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Recruiter’s Life: Agency or In-House?

Recently I have met with a number of recruitment consultant candidates who were looking for in-house talent acquisition job opportunities.

As you can imagine, the main reasons for them to decide to make a move from working in an agency to working on-site, or in-house, are quite varied.     

The typical reasons range from: 

  • Removing the perceived pressure of having sales targets
  • Wanting to explore recruitment from an in-house or on-site perspective (and seeing things, therefore, from the ‘other side’)
  • Thinking that in-house work is more secure or stable
  • Hoping to have a different career path (such as moving on from being an internal recruiter into another area: such as becoming an HR generalist)

 Indeed, we have seen many sizable companies that have been growing their internal Talent Acquisition teams over the past few years, and so this has created lots of opportunities in this space. However, anyone who is considering a move in-house should consider that such a switch will come with various pros and cons.
Working as an in-house Talent Acquisition Specialist can provide you with:

  •  A chance to experience some new and different HR duties, such as: internal recruitment procedures; compliance issues; staff engagement; C&B related proposals; and candidate on-boarding arrangements, for example.
  • These opportunities to diversify your job content are really good draw-cards for some candidates, especially for those who hope to move towards an HR Generalist position in the long term.
  • I have also seen a number of cases where there have been internal structural changes in an HR team, involving the TA desk. In these instances the in-house TA role has changed directly to an HR Business Partner type of role, but with a key recruitment focus as part of the role.

On the other side, we have also met with a number of in-house Talent Acquisition specialists who were less than satisfied, and were looking to make the move back to working within a recruitment consultancy or agency.   Indeed there are quite a few aspects that in-house recruiters sometimes miss in their current role when they have moved over from working in an agency.

These cover things like:

Not feeling there is sufficient autonomy or flexibility

Where some recruitment consultants can choose the roles and clients they would like to work on, and with whom, this is not always the case in-house, as it will depend upon the hiring managers’ recruitment needs.

Smaller reward levels/ commissions

After being used to higher commissions, some in-house recruiters find it hard to maintain motivation in the new role.

A lack of an opportunity to offer fully impartial advice

Whilst the agency recruitment consultant can offer this to all candidates, some in-house recruiters feel restrained by only being able to sell the single employer brand.

Greater distance from key decision makers

In larger, and especially in multi-national, organizations where there are many layers of hierarchy, it can be harder to work closely with the main decision makers and key influencers in the company.

Feeling further away from the detail of the role

- and therefore not getting the benefit of being a subject matter expert (SME). Some candidates I have worked with felt that working on multiple roles at any one time was constantly challenging but less rewarding, as they were unable to give the required time to the roles that they thought it deserved.  As a result the quality of the service they offered, they felt, could be compromised. 

If you are looking for an opportunity to move in-house, or considering work as recruitment consultant, please do not hesitate to contact me for a private discussion.

Written by Terrence Yip

  • Sep 18, 2017
  • Careers , Hong Kong
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Morgan McKinley

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