Alex Staff Agency

Pros and Cons of In-House And External Recruiters: Comparing 2 Options

Research: IT and HR analytics

Hiring for a company is like breathing for a person. It’s routine: employees leave, business processes need improving, projects – to be developed, and products – to be launched. Finding and attracting new talent is the task for a recruiter. Corporate or from an outside agency? We’ll explore the specifics of each option.

Having Your Own Recruiter

It’s a specialist that is a part of your team. They communicate with managers to understand the requirements for the role. And then they use job boards and other channels available to nail down the right candidate. They conduct screening, evaluate soft skills, send out test assignments and choose people for technical interviews.


Having such a person is beneficial because:

  • In-house recruiters feel the corporate culture. They’re part of the team and know exactly what traits will be especially valuable in a candidate

  • The employer better controls the hiring process. Changes are quickly implemented as the communication speed is faster than with an outside agency. Besides, you can influence how your brand is presented in job ads
  • Your recruiters create a pool of talents. This is the foundation for future hiring
"The critical skill of a competent corporate recruiter is understanding how the business works and what its goals are. Only this knowledge allows him/her to cover the company's needs with the required talent. That’s what efficiency is all about".

Alex Staff Agency
Maria Sukhorukova


But certain drawbacks force some companies to work without such specialists in their team because:

  • It’s expensive. You’ll have to pay salaries each month. Even when there is no hiring need at the moment. Not every business can afford it

  • A single recruiter is slower and less efficient. Even if they’re very hard-working and experienced in what they do
  • In-house specialists are not likely to have all the expertise you may need. For example, competitive salary bracketing that is adequate in the market. Or knowledge on where to find rare-stacked talent, consultations on relocation, etc.

Cooperating With Recruiting Agencies

Imagine a company that only exists for matching employers and candidates. It hones its skills year after year, acquires the necessary expertise and becomes efficient at finding professionals. And it’s not just one person but a whole team divided into groups based on their tasks (locating people and contacting them, primary CV evaluation, making phone calls, assessing soft and sometimes tech skills at interviews, etc.).


  • It’s faster. They have a financial impetus to land the best talent as soon as possible. That is possible thanks to experience and distribution of tasks within the agency. While an in-house recruiter is just one warrior in the field

  • It’s cheaper. You’ll pay only when you need to hire

  • The results are of better quality. Agencies know the markets and instruments for efficient searching. They have ready-made networks. The chances are high that your candidate is already in their database of specialists

Additionally, you can get consulting services on various topics. For example, they’ll gather info on the salary bracketing or what bonuses other companies offer, etc.


  • Getting a cultural fit is harder. This is why it’s important to actively communicate with the agency representatives to let them better understand your needs

  • There is a risk that a candidate will fail during probation. But you should discuss such cases beforehand. Most recruiting companies offer a free replacement or partial payment
  • No emphasis on onboarding procedures. Agencies focus on finding a match. Making sure that a candidate is well-adapted is still the company’s responsibility. Unless it’s an additional service provided by an external recruiter
"We offer standard conditions: a replacement of the candidate for free if they don’t pass the probation. In some cases, it is possible to agree on a partial refund, but this is always discussed individually. As well as if the client wants to pay in installments (for example, 50% on the day the specialist starts working and 50% after the probationary period)"

Head of Sales
Alex Staff Agency
Marina Pilipeyko

Choosing Optimal Solutions

We have prepared 3 cases to illustrate which option will be better in different circumstances (it’s not universal instruction, but possible examples):

a small startup with a limited budget and a need for specialists to develop the product

It’s not wise to hire a corporate talent acquisition agent at this stage: it’s too expensive. As a rule, the recruiting tasks are performed by employees who are already in the project. If the budget allows it, it’s better to work with the agency.

a middle-size company with several years in the market and irregular hiring intervals

A full-time specialist is not necessary in this case: an agency will benefit you more.

a big company that needs a constant flow of new hires to support its working processes

This will require a corporate recruiter. Some businesses power up their own hiring efforts with the help of agencies (especially with rare-stacked professionals and when speed is relevant).

Wrapping Up

If you decide to work with an agency, be careful when choosing one. Look at its reputation: check social media, read reviews, and even contact some of its clients for feedback. As well as pay attention to cooperation terms and conditions: they should be fair and beneficial for you both.