In-House vs Outsourcing Recruiting: Which is Better?

What’s the Difference?

In-House Recruitment

A company hires permanent recruiters to help fill vacant positions and manage workforce talent.


Outsource Recruitment

A company reaches out to a recruiting agency to help them source talent and fill vacant positions.

When looking at in-house vs outsourcing recruiting, it is important to nail down the benefits for each and whether those benefits outweigh the risks that follow.

Benefits of In-House vs Outsourcing Recruiting

In-House Recruiting

  • Customizable hiring model
  • Communication with candidates is easier and more personal (better candidate experience).
  • Can focus on hiring for culture fit
  • In-house recruiters can have multiple responsibilities: workforce planning and development, employee labor relations, risk management, etc.
  • You have more control over what your recruiter is focusing on.

Outsourcing Recruiting

  • Outsourcing lowers cost-per-hire. You don’t pay until a position is filled.
  • Some agencies specialize in specific industries, so you’ll have access to niche talent.
  • Agencies tend to have a larger reach and more candidates in their database.
  • Agencies have more expertise and access to technological solutions, which results in better exposure.

So, Which one is Best for Me?

You know what each recruiting strategy entails and you know the benefits, but how can you decide which one is for you? Well, it all depends on where you are in your company’s growth and what disadvantages you are willing to stomach.

You’ll Choose In-House Recruitment if…..

you are in a position to afford it. Hiring an in-house recruiter means paying at least a base salary, and you’ll have to pay this base salary even if you have no vacant positions to be filled. On the other hand, you may enjoy having an in-house recruiter if your company is big enough to require one. An in-house recruiter would have a lot of responsibilities (including recruiting, hiring, and onboarding). So, if your business has 75-100+ employees or you are looking to go on a hiring frenzy, then hiring someone in-house would help manage and develop talent.

Another reason to consider hiring someone in-house is if you want to prioritize hiring and retaining candidates that fit your company culture. You may have less hiring resources and hiring may take longer, but your recruiter will know your culture inside out, which allows them to have a more in-depth hiring process. In turn, you’ll be able to build your own talent pool and candidate database.

You’ll Choose Outsourcing Recruitment if…..

you are a start-up or small business who needs a cost-efficient recruiting option. If you don’t have very many employees, then it defeats the purpose of having an in-house recruiter because they wouldn’t have very many responsibilities pertaining to your current workforce. You will also have less of a say in the recruitment process, but if you need a quick hire, then outsourcing may be a great option because agencies operate with a higher level of urgency due to the number of clients they serve.

Additionally, agencies have larger candidate databases and further reach. So, this not only allows you to have a hands-off hiring process with low risk, but it also provides access to good talent when it is in short supply if that is something you struggle with. That way, you can focus your efforts more on business stability and growth.

To Summarize

You should choose in-house recruitment if you ….

  • Can afford it.
  • Want to customize your hiring model whenever you want.
  • Have a lot of employees.
  • Are ready to go on a hiring frenzy.
  • Prioritize hiring for culture fit.
  • Are ready to build your own talent pool and candidate database.
  • Want communication and candidate experience to be a priority.

You should choose outsourcing recruitment if you …

  • Need a cost-efficient recruiting option.
  • Need help reaching larger audiences.
  • Are hiring for positions that require niche skill sets .
  • Want data to influence the recruiters hiring decision.
  • Have very few in-house employees.
  • Need a quick hire.

If you’ve chosen to tackle in-house recruitment, check out the guide to recruiting employees below and get started with a free job posting.

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