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Why Hire an Outside Recruiter?

by Meredith McGhan

Whether or not you decide to use an outside recruiter for your company depends on two crucial questions. First, do you have the time to look for candidates yourself? Second, will outsourcing your job search save you money? For most companies, it’s far more cost-effective in the long run to outsource recruiting rather than shoulder the burden in-house.

It may seem counterintuitive to think that paying a top recruiter can save you money, but consider the cost of hiring the wrong employee. An experienced recruiter brings years of expertise in evaluating human capital to the job. They have the big picture of the entire job market in your industry, whereas your company’s human resource department might only have the big picture of your company and a few of its competitors. An experienced recruiter will be well-versed in the “hidden job market,” an arena of talent that goes far beyond Craigslist, Monster, and the classifieds.

Openly advertising on job boards can create its own set of problems. Confidentiality creates a smoother, less stressful job search for everyone. If your company is advertising for employees, this could create contention among staff who might wonder why no one is being promoted from within. A recruiter can conduct a professional, discreet search for the right candidate without raising anyone’s hackles.

The in-house cost of hiring a new employee can be much higher than the price paid for advertising on job boards or in classified ads. If you’re paying in-house recruiter salaries and benefit packages, or paying other employees for recruiting activities that take them away from normal duties, costs have already skyrocketed.

A top outside recruiter can quickly and efficiently find you talented people, because they are immersed in that marketplace. Your employees remain free to do their jobs rather than seek new hires, which keeps your company productive. Sorting through resumes, calling references, and conducting background checks are all time-consuming prospects. An outside recruiter can focus on these activities exclusively, giving them more time to find the candidate who’s a perfect match. In-house searches often end when the first decent prospect is found, due to the time-consuming and expensive nature of an in-house search.

An outside recruiter will be able to focus on finding employees who are skilled and experienced enough to hit the ground running with minimal training time. One talented employee with a rare skill set can contribute much more to your organization in terms of profits and saving than it costs to hire them.

Even in the current economic downturn, some of the best employees are still currently employed with other firms. It’s a recruiter’s job to know how to find these A-listers, and how to approach them to create interest. It’s not easy to court a high achiever away from their current position if they’re not already looking. But a savvy recruiter has made that their mission. Top recruiters know your industry, too. A good specialist will be able to speak fluently about your company’s technology, environment, and need and to discuss how your prospective employee can contribute.

The objectivity of an outside recruiter allows them to speak to your candidate about how working for your company will benefit the candidate’s career, and to sell your company to the candidate. If your company is offering a higher salary, that is only part of the picture. A recruiter with years of experience talking to candidates and placing them will understand that the candidate will want to know about more than just compensation. They’ll want to know what such a career move will mean to them in the big picture, and over time, and how it will affect their life and family.

All in all, it pays to partner with an experienced outside recruiter who has a proven track record of matching talent to organizations and knows how to convey the qualities of your company in such a way that top people see long-term career opportunities there — and invest their time and talent in improving your bottom line.

More articles from Meredith McGhan

The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Employee
The ROI On Using an Outside Recruiter
How To Pick the Right Recruiter