Making the decision to move from agency to in-house recruitment is a big one. To be honest, it’s not the right decision for every agency recruiter. I was in the agency world for 10 years before crossing over to the other side. Boy was it a different world! I shared my surprises in Part 1 of this “Moving From Agency to In-house Recruitment” series.
In Part 2, I want to chat about the flip side (we’ll talk about how to make the move to in-house recruitment in Part 3).
Some awesome advantages of moving to in-house recruitment
Let’s talk about the obvious advantages first…
Relationship with hiring managers
This is one of the biggest advantages of being in-house and one I was most excited about.
As an agency recruiter, a lot happens before working with a hiring manager — getting past gatekeepers, negotiating contracts and fees, getting them to sign (as we all know, a deal can fall apart at the last minute). If you’re a technical recruiter, you’ll have to prove that you know what you’re talking about before you can build a trusting relationship with hiring managers.
As an in-house recruiter, you by-pass most of these… except proving you’re a strong technical recruiter… you still have to do that 🙂
The relationship I’ve built with some hiring managers who truly see the value we add to their team as recruiters is priceless. As recruiters, they rely on our recommendations because we have gotten to know their needs.
No more business development
As recruiters, we know that we will always be in sales, but after a decade of being a 360 recruiter where business development was a huge part of what I did, I didn’t miss it at all.
Instead, I got to focus more heavily on ensuring our recruitment process was efficient, working on strategic recruitment projects (more on this below), metrics and so much more.
I recall another recruiter, who also made the move to in-house recruitment, say that there was no difference with work-life balance.
What!!?? There’s a big difference!
Agency recruitment is not a 9-5. It doesn’t end when you leave the office. Like many of you, I remember interviewing candidates on weekends and evenings. I made the effort to meet all of my candidates and my philosophy was that I’d rather they take time off from work to meet my client rather than to meet me. I also prepared every candidate before an interview and would make calls well into the evening hours.
Some passive candidates you source can only speak freely outside of business hours. Clients who were in meetings during the day only had time to discuss my candidates on their drive home.
Whatever the case, as an agency recruiter, you have to be flexible. When you’re in-house, this isn’t your reality. You could easily leave the office at 5:00 and expect not to work once you got home.
Now for the less obvious advantages…
Involvement in compensation analysis
When I was in agency, I thought making an offer to a candidate was as simple as the hiring manager deciding they loved this candidate, negotiating their salary with me and drafting an offer. Not so, my agency recruitment friends!
In most large organizations, you have things like job families, salary positioning and ensuring equity within a job family. A lot of factors affect a salary decision other than having a star candidate.
I was surprised at how much I loved doing this analysis. It was obvious early on, that my hiring managers appreciated my transparency behind why I was making a particular salary recommendation.
As a recruiter, you are everyone’s advocate – the hiring manager, the company and the candidate. When you’re making salary recommendation is when you realize just how much you have to consider benefits to all three.
I loved compensation analysis so much that when my department was considering moving this part to a colleague outside of recruitment, I was the only recruiter who negotiated keeping this part of the process.
Leveraging employer brand
I did a lot of confidential searches when I was in agency… at the sourcing stage that is (I would never present my candidate to a company without their approval. That’s just slimy).
The challenge with sourcing passive candidates for confidential searches is that you can’t leverage your client’s employer brand. Often times, this could be the difference between an interested hard-to-find candidate and one who’d rather pass on the opportunity.
Involvement in strategic projects
I worked on a lot of interesting talent acquisition projects, including optimizing an ATS, planning a CRM implementation, restructuring the whole recruitment process, revamping the intake/recruitment kick-off meeting and even creating best practice and guidelines for candidate social media screening in recruitment.
Of course, you could do this in agency as well, but it’s rare.
See why I had to break this post into 3 parts? There’s so much to share about making the transition in-house.