Is it time to hire an internal recruiter? | Talent Heroes
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Is it time to hire an internal recruiter?

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When is the time I should hire an internal recruiter?


The costs of hiring staff are high. A competitive salary, benefits, desk costs and management time all add up, but hey, you need the talent to service your business needs, so you deal with it. Right?

So what about the routes to hiring, their limitations and costs? External recruiters are typically going to cost you 17.5-25% of an annual salary, and you can only rely on your own network to find talent to a certain degree. There comes a time when most businesses consider the option of an internal recruiter as the best route to meet hiring needs, whilst minimising expenditure.

Choices, choices

Lets consider the three most obvious options when it comes to hiring, as well as the benefits and negatives of each.


So, you have a great network, your team are connected and you have a referral scheme that rewards on the introductions of quality staff to your organisation. This is great, but it is quickly exhausted and requires constant input for it to be continually productive.

Messaging on LinkedIn and to your address book and that of your staff will deliver interested parties, but equally it can bring the wrong type of interest, which then needs a careful hand to fend off, so as not to damage your brand reputation.

External recruiter:

Often seen as the least risky because of the ‘no win, no fee’ model adopted by most recruitment consultancies. Whilst the ‘no win, no fee’ model does remove risk from an investment perspective, when they are successful, it is expensive, and you’re not in control of what they say about you. External recruiters work with multiple businesses and their only requirement is to hit fee targets, so there is no loyalty. The person you want to hire will be being represented to many businesses reducing the likelihood of you ‘winning’, thus wasting valuable time.

Internal or In-House Recruiter:

An In-House Recruiter can be great, but there are limits to their abilities. Most are going to be knowledgeable in one or two areas of your skills need, but your business might need an FD this month, salespeople next month, developers the month after. Additionally, seniority is a key consideration. Do they need to have experiences from multiple environments in order to create best in class workflows for you? Can they design and deploy a referral program? Could they determine an employer brand road map and then deploy it?

An In-House Recruiters reach and appropriately hired for knowledge, coupled with their loyalty to your business, is what makes them the preferred route. However there is a cost. Unless they are utilised from a time perspective and don’t need to use external recruiters, or expensive platforms to reach talent, you have wastage and additional cost, that will need supplementing.

The Tipping Point

Before you make a choice of hiring your own recruiter or not, it’s worth considering the tipping point that might drive your need and what they can deliver from a utilisation perspective.

#1 Value versus cost

A talent professional can deliver 2-4 hires a month. The associated costs of gearing them to be able to deliver (software, memberships, adverts etc) makes the total investment for an internal recruiter around £80-100k. The average recruiter fee in digital is £8740 (£50k x 17.5%) . So you’ll need to be hiring 10+ people a year to make it viable.

There are many more considerations around value; they can add to your brand exposure, they could join for a contract period to meet hiring spikes, they could determine your processes and procedures if needed.

In summary

It’s clear that there are many variables to consider when you chose a route to hiring talent, an In-House Recruiter can work well, as can an external agency and your own network. Often the best approach is a blend of each. After all, recruiting the best people is what you need to do to succeed. But how?

It’s worth considering that there are now blended approaches to hiring staff. Approaches which give the same reach as external recruiters, the loyalty and control of In-House Recruiters, coupled with the brand amplification of using your own network, but removing the need for your management.

Commonly known as RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) and previously only available to large organisations, there are now new hybrid consultancies that will create a ‘mini RPO’ for you, giving you a ‘turn on and offable’ resource, delivering value for money, measurable results and control.

Food for thought: 

However you manage your hiring and retention function, key to understanding its effectiveness is how you benchmark results. There are many ways to do this; cost per hire, time per hire, conversion routes and many more. Having these in place will allow you to understand your efficiencies far better and make improvements where you need to.

Talent Heroes is a people business. We’re contracted by clients to work in house, attracting and hiring an unlimited number of staff, for an all inclusive monthly fee.


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