When is it time to hire a new full-time employee and when is it better to seek external help from recruitment agencies or freelance recruiters? It’s a question we get asked a lot.

To discuss the topic, we invited HR leaders that have collaborated with external recruiters and expanded their own in-house team, as well as an experienced recruiter. The speakers gave a ton of actionable advice in our webinar, so we’re sharing three key takeaways.

📌 If you want to watch the entire webinar, get access to the recording here.

Hiring an in-house or external recruiter depends on the volume of hiring, urgency and type of role

As the title suggests, the main question was to figure out when to hire an additional in-house team member and when to turn to external help.

Piret Ploom, Head of People & Culture at Yolo Group, pointed out an useful framework for making this decision.

Three common situations when it makes sense to get external help:

  • When you need to hire a lot of people fast
    For example, if you’re building a new company or a new team. It’s likely that it will be a one time thing and you might not have enough time to build your own talent pool.
  • When you’re hiring for specific or hard-to-fill roles
    Some roles are challenging to fill and the task becomes especially demanding if you’ve never hired for this role before. For such roles, LinkedIn and job boards are not enough to find the right candidate.
  • When you’re expanding to a new location
    When facing an unfamiliar foreign market, a local agency can help get the job done. Piret gives an example of expanding Yolo Group’s operations to Ukraine where including a local agency made the process much more cost-effective and faster at the same time.

If you’re only hiring a few people per year or a few people per month, it doesn’t make sense to hire an in-house recruiter. But, if you’re consistently hiring many people and have a talent pool in place, then building an in-house team can be the right option.

If you know that the company is growing in a longer period of time, if you know that there will be 20 recruitments per month, or hundreds in our case, then obviously you would need internal recruiters as well.

To find the right candidate, recruiters must receive precise information from the company

Kristi Leppik, Freelance Tech Recruiter & HR Consultant with 10+ years of experience in recruitment, points out three things to prepare before you start collaborating with a recruiter.

Candidate profile

If you precisely define who you want to hire before the recruiter starts the search, you’ll make the process easier and faster for both the recruiter and yourself. Kristi recommends defining a detailed candidate profile. Not only the required skills but also personality traits and any additional info that describes the ideal candidate.

Company selling points

While they’re going through the application process, candidates are evaluating your company and culture. If you provide a list of reasons why they should choose your company, a recruiter can do a better job in “selling” your company to the candidates. This is especially important for startups that haven’t established a strong employer brand yet.

Salary gap

Kristi mentions that she was once actively looking for a mid-level developer when the client decided they actually need to hire a senior. But, this created a big “salary gap”. The salary ranges are much different depending on the role and the level, so when you define your ideal candidate, think about the salary range for that role specifically.

Know where to look for trustworthy recruiters

Carolyn Lizbeth Einmann, PeopleOps Specialist at Multilogin, was in charge of creating a global recruitment management system without an in-house team.

She mentions that in the beginning she and her team went through different methods of finding recruiters such as searching for recruiters on Upwork and working with Estonian agencies.

Carolyn recommends two ways for finding trustworthy freelance recruiters:

  • Your personal network and recommendations
    This approach works best if you’ve been in HR or recruitment for some time and have enough connections in the field (whether it is LinkedIn connections or real-life connections)
  • Platforms such as Relancer
    Carolyn says that recruiters who can be found on specialised platforms have a “small quality badge” for the services they provide.

Finding a great external recruiter can be hard but it is only the beginning of the collaboration. To make sure the collaboration is successful, HR managers need to set expectations and be transparent with the recruiter. Carolyn also points out she communicates and collaborates with external recruiters as if they are part of the in-house team, e.g. by including them in company Slack channels.

If you want to learn more about this topic from Piret, Carolyn and Kristi, watch the webinar recording. Bonus: You’ll get a chance to listen to the Q&A session where the speakers answered various recruitment-related questions.

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