Should You Hire An External Recruiter

Filling open positions at your company can be extremely difficult, especially in more competitive industries. The hiring process is often exhausting, so you as a recruiter who is looking for new employees have two options: do all the work by yourself using your own recruiting technology or ask for help from external recruiters.  Both options are good but searching for new hires in a tough market a little less stressful if you choose the second one.

It may seem like every company is trying to hire the talents for exactly the same job as you are right now. When the market for the best candidates is very tough, sometimes it can happen that you need to take hundreds of interviews just to find a candidate who hasn’t left halfway through your process to go take another job.

Hiring candidates as "In-house recruiter" or in cooperation with an external recruiter  are both great solutions. If you're not sure whether to hire an external recruiter, here are 5 tips to help you decide:


Your workload and availability

If you want to be a great recruiter, you just don't tick and flick CV’s, hoping for one to stick so you can fill a position in your company. You need to have exceptional recruiting skills and to be able to find the best talent. In order to do so, you need to learn as much as you can about the job requirements, than to make job description and post add. When you finish that, the harder part is to screen through resumes and call some of the best candidates for an interview.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to give your best in every step of the way of getting the best person for the job. It' even harder when you must to review a large number of submitted resumes and choose the best talents. In such situations, it's usually the best solution to ask for the help of the external recruiter.

The great external recruiter can help you with getting the quality or performance of the hire that is expected. If you want top talents, they are harder to convince, so the best solution is to share the work with a colleague outside of your company.


Your experience hiring for similar positions

As I mentioned before, you must learn as much as you can about all requirements for the position you need to fill if you want to hire the best talent. Sometimes is better to cooperate with external recruiters who have more experience than you in finding the best match for a specific job. They probably had the chance to deal with a lot more candidates with all sorts of skills that are applied to many kinds of jobs since they have some kind of specialization - for example a recruiter hiring for accounting jobs will know more and better candidates.

How much time you have in hand

When dealing with a large number of candidates, you can manage to hire average performers or to ask help from external recruiters. No matter the industry your company is into, you will probably be workload and don’t have time to do your job in an efficient manner and still hire the best talent. So, ask from external recruiters to give you a hand and together you will find the most appropriate method and have the best results.

You must have exceptional recruiting skills when dealing with active and passive candidates. To be successful staffing firm recruiters you must excel here. Even if you have similar or even better abilities as external recruiters, due to your workload, you just don’t have the time to invest in large candidate recruiting. The good external recruiters often work with fewer high-quality candidates and by managing the process from beginning to end, they don’t need to present you more than three to four candidates in order for one to get hired.


Not many active candidates

As you are a corporate recruiter,  you probably don’t have many active candidates.  Opposed to you, external recruiters have a network of active and passive candidates that they can interview.

Part of being a great recruiter is the opportunity to develop deep networks of passive candidates. This gives them a sourcing and speed advantage and allows them to find top people quickly.

The external recruiters have more time to source passive candidates than you. So, it's easier for them to convince  a person who’s not looking for a new job to consider an opportunity. Most corporate recruiters spend a lot of their time sourcing the latter types of active candidates. The best external recruiters are often spending 80-90% of their time networking and recruiting passive candidates.  Why wouldn't  you ask them for help?


Not a standard job title

The external recruiters often need to work more closely with the same hiring managers so they have the insight of explicit skills and interviewing techniques in order to find the perfect match for the specific job. They understand  that specific job needs (as well as the hiring manager needs), so they’ll hire people who can hit the ground running.  

As a corporate recruiter, you certainly can do the same good stuff the external recruiters  but you rarely get the chance.  So, it could happen that you over-rely on skills, experience and compensation to filter candidates, eliminating high potential and diverse candidates from consideration.



Corporate recruiters can be awesome. They understand the culture and business of the company they work for, so they can be the first screener, making the shortlisting process much easier. As one of them, you will also standardize the recruitment process, and help manage the line between the hiring manager and candidates and their expectations during the process.

While you're working as the internal recruiter, you can vastly improve your company's hiring process, but there can also be some pitfalls. For example, your company is going through a growth spurt and you’re running out of energy and resources, so you take the risk to hire the average candidate or split the work with some external recruiter.