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The Challenges of Recruitment: Agency vs. In-House

On13/ 06 /19

Employee turnover is a challenge for any company. It’s hard to see a high-performing employee go, but it’s usually even harder to find a suitable candidate to replace him or her.

When it comes to recruiting in general, you have two options. You can either handle recruitment in-house (typically via your HR department) or hire an external recruitment agency to handle it all for you. Both have their pros and cons, so here are some key points for you to consider when you’re thinking about whether or not to enlist some outside expertise. 

recruitment agency or in house

Recruitment agency

These days, finding candidates that will fit your company’s structure and its culture is hard. With the unemployment rate being relatively low at 4%, the number of people looking for work is at its lowest level since the 1970s.

This means that the recruitment process can be even more challenging  – but hiring a good recruitment agency can certainly help with overcoming this challenge.

Why do you need a recruitment agency service?

Help in reaching ‘passive’ job seekers

As the unemployment rate is relatively low in the UK, many companies are struggling to attract candidates that are actively looking for their next opportunity. This means that they might not be regularly looking at places such as job boards and the “Careers” section on your website; hence why it’s vital to invest in taking some time in approaching potential candidates personally.

Whilst you might be lacking exactly the right resources internally to be able to conduct an effective amount of personal outreach activity, this is part of a recruitment agency’s natural remit. Here at Bucks & Berks, we use a variety of tools such as social media and online advertising to make sure that we approach appropriate candidates; ones who might otherwise not have been considering a career move. Approaching people directly and liaising with them about an available role could be a challenge if you have limited time resource within your in-house HR or managerial team.   

It’s more time-efficient

The recruitment process takes time - from start to finish - especially if you are looking for a highly skilled candidate who’s a perfect fit for your vacant role.

If you need to hire an immediate replacement, and can’t afford to wait many weeks (or even months), you should turn to your local recruitment agency and ask for their help with supplying your organisation with a temporary worker. Because it’s an interim placement, the process will take considerably less time if done via a recruitment agency thanks to the extensive database of top calibre local candidates they’ll have access to.

A streamlined process

If you are looking for a long-term candidate placement, a recruitment agency can also help with streamlining the whole process for you.

Simply send the job brief to your local recruitment agency and let the recruiter source the right candidates for you.

Upon completion, they will pre-screen the applicants for you and provide you with a shortlist of people whose skills match the job specification.  This can save you both time and money on an otherwise lengthy recruitment process handled in-house.


Keeping the entire in-house HR team under one roof can be costly and does not always guarantee the best results when it comes to recruitment needs. Hiring an external recruitment agency, on the other hand, is considerably cheaper in the long-term as you only use their services on a project-by-project basis.

Obviously, many people can argue whether the cost of appointing a recruitment agency is really cost-effective, as there’s always a risk that the candidate recruited might not turn out to be a good fit, a few months down the line. While this is a valid concern to rise, you should remember that any in-house team wouldn’t be able to guarantee that either. However, when hiring a professional recruiter there is an extra layer of assurance that the recruiter knows your industry and job types well, and can therefore help you with sourcing only the best candidates.

How can your own in-house team help you?

While there are a lot of benefits in hiring an external job agency to support your recruitment efforts, the truth is that the best results are achieved when both your in-house team and your agency work collaboratively.

Finding the right candidates for your company’s culture

It goes without saying that an in-house recruitment specialist has the best knowledge about the company’s culture. ‘Cultural fit’ is a crucial factor when it comes to hiring for most roles. Your in-house colleague can educate a recruitment agency on the ideal personal/professional traits and behaviours the company is looking for in its next incumbent of a particular role - meaning the agency keeps this ‘top of mind’ when it comes to short-listing!

Recognising any talents internally

If you happen to run a business with a niche, and you’re looking to recruit someone to cover a senior role, your in-house HR team might be able to help you identify as to whether there is someone with potential internally who may be worthy of a promotion.

Recruiting internally for a senior position is an integral part of the growth and development of a business, and a well-promoted professional growth scheme can help with boosting your staffs’ levels of motivation and productivity.

Work closely with your Human Resources Team (if you have one), and see if there are any employees who deserve a promotion but may be being overlooked. Promoting from within can save you both time and money on both recruitment and training costs compared to sourcing an external candidate - especially if the position demands a very specific skillset.


Here at Bucks & Berks we can help your business with recruiting local candidates in Maidenhead, Slough, Windsor, Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell areas. Our team know the local area and businesses, so they are best placed to help find the right staff to meet your short or long term needs! To find out more about how we can help with your recruitment process, drop our team a message today.



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