal team will have a better grasp of who they are as a business and understand their values better, but can this team cover all your requirements? Both recruiting models have certain advantages and disadvantages and the one that will suit you better depends on your current and future hiring needs as well as available resources.

Someone resigns? Or you have a budgeted hire? You’re expanding? You have two real options, go internal, ask for referrals or instruct an external agency. See my other blog on choosing between agents, here.

My thoughts are that Internal teams are good, and many internal recruiters come with an agency background so they know their stuff but ultimately, they will always have certain disadvantages:

  • Internal recruiters don’t operate as “third party” agents, it’s their job to find the best people for their employer and any advice is likely to be biased and unbalanced.
  • Most Internal teams have a restricted view of the overall market; they know their company incredibly well for sure, but do they know market trends, comparable benefits, figures, who is doing what in the market? Not often.
  • Internal recruiters naturally act in the interest of their employer, but the best agencies act in the interest of both the employer and the jobseeker and the chances of long-term success when we get it right is much higher as we’ve understood each side. 
  • An often-forgotten fact is that candidates don’t always look good on paper; a top recruiter will be a great advocate for a top candidate that may never reach interview stage based purely on their CV. Through trust, a solid track record and reputation, the recruiter should be able to justify and convince the internal team to see this talent. This is a part of the process where agencies can really come into our own.

Here’s what agencies can do for you:

  • Active access to passive candidates Our network includes passive job seekers; people who are interested in a new role but aren’t actively looking, they might be biding their time waiting for the right role. These candidates aren’t going to apply to a job advert, they may never even see it as they aren’t signed up to any job boards either. But a good recruiter can prompt them into action; using an agency will seriously increase your talent pool and give you more access to people you never would have come across yourselves.
  • We have a deeper candidate pool Recruiters have contacts across multiple roles and industries, we can reach outside individual functions to the wider market we operate within and can get the word out to a very large database that we’ve curated over time and through experience.
  • We do the pre-screening for you – We save you time in doing initial telephone calls and interview screening, we sift through hundreds of applications and send you the very best available candidates that we feel will fulfil the role.
  • We know our market – We work in and across our sector daily, we know what’s going on, we know the who’s who and any good business in recruitment will always be one step ahead.
  • We think long-term We want a relationship with you and your business; it is not in our interests to fill a role and vanish off the face of the earth, we are just as invested as you are in finding the right candidate and learning everything there is to know about that role and your company so that we can do it again and again, as a partnership.

Having founded a recruitment business and having had a successful career in it with big things ahead, I’m a massive advocate for building a harmonious relationship between the two. However, we - the agents – often get shut down at the first hurdle. In all fairness, there are some horrendous agencies out there but it’s unfair to paint us all with the same brush; get to know who you are partnering with, give us a chance short-term and the long-term will take care of itself with massive benefits.

It’s our mission as agencies to manage the relationship and add value to the internal/agency relationship. I pride myself in having a business who do the basics excellently so whether you’re an internal team or a hiring CEO, we would love to discuss our working relationship with you.

GKR London recruit across residential estate agency, new homes & development, building surveying, commercial project management, property and block management as well as all office support roles front office and back.

Written by Grant Kaveney, Founding Director at GKR London Property Recruitment.
Tel: 0207 048 3304