Maximizing Talent Acquisition: The Synergy of Internal and External Recruiting

Published:01/25/2024 | Posted by Brooke Yencarelli, Manager - Finance & Accounting Search - North and Central Florida

I was attending a business event, and many of the HR folks were distinguishing between internal recruiters and external recruiters by referring to external recruiters as the “dark side”.  As if external and internal recruiters are in a war for placements and talent, with our forces pitted against one another.  While I’m aware that sometimes a firm can be seen as a threat to an internal recruiting department, I wasn’t aware I was in a battle against anyone.  That’s when I realized there’s so many myths out there among C-Suite and senior leadership that are causing a major misunderstanding on the best way to recruit the best people for their organizations.  It’s not them versus us or recruiter versus employee. And it’s certainly not dark versus light. If you’re thinking of the dynamic like that, then you’re thinking of it all wrong.  In my experience, it’s a truly collaborative effort that creates the best hiring results.

In the fast-paced landscape of talent acquisition, the question isn’t about having either an internal recruiting department or relying solely on external firms. It’s about leveraging the strengths of both entities to fuel your organization’s growth. C-suite executives understand the paramount importance of assembling a top-tier team, and the integration of external recruiting firms alongside an internal department can be a game-changer in securing the best talent.

At that same event, I had a conversation with a VP, and he was picking my brain about why I think his internal recruiter is so threatened by external recruiters. It was a great conversation that really opened my eyes to the internal struggle many leaders have when they have internal recruiting team but are in the situation where an external pipeline is needed to find the right candidate.

So how exactly is the best way for an internal talent acquisition department to work with an external firm to identify key talent?  When making the decision internally regarding whether there is a need to bring in a talent acquisition firm to assist with the hiring process, here are some things to consider:

5 Reasons to Leverage External Recruiting Services:

  1. Sensitive Search – External recruiting support may be needed in sensitive situations like to keep a Search confidential or if there is a time sensitive component that requires an “all hands-on deck” approach to a critical placement.
  2. Expand Your Scope – Whether you need to tap into an extended network because you’re entering a new market, have a difficult search or highly specialized role to fill, external recruiting firms bring the distinct advantage of a broad and diverse network that spans industries, geographies, and niche talent pools.
  3. Objective Insights and Reduced Bias – While internal teams possess deep knowledge of the company culture and values, external firms offer an unbiased assessment of candidates, helping to mitigate potential biases, offering a fresh perspective and widened candidate pool.
  4. Agility and Scalability – Market demands fluctuate, and talent needs can evolve rapidly. External recruiting firms provide immediate support during spikes in hiring needs or when seeking specialized skill sets for unique projects, department build-outs or expansions.
  5. Additional Resources – External recruiting firms provide invaluable research and data that can significantly enhance a company’s hiring process such as market insights and trends, competitor analysis, DEI metrics, as well as salary benchmarks and compensation that may be critical information to have to secure the right talent.

The fusion of internal recruiting departments with external recruiting firms represents a potent strategy for organizations seeking to elevate their talent acquisition game. By harnessing the distinct advantages of each approach and fostering a collaborative partnership, businesses aren’t going to the “dark side”, but instead can create various benefits for your internal talent acquisition team.

3 Ways Internal Talent Acquisition Can Benefit from External Recruiters:

  1. Alleviate Internal Workload – External recruiting firms can alleviate the time burden on internal teams by handling initial screening, sourcing, and candidate evaluation. This strategic collaboration streamlines the recruitment process, allowing the internal team to focus on strategic initiatives, employer branding, and fostering talent within the organization.
  2. Use as a Supplement Not a Replacement: It’s a TOTAL misconception that external recruiters want all an internal team’s roles all of the time, or that firms are there to take over all the internal hiring. When you work with a true search firm who is your partner and trusted advisor, we are there for when our expertise is needed and when it makes sense to use us, not to replace existing efforts or be redundant.
  3. Make it Collaborative NOT Combative: C-suite leaders should foster a collaborative environment between internal and external teams. Clear communication, shared goals, and mutual respect for each other’s expertise are essential. Aligning both teams’ efforts ensures a seamless recruitment process that identifies, attracts, and retains top talent effectively. Collaborating ensures a balanced approach to candidate evaluation, resulting in a more robust and diverse talent pool.

In today’s competitive market, the synergy between internal and external recruiting isn’t merely an option; it’s a strategic imperative for businesses striving for excellence in their talent acquisition endeavors. By utilizing both internal and external talent acquisition teams, you can effectively navigate the dynamic hiring landscape, securing the best candidates to drive innovation and sustainable growth.

If you want to learn more about how to seamlessly integrate an external recruiter into the efforts of your internal talent acquisition team, reach out to me anytime at 954.385.8595 or email me at  [email protected] and we can discuss supplemental hiring solutions for your company.

About the Author: Brooke Yencarelli is a Manager of Finance & Accounting Search in North and Central Florida for StevenDouglas. She brings an astute hiring expertise with a structured and ever-growing network and is known for making every effort to never be a stranger to both clients and candidates. She loves living and working in the “small-big town” that is Jacksonville, Florida, and makes it a priority to stay in touch with the evolving business, industries, and people that are part of the growth and fabric of the Northern Florida region.

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