My Title page contents

Recruitment: DIY or Outsource?

Oakstone International Executive Search recruitment DIY or outsource

Most of us take on DIY projects from time to time and there’s little I enjoy more than time away from my usual routine to build something from scratch. There’s great satisfaction in turning your hand to new challenges, whether it’s constructing furniture or starting a bathroom or kitchen project. However, I almost always get to a point when I think “I should have stuck to my day job and paid someone else to do this!”

On the flipside, I have also hired professionals only to wish I had tackled it myself to get the job done to my satisfaction.

So what’s the answer?

I think it’s a case of picking your battles.

If you’re recruiting for a fairly straightforward role, then perhaps reaching out to your network or placing an advert on a job board or LinkedIn will do the trick.

But when you’re building a team of top performing professionals, or looking for a senior hire, working closely with a specialist recruiter brings a completely different level of expertise and results.

In addition to saving your own time and company resources, you have a dedicated partner with processes and strategies tailored to the current market, and an ability to build and leverage networks that has been honed over many years. This gives you access to a breadth and depth of candidates that can never be reached using a smaller-scale process.

The next best option is to have your own in-house recruiter – this can be very powerful but it has significant limitations.

Realistically, top talent will only be available when something in their career makes them open to change. And it’s usually a narrow window. Consequently, if you take the DIY approach, identifying suitable candidates can take considerable effort but frequently yields frustrating results. Approaching at the wrong time leads to rejection, and if you keep contacting them, they’ll stop taking your calls because they know what you want to talk about: YOUR COMPANY!

When a professional recruiter calls – and often it won’t be the first time they’ve spoken – he or she can build an understanding about what’s important to their career at any point. It’s an open dialogue, where they will likely be calling about different roles every time.

If these conversations are well handled, and the candidate is listened to, they will accept future calls from that professional recruiter because they know it will be about new, and most importantly relevant opportunities, across a wide range of companies. With respect, in-house recruiters will only ever be calling about the firm they work for.

Now that we have almost limitless resources to find out who is doing what, the recruiter’s job is much less about who they know, who’s in their little black book or Rolodex, and more about their ability to engage with people. Having a portfolio of strong roles to talk about, and building a reputation for understanding individual needs, will encourage the hot candidates to take the call and listen to opportunities.

On this occasion, even the most avid DIY enthusiast will be happy to admire the professional results. And, of course, take credit for making the right decision!

Paul Rayner- CEO