Companies often work with recruitment agencies to help build their teams, whether it is to grow quickly or to fill positions that they aren’t able to fill on their own. For the best possible outcome, it is important for the in-house recruiting team and agency recruiters to establish a good working relationship.
A strong partnership between the two ensures that the right candidates are hired for open positions in a timely manner, resulting in growing companies and happy employees.
For those not familiar with HR and recruitment, there are two different types of recruiters: agency and in-house.
Agency recruiters work for a recruitment agency, helping companies (“clients) hire people for their teams.
Agency recruiters may work with many different clients or with just a few, but they essentially connect qualified job candidates with companies who are hiring. In addition to introducing candidates to clients and clients to candidate, agency recruiters frequently support the companies they work with through employer branding, refinement of their recruitment process, contract negotiation and more.
In-house recruiters work directly for a company, and their job is primarily to find and hire qualified job candidates to fill the positions needed by the company.
Like agency recruiters, in-house recruiters also wear many hats, working as the middle-man between team leads or hiring managers and job candidates. Their job doesn’t stop there though, and they frequently handle the administrative side of recruitment, employer branding, and other HR-related topics, such as on-boarding of new candidates and team building events and activities.
Agency recruiters will at times work directly with the management of a company or with team leads and hiring managers. However, with companies that have a recruiting team in place, the in-house recruiters will be their direct points of contact. Like most of us, both agency and in-house recruiters are busy people with targets to reach, stakeholders to manage, and candidate pipelines to take care of, so it’s important that a good working relationship between both is established.
Establishing a good relationship between the two
How is this done? As with most relationships, whether professional or personal,
communication is key to a successful partnership between the two.
Clear communication from a company about their hiring needs, recruitment process, requirements of the positions being filled, as well as expectations of the partnership are crucial in creating a strong working relationship. Likewise, agency recruiters also need to make clear how they operate and what they need from the in-house team in order to find the best job candidates possible for them.
Beyond excellent and open communication, it is important that in-house recruiting teams and agency recruiters recognise that they are both on the same side.
I have worked in both agency and in-house recruiting, and there can at times be some tension between the two parties. In-house recruiters who, for example, want to keep hiring costs low, will at times see agency recruiters as competition rather than partners. This of course will result in the two working against each other. The fact is that the search methods of agency recruiters differ from those of in-house recruiters.
Thus, in order to get the best results both candidate pools need to be accessed. Such collaboration will also result in better candidates from a wider spectrum and ultimately have a more positive impact on the business.
Another factor is that some recruitment agencies, focused solely on numbers and not on what is best for the client, can abuse the relationship, sending over as many candidate profiles as possible, essentially spamming their clients.
If agency recruiters remember that they exist to serve their clients and if in-house teams remember that the agency is there to support them, then a strong working relationship resulting in hiring great people is possible.
Written by Talya Shoup