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3 min read

When should you hire an internal recruiter?

We break it down to basics, focussing on the current scale and need of your hiring needs.
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Below is a high-level guide of when it might be worth appointing an in-house recruiter, as well as the type of hire that may be necessary. Before you get started, try to map in detail the number of positions you will likely need over the next 12 to 18 months. Even a vague plan will make it more useful! 

Then simply find the section that matches your situation most closely…

More than 50 people

High demand and low supply of required talent

Hire specialist recruiters for the high demand / low supply functions who have both agency and in-house experience. Also source a Head of People to lead the people and talent function as the volume of hiring may result in cultural disruption. A safe pair of hands is required!

Normal level of supply and demand of required talent 

First, hire a Head of People to put together a strategy. Your needs indicate that your operation may be structured geographically rather than according to functional areas, which might make specialist recruitment seem unnecessary.

Don’t fall into this trap, however. It’s rarely the case — many incoming hires usually necessitate someone experienced who can determine how best to structure processes for larger groups of new hires. Bottom line: don’t wing it simply because your candidates are easier to come by.

Hiring 10-50 people

High demand and low supply of required talent

We’d recommend hiring part-time specialist recruiters for the high demand / low supply positions — get them to do the technical heavy lifting! Then, depending on your current level of managerial expertise, a Head of Talent or People who can support the team with all the additional activity (onboarding, team communication, etc.) may be necessary. 

Normal level of supply and demand of required talent 

Hire a hands-on Head of Talent with a mixture of agency and in-house experience. They’ll have the skills to move between functions and set up the right structure and processes for the new talent. They can also lean on hiring platforms if they need to move quickly or are searching for specialist positions.

Hiring fewer than 10 people

High demand and low supply of required talent

Hire a part-time specialist recruiter to help you source candidates within the hard-to-find function. The other roles can be handled through hiring platforms to keep costs down.

Normal level of supply and demand of required talent 

You probably don’t need to hire an in-house recruiter just yet. Keep using online platforms and job boards to find the right hires for your business.

A few more considerations to take into account before you get someone in-house…

Time vs money: are you focused on keeping CAPEX spend as low as possible? If so, you can substitute cash for time by doing the heavy lifting yourself — sourcing candidates from job boards and generally managing the process. 

If preserving cash at all costs isn’t a priority, but you are time-poor, then you can use high-quality recruiting partners to manage everything for you.

Regardless, our breakdown of the top 10 UK hiring platforms is a great place to start — it explores the job boards, professional networks and hiring channels worth knowing. 

Experience of the hiring team: if you have an immature management team, then you need to make sure your Head of Talent or Head of People is paid well and relatively senior. After all, they will play a critical coaching and upskilling role. 

But if the majority of your management team is more experienced, and you will be growing steadily rather than exponentially, you may only need a Recruitment Coordinator, rather than a heavyweight specialist. Added bonus — this route may also save you some cash.

Brand recognition: in essence, the approach should be the same regardless of how well your firm is known — always take time to craft and communicate the company story. But more prominent firms are likely to get more applications and may need to find someone who can handle large volumes. 

Ready to start hiring? Here are 17 recruitment metrics and KPIs to bear in mind during the process.

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Romanie Thomas

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