​I was recently invited on a training course which touched on the perceptions of internal recruitment /HR recruitment teams and the relationship they have with traditional specialist recruitment consultants. This made me think -

Do some internal recruiters see 360 degree recruitment consultants as ‘pushy sales people who would pitch their gran if they could get a fee?’

And similarly -

Do 360 recruitment consultants see internal recruiters as ‘failed recruitment consultants who lost their drive and pursued an easy life, never having to make a business development call again?’

Having done both roles myself, from my experience I know that in the main those perceptions are completely false. But these misconceptions prevail across the industry, and they need to be addressed and barriers broken down to benefit all parties in the future.

Firstly I believe there will always be internal teams and traditional specialist recruiters for a number of reasons. Getting these teams working together is key.

The main aim is for the client to get the best person for the job in the most time efficient way. They (the client) want the internal teams doing their job to the best of their ability, the recruiter doing their job and presenting their specialist candidates and everyone working in harmony together.

The important part therefore is that everyone views it as a recruitment partnership not just a transactional relationship when all else has failed. And for the partnership to work I think that all parties need to understand the frustrations experienced by each other.

Agency recruiters need to understand that there is huge demand on internal recruitment teams to deliver, and a lot of the challenges those teams face put them under a great deal of pressure.

By the time internal teams get to a point of briefing agencies, the role they need assistance with may have been twisting its way through a sign off procedure of a number of weeks, sometimes even months. Each day the role waits for sign off often the hiring manager is getting more and more insistent they need someone in that role yesterday.

Recruitment consultants therefore need to and show empathy to their internal counterparts, and in turn, the internal teams who often expect instant results from their PSL agencies once the role is released need to explain why it is often so time sensitive.

As internal teams are often tasked with recruiting across a number of disciplines from finance to sales to administration etc. - it is hard for them to have a pipeline of candidates in all those areas and specialist recruiters are exactly that: specialist. For example, my team of five specialist recruitment consultants meet in excess of 30 candidates a week who are experienced purely in events. Internal teams just do not have the capacity to do this and that is why they will choose to work with a select amount of agencies on their PSL.

I always recommend internal recruiters spend some time getting to know the consultant they will be dealing with, giving them insight into their business and get an understanding for their specialty.

Here are four top tips for the recruitment partnership between internal teams and recruiters to work well together and meet the needs of the client:

  • Prior Warning “Heads up” – Internal Teams

In a partnership the internal recruiter will already be giving their PSL recruiters a heads up on a potential vacancy. They will be managing their expectations on when the role may be released, letting them know about the urgency of the role, the key criteria the manager is looking for and also salary.

  • Share Market Knowledge - Recruitment Consultants

In turn the specialist recruiter can give unique market knowledge insights on the role, any potential difficulty in filling it, and give examples of candidates they have in the market. This could involve added value services such as sharing salary surveys within the market.

  • Share Inside Knowledge - Internal Teams

As recently as this week we received an invite from one of our clients where the internal recruiter had arranged for the agencies to come and meet the CEO and MD as well as some other Directors/Hiring managers, to get a better idea of the company’s vision and talk directly to senior figures. This really shows an internal recruiter looking to build long term relationships with the PSL agencies, and it results in huge buy in from the consultants invited.

  • Show empathy and understanding

Finally be nice to each other and respect each other’s roles. It’s a tough market place at the moment with the demand for the top talent at unprecedented levels. Working in partnership will bring greater reward for all!