I think it’s time we talked about in-house vs. outsourcing for executive search.
First let me say that I know many in-house recruiters and HR departments who are giving 110% when it comes to fulfilling talent acquisition needs within their walls. I give them credit. Finding the right fit and filling the need is tough, constant work. It’s demanding. Yet the organizational reality is that companies attempting to fill a number of positions (especially executive positions) are overwhelming their recruiters and ultimately wasting money on internal costs and staff hours. But it’s not just the demand itself that presents the greatest challenge; it’s the inherent erosion in quality and lack of resource differentiation that reduces the effectiveness of an in-house search team when it comes to finding top talent executives.
Quantity Erodes Quality
I frequently discuss this with internal HR teams and I often hear the same thing when it comes to volume. Many companie – ? in-house recruiters have 20, 40 or 50 open positions to handle at once. Realistically, how much personal attention can you give to each applicant when you have 49 other positions and countless other applicants in play? It’s exponentially impossible to deliver the kind of personal attention and focus that an out-of-house search expert can.
Executive Search is Different
The bottom line is that not all searches are created equal. The hunt for higher-level talent is not the same as filling an entry level or middle management position. It’s inherently different, a fact of search life that everyone knows but no one talks about. When you’re faced with the challenge of filling a very important position, a ??VIP’ if you will, you want to dedicate quality time to finding top talent. And the best way to ensure quality time is spent on filling your company’s most important strategic positions is by hiring external resources that can deliver the level of attention required.
The trick in utilizing in-house recruiting resources is balance. Pulling people off projects that are volume-oriented and focusing on the more strategically important and time-sensitive mid and senior management openings is the key to success for companies. Included in this balance is proper utilization of recruiters and the fee cost associated with outsourcing. The opportunity cost (of having a key position remain open while management stubbornly insists on using internal recruiters) can be exponentially higher than the actual cost of paying for a search firm.
If you find your company is investing significant time and money on hiring and you are passionate about finding the best talent, especially when it comes to executive roles, outsourcing is the way to go.