For many organisations, it makes good business sense to work with an in-house recruiter. As with anything, there are pros and cons and two sides to the coin – but there are clear advantages to the in-house route.
A good external recruiter will take great pride in understanding their clients’ businesses. It is a vital part of the role but, professional as they might be, and despite their best efforts to get under the skin of a client business and getting to grips with what it needs – ultimately they are like a jobbing tradesperson.
They answer when you call them. They provide a solution to your problem. They invoice you… and then they wait (potentially, for months) for you to need them again and make that call.
The in-house recruiter offers a different perspective. They operate more like ground staff or caretaking staff. As they get to understand the organisation intimately, they appreciate how taking a longer-term view to devising solutions will prevent the same old problems from 1
So, what skills does an in-house recruiter need to be successful?
1. Negotiating skills
Negotiation skills are a given for all recruiters – external or internal. However, as most in-house recruiters are likely to be working towards an overall reduction of agency spend, there is nobody better placed to negotiate on rates than somebody who has come from a recruitment consultant background. An in-house recruiter needs to know the rules and the best way to negotiate the best rates.
2. Deep understanding of what an organisation needs
Again, all recruiters (of any type) need to understand client needs. For the in-house recruiter this is easier to achieve and therefore they should be expected to have a deep understanding of what a business needs. The mark of an excellent recruiter is to be able to see further than a job description. It is about having an alert ‘person radar’ that is able to sniff out the best possible candidates that will be perfect matches to the organisation. This means the candidates that are not just an excellent fit on paper, but also likely to be a good cultural fit too.
3. Being proactive not just reactive
All recruiters need to be reactive, in the sense that they react to need. Of course, an in-house recruiter still needs to do this but it is also about getting right under the skin of the culture of the organisation. They need to be adept at anticipating how the business is likely to grow, evolve and change. Being proactive means predicting what potential problems or challenges the organisation might face in the future – and planning how to address these accordingly.
4. The right mentality
In-house recruiting might be less target-driven or competitive than other forms of recruitment, but any in-house recruiter still needs to maintain the mentality and hunger of a hunter. They need to desire to go the extra mile to seek out and source the very best talent.