SOS: When to Enlist the Help of a Recruitment Agency

The search for great talent is a challenging task that many in-house recruiters face. Skills shortage, market competition, and geography are just some of the biggest recruitment pains that in-house recruiters tackle when looking for candidates to fill certain roles.

In addition, administrative tasks, attrition levels, and the lack of quality applications also slow down their ability to meet recruitment targets. While having an in-house recruitment team will make it easier for a company to build its brand, there are situations where hiring the services of a recruitment agency makes more sense.

Here are some of the instances where leveraging the services of agency recruiters is more advantageous for a company:

Speed of Hire

One of the most time-consuming steps in in-house recruitment is sourcing candidates. While it is easy to advertise a vacant position in job hunting sites, it can be difficult to find candidates that closely match the position’s requirements. In-house recruiters spend a lot of time and energy weeding through hundreds of applications only to come up with a handful of quality candidates. On the other hand, recruitment agencies already have a talent pipeline that they can conveniently access, reducing time spent on the sourcing process.  

Specialised Roles

In-house recruiters often find themselves stuck when they are not receiving enough applications from strong candidates. This usually happens when they have to fill specialised and highly technical roles like accountants or engineers. In this situation, acquiring the services of an agency will help expedite the recruitment process. Some agencies focus on recruiting for specific fields, like finance, engineering, and IT. They have a better understanding of the market or possess knowledge of verticals that in-house recruiters may lack.



A start-up company that’s still in the process of determining the effectiveness its business model will benefit from hiring a recruitment agency by letting them save on operating costs. In startup land, everything is still unpredictable. And that includes how many positions the company needs for it to operate efficiently within the next few months. Business owners should focus on understanding the organisation’s needs first, and then secure the help of an agency for the first few hires.

C-Suite Candidates

Filling executive positions is more time-consuming compared to hiring less senior roles. It will require a more in-depth review of applications and scrutiny during interview. As the talent pool for executive candidates is also smaller, a speedy hire is also less likely. Executive searches entail a higher level of confidentiality and hiring an agency will make searching more discreet.

Regional or Global Expansion

Hiring a recruitment agency is ideal for companies that plan to expand their operations off-shore. Recruitment agencies, especially those specialising in global recruitment practices, understand cultural nuances in hiring candidates from different parts of the world, a skill that in-house recruiters might still need to develop.

As seen above, recruitment agencies can be a useful resource, depending on time constraints and the company’s situation. Recruitment agencies don’t have to completely replace a company’s in-house recruitment team. Rather, they can provide quality candidates who can fill important roles while allowing in-house recruiters to find ways of improving their recruitment process.

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