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When To Hire An External Recruiter?

Both in-house recruiting and headhunting firms have their merits. The key is knowing when to use each. For most mid-level roles, in-house Talent Acquisition teams can handle the job effectively, using platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed. They should also have a strategy for passive talent—those not actively job-hunting but open to opportunities.

There are special cases where an external recruiter is invaluable. For example, I once had to find a Managing Editor for a Cancer Research publication. The candidate needed highly specialized qualifications that the in-house team simply didn’t have the bandwidth to focus on.

Another instance is key leadership hires, e.g. a Head of Sales for a startup planning an IPO. Critical roles require the focus that an executive search firm can provide.

So, why should you consider paying for an executive search firm? Here are my top 3 reasons:

• Short-term pain for long-term gain: The cost of a bad hire, especially in a high-stakes role like a Chief Revenue Officer, can far outweigh the fee of a specialized search firm.

• Save time: Your expertise isn’t in recruiting. A firm like DSC can dedicate the time and resources needed to find the perfect candidate, allowing you to focus on your core responsibilities.

• Security: Reliable recruitment firms offer replacement guarantees. If a hire doesn’t work out, they’ll find you another candidate, providing a safety net. DSC offers a 2-year guarantee.

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