When to use Internal Recruiting Efforts and Four Reasons to Hire a Recruiting Agency

Posted on March 07, 2022

It is well known in the LBM Industry that having the best team means having a competitive advantage over your competitors. That’s why LBM companies are constantly poaching talent among themselves. They are looking to get the best available pros in the industry, those people who come in and make an immediate impact.

Hiring talent is no easy task for small, medium, and even large companies. I’ve found this especially true in LBM, where old ways of doing business are slow to change. It seems that there are few if any new ideas, thus, increasing the demand for the few considerations available. Companies often wonder whether they should hire all the talent they need using their internal talent acquisition teams or seek outside help with a recruiting firm.

Because SnapDragon helps organizations find talent, we’ve helped companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s to source and hire qualified employees for their teams over the past eighteen years. I’ve seen where every company can use an outside agency, but it’s not always the right move to make. Every company, situation, and need is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when using a recruiting agency. Based on our experience, there are a few common scenarios when hiring through an agency that might make sense for a company.

You might consider hiring a recruiter when:

  1. You’ve hit a hiring ceiling, and your contacts are all exhausted. This happens when your company cannot find the type of worker they need because it falls beyond their area of expertise, the role is too complex, or if you’ve depleted your contact list and have come up empty-handed. In other words, you’ve hit the ceiling. A company can identify this type of situation when they start receiving poor candidates for a new position, or the HR department openly warns about their lack of experience finding the exact person for the role mentioned or the ability actually to recruit someone out of a competitor’s office. When this happens, retaining a recruiting firm can help both accelerate the process and find better-suited candidates for your needs. If you do retain a firm, be sure that:
  • They do a thorough kick-off meeting with your team. Make sure they know the person you seek, the open role, and the impact this role has on the organization.
  • The agency wholly owns the position. The source, qualify and submit candidates directly to the hiring manager for interviewing.
  • They own the sourcing process. The source and prequalify, but they have you engaged in the process before the interviewing begins. Make sure you are in alignment in terms of targeting.

It’s important to understand that this does not replace your current recruiting team; it enhances it with a partner with access to a talent pool of specialists known to many industry-specific pros. Your existing recruiting team will eliminate the time they have to spend sourcing and identifying talent that matches a position’s need and focus on making sure the candidates fit your culture.

  1. Your demand far outweighs your supply of internal recruiters. This frequently happens when companies are in growth spurts or when new investment comes in, and the company needs to hire. HR teams often have a specific bandwidth of positions they can repeatedly handle, so the demand far outweighs the number of positions they can process when this situation comes around. As a result, your whole process can begin to atrophy and slow down. It will require you to make sure they are realistic in their abilities and will let you know when they’ve reached max capacity. I see too many open jobs posted that are over four months old, a clear indicator that the team cannot keep up with demand.

Some companies put time limits for the internal team to fill an open role before going outside the internal team. Engaging with a recruiting partner in an “On-Demand” role helps HR teams meet the company’s hiring needs without having to hire new internal resources and without having to compromise their process. They act as a relief valve and provide additional recruiting horsepower to the current team, resulting in shorter hiring cycles.

  1. You’re looking for highly specialized talent or a key impact player to join your staff. In-house talent teams often struggle when looking for particular roles or higher-level talent with specific business insight not found on a resume. The increased demand for a well-rounded “Businessperson” has made it increasingly difficult to identify them in our industry. Hiring a recruiting firm with a history of finding this talent or specialized in your industry or certain positions can help you find those difficult-to-find skill sets. They often already have talent pools they can tap into and 1000s of contacts to help identify targets of interest.


  1. You’re building a team in another part of the country or scaling your existing footprint. In these situations, the need for experience in other aspects of the market or a history of successful expansion is often the reason to engage an outside recruiting firm. Talking to a recruiting partner with experience building teams for other companies can help you shorten the time it takes to build and establish a team in another country.

Hire internally in all other situations. Hiring internally should be your first choice whenever you look at your hiring plans. Use your internal team to cover the highest number of positions whenever possible. Companies often prefer to use their internal recruiters when culture matters more than qualifications. I’ve seen situations where hiring managers are more focused on the soft skills a candidate brings to the table and can compromise some missing skills based on that.

I recommend using internal resources when hiring entry-level and mid-level employees because their skill set is usually very flexible, and the needs are not as specific. If you’re unsure how long they should take to fill a position, a good rule of thumb is that an average process can take between four and six weeks from when the position is created. You should start seeing prospective candidates within five business days as a manager.

Knowing how to use recruiting agencies to supplement your existing HR strategies can help you close positions faster, increase retention with suitable candidates and ensure your business milestones are met.