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Agency Recruitment vs In House Recruitment

It’s often said that any company’s greatest asset is its people. Hiring the right people from the start can help the business to be more efficient, to innovate and to otherwise be successful.

Finding employees and talent who are a right fit can also help to reduce workforce churn – the number of employees who move on in a given period – which can keep things moving smoothly and avoid the costs of constant recruitment and replacement.


What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is the process of finding those people that your business needs and bringing them on board. This could include refilling positions lost to churn or filling new roles as the business grows and changes.

It includes a number of different steps, such as identifying and defining those roles, attracting the talent, interviewing and selecting candidates and actually employing the successful ones. In other words, it covers everything from identifying the need for a certain role within the business to filling it with the best person for the job.


What are the different types of Recruitment Processes?

As mentioned above, recruitment incorporates a lot of different processes and can be a complex area with its own skilled professionals – at least if you want to do it right. In slightly more detail, the overall recruitment process begins with the identification of a vacancy or role that needs filling.

A thorough analysis of the role is then needed in order to create a detailed job description and person specification. This pinpoints what the job will actually entail and the ideal person to do it. The next stage is to attract those people by advertising the job and creating an application form.

Then comes the selection process, which is vital if you want to land the right people to help develop your business. Application forms and CVs are collected and analysed, to look for people who most closely fit the person specification for the role.

For vacancies with a lot of applications tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and psychometric testing may sometimes be used to weed out those who do not fit the bill, although this is not always the case. 

Even when the selection comes down purely to human judgement, it would be costly and time-consuming to interview every application, so the best will be whittled down to a shortlist.

Suitable potential candidates will then be invited to interview and sometimes be asked to participate in relevant tests. Finally, a decision will be made and the successful candidate will be offered the position.


Agency Recruitment vs In House Recruitment

All these processes are carried out by recruitment professionals who may be operating in house or may take the form of recruiting agencies. Before deciding whether agency or in house recruitment is the best fit for your business, it’s important to understand the difference between agency recruitment and in house recruitment.


·         - Agency recruitment

There are many different recruitment agencies in the UK. Also known as employment agencies, they essentially act as a go-between, matching employers with potential employees.

A recruitment agency may specialise in a certain sector or industry but there are different types of recruiting agencies and the majority will work across a wide range of different industries.

A recruiting agency will have a range of prospective employees already on its books and will look to match existing candidates to new roles. It will also advertise roles to bring in new candidates.

The agency will typically handle the bulk of the recruitment process as outlined above, but the beginning and end of the process will still usually be the responsibility of the employer.

This means that your company will identify and define the role before handing the process to the agency, who will look to find the best matches. They will generally also deal with the first part of the selection process, weeding out unsuitable applicants and drawing up a shortlist, but leaving final interviews and the actually hiring of the successful candidate(s) to the employer.


·         - In House Recruitment

In house recruitment, as the name suggests, is dealt with in house. It is an integral part of the company and only has to focus on finding talent to fit roles within that company.

They will liaise closely with other departments, including HR and legal. Many people who work in recruitment based in house will also have knowledge and some experience of agency recruitment. In house teams will typically be involved in the whole of the recruitment and selection process.

They will work with other departments to identify and define rolls, draw up and place adverts for the roles and deal with the processing and selection of applications, right the way up to arranging the final interviews – although the interview panellists may contain other people from relevant departments.


So which is the right fit for your business?

There are a lot of similarities between Agency Recruitment vs In House Recruitment but there are also some key differences. 

In house recruiters are embedded as an integral part of the company and so will know the business inside and out.

This means they will generally have a better idea of company culture, requirements and the candidates that will be a good long-term fit. They can oversee the recruitment process from start to finish and will not be pressured to fill a role if the candidate is not right.

Agency recruiters tend to be more sales-focused as they work on commission, and this means they will get the job done quicker, leaving no stone unturned to find candidates for the job.

They will often have access to suitable candidates via existing lists and can cast their nets wider. This often makes a recruitment agency ideal for recruiting at volume, especially in non-professional roles. They can also be better for filling part-time or temporary roles.

When it comes to costs, agencies tend to cost more per recruitment drive, but this is offset by the fact that you only pay them when you use them. With in house recruitment, they are on the books all year round.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach and the decision of which to use will depend on your own circumstances and recruitment needs.

Amanda Wright | Tue 1st Jun 2021


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Amanda Wright Rec to Rec - Recruitment Specialists for the Recruitment Industry, specialising in recruitment to recruitment. © 2021 Amandawright rec to rec recruitment consultants