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When using your internal hiring process is not enough

If you have employees, you almost certainly have an internal hiring process. But is it enough? What happens when the process breaks down, or you don’t have time to implement it, or the process doesn’t work for the type of position you’re looking to fill. That’s where an outside recruitment firm comes in. Many clients come to us because they have an internal hiring process or even an entire hiring staff, but they need a secret weapon in a tough situation.

Here’s when to make the leap to a specialized, external recruitment firm:

1: You’re hiring for a mission-critical position. Let’s say that you’re pursuing a whole new direction: you’re expanding into Asia, or you’re offering in-person training for the first time, or you’re developing your first app-based solution. You don’t need just anyone with a pulse; you need a rock star…fast. That’s where an external recruiter comes in, leveraging insider knowledge of the position, and—most importantly—a roster of candidates who aren’t on your radar screen.

2: You’ve exhausted your usual pipelines. Many of our clients fill at least some of their positions through their personal networks and their company’s network; perhaps by offering a bonus to employees who refer successful candidates to you. But those techniques only go so far. At some point, you’re going to tap them out, and then you need to expand your reach. Posting your positions online seems like a good solution, but often results in a deluge of applications from candidates who are totally unqualified, or don’t live in your area and don’t want to to relocate, or don’t fit your corporate culture. When your traditional pipelines run dry, an external recruiter can make all the difference.

3: You’re looking for a Purple Unicorn—and your internal team tells you it’s impossible. Your hiring staff probably do a great job of finding employees with fairly traditional profiles. If you need an entry-level iOS developer, they’re on it. But what happens when you need a software trainer who also speaks Japanese? Or someone with system administration and system programming experience? Or someone who’s done a major database migration in a company like yours? Your internal hiring process may break down—resulting in the worst possible outcome, a hire who doesn’t work out. External recruiters specialize in Purple Unicorns, and we’ll never tell you that the right person for your position doesn’t exist.

4: You’re hiring for a new or rare position. Your internal staff know how to screen candidates for the kinds of positions that they fill all the time. But when a cutting-edge or one-of-a-kind position needs to be filled, you need outside help. The other option—having your staff develop the internal recruiting expertise to evaluate these candidates—is a poor use of your resources. Your staff will spend a great deal of time getting up to speed, only to use that hard-won expertise one time and one time only. Not a great use of your staff’s time or expertise. By bringing in an external recruiter, you can avoid that drain and keep your staff focused on their core tasks.

5: You’re short on time and resources. This happens in every organization: you look at your list of open positions, and you realize that you simply don’t have the time, energy, or people to look for great candidates. Many clients come to us simply because they can’t do it all, and they’d rather keep their business running and leave the hiring to us.

6: You’re on a tight deadline. When you have a new release scheduled and your key developer resigns or has to take a leave of absence, it’s a crisis. Missing that release deadline would be a disaster, but simply throwing a warm body at the problem might make things worse. An external recruiter can get you out of that bind, without compromising on quality.

7: You’re in a talent war with your competitors. When you need a strategic advantage, every new hire counts. A new hire can make or break your edge over the competition, and an external recruiter knows that. We have our finger on the pulse of your industry, and we know what it takes to get ahead. The right people are key, and we’ll help you find them.

At Search Consultants, we work as your trusted partner through every step of the hiring process. Whether you’re looking to fill a hard-to-source, mission-critical position, or your in-house recruitment staffers are simply overloaded, we understand the challenges and what’s at stake.

Get in touch with us today, and let’s talk about how our expertise can take your company to the next level. You can reach us by e-mail at or by phone at (919) 550-0005.


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