Internal or Agency Recruiting?

The difference between in-house and staffing agency recruiting.

Let’s start with a story.

One of our recruiters, Kandace, took on a client who needed to fill a top management position. After talking with the client and discussing the position and their requirements, she set out to find someone to fit the description provided by the client (not an unusual process.) However, she soon became aware that the client had also sent the same request to their in-house recruiter to find a candidate to fill this role.  This was a newly created position within the organization and there were many unknowns in regards to the actual duties and responsibilities the role would entail.  After extensive searches, Kandace had found someone that she thought was a perfect match and so did the in-house recruiter. They both submitted the candidates for the final interview process and they selected Kandace’s candidate to fill the role. 

This took place just months ago. It was a personal success for Kandace and sparked a topic for our blog: the differences between internal and agency recruiting efforts. Here’s our take on the dilemma employers face when recruiting talent and why a staffing agency may have the upper hand on internal recruiters.

Talent Quality

Staffing agencies have the best advantage at recruiting the top performers. While an internal recruiter might want to obtain quality talent, staffing agencies have to. Our overall success as a staffing agency depends on recruiting quality candidates, so our recruiters will go the extra mile to find the best. With over 30 years of recruiting experience, d. Diversified Services has invaluable insight in the job market that internal recruiters may not have the time to gain due to internal processes within their organization.

Candidate Reach

Internal recruiters can take time to search for candidates on job search boards, but may miss out on candidates who aren’t actively searching. These are passive candidates who are currently employed that may want to find another job, but aren’t actively searching just yet. Our recruiters have the experience as well as the capability to seek out passive candidates. When it comes to discretion, staffing agency recruiters have a better advantage as they are able to keep quiet about the company, whereas in-house recruiters cannot.

Culture Fit

In the story above, the in-house recruiter had an advantage as they know the personalities of the hiring managers, the “ins and outs” of the company, and whom would be the best fit within the culture of the organization. However, our recruiters make themselves the expert each and every time. Kandace’s recruiting efforts prevailed due to constant contact and communication with the hiring manager, listening to the feedback, thoughts and overall vision for the position, and approaching this as a true partnership with the hiring manager. While an internal recruiter may know the “ins and outs” of the company, our recruiters have the outsider advantage and dedicate time to research and communicate with the hiring manager to better fit candidates within the company’s culture.


Staffing agencies, like us, have a database of candidates that our recruiters can search through as a first step. While this can save time if the perfect candidate can be found on the database, internal recruiters don’t have this capability. Also, internal recruiters have to deal with more steps before they can even begin their advertising and screening process whereas staffing agency recruiters can dedicate their time to recruitment, database searches, and screening.

Best Solution: Work Together!

As much as this blog talked about staffing agency recruiters having the advantage over in-house recruiters, the relationship between them shouldn’t be rivals. In-house recruiters should work together with agency recruiters because the in-house recruiters have industry and company knowledge whereas the staffing agency recruiter has the experience and recruiting knowledge. This will strengthen the candidate search and hiring process.

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