External vs. Internal Recruiting: Who does it better?

It has been debated many times, but the question of whether recruitment is best done with internal or external resources can only be answered at an organizational level, based upon a cost-benefit analysis.

When doing this analysis, consider which method of recruitment scores higher on the following metrics:

  1. Quality of hire

  2. Time to fill/p>

  3. Culture fit

  4. Candidate experience/impact on EVP

  5. Cost

It’s time to take a close inspection of each of these areas.

Quality of Hire

Most internal recruiters, at least in medium- to large-sized companies, rely on Web-based systems to do the initial screening and culling of applicants. They lack incentives, and also lack penalties, for how well they recruit. With external recruiters, there are often no metrics in place at all, other than time to fill. If metrics for quality of hire are clearly tracked and compared between internal and external recruiters, it can help identify the best recruitment model for your business because you will be able to tell who is providing the highest-quality candidates.

Linking recruiter pay to quality of hire is a critical step in ensuring that recruiters make solid recommendations to line managers, who ultimately make the hiring decision. Agency recruiters can be measured based on client feedback and the number of times roles have to be re-filled at no charge to the client, which can happen if the wrong hire is made and if the client organization does not have a formal way to measure its recruitment suppliers on this metric.

If you use a hybrid model, consider measuring and comparing both your internal and external recruiters on the quality of new hires. After implementing such a metric, measure them upon their first placement, at six and 12 weeks, again at six months, and then at regular intervals.

Time to Fill

Jobs can often be filled faster by using agencies (particularly within specialized industries) because they have large applicant pools. Good recruiters will always have warm candidates they keep in touch with.

Often, when external recruiters are pre-screening and presenting candidates, it’s internal recruiting teams that hold the process up. It’s not necessarily their fault, as priorities sometimes change, putting recruitment on hold, or as role requirements are revised, but it speaks to a core challenge facing the recruitment community today.

One key reason recruitment is delayed is that budget for a role has not been approved prior to beginning the search process. As everyone knows, you shouldn’t go to market until you’re certain you need to fill a role and that money is available to do so. It seems that many companies still retain search firms, spend money on advertising positions, and start seeing candidates without a confirmed internal agreement. This has a decidedly negative impact on both the brand and the relationship with any candidates you have engaged if you withdraw from the process.

A second reason for delaying the process often has to do with how companies operate internally. While a new role may be budgeted, conflicting schedules, agendas, or priorities can mean delays in seeing candidates, or extending the number of interviews or assessments beyond what was originally planned.

Not only does this increase cost and time to fill the role, it also antagonizes candidates and may mean you secure the runner-up instead of your preferred applicant, or worse, you’re left with no suitable candidate at all, forcing you to begin the process anew.

If you’re using agencies that have pre-screened candidates for you, move those candidates through the internal process, make decisions about individual applicants, and follow up quickly. Given the shortage of candidates in the market, this should be a given.

The need for speed in recruitment, to manage costs and to fill roles, especially empty ones, must be balanced with the need to find the best candidate for the role, considering all aspects, including culture fit.

Culture Fit

Internal recruiters will be able to articulate and respond to questions about what it’s really like to work in your company in a way that external parties won’t. External recruiters will never know your business as well as your own staff, try as they may, because they don’t work in the organization on a day-to-day basis, experiencing all its nuances and political challenges. As a result, many organizations think that recruitment can be done better by an in-house team who know and live the corporate culture and understand stakeholders best.

In the model where external recruiters are placed on-site, they work with your teams every day, but they are still removed from the employee experience to a large degree. For them to hire for culture fit is a particularly difficult task.

One way to track success in this area is to measure culture fit, and there are a number of ways to do that. Compare success rates between your internal and external recruiters to see who is making better assessments of culture fit.

Candidate Experience/Impact on EVP

Every time you go to market under your own brand or someone else’s, you send messages about your organization to potential candidates. How you do this could impact the way your firm is perceived by candidates, so understanding the impact of what you do is important.

If you use blind ads through a recruitment firm, you won’t build or add to your own brand recognition. Any external agency efforts to co-brand or represent your business must be handled correctly or the brand can be damaged. For example, if external recruiters don’t respond to candidates, or not quickly enough, people will forever tie that response to your brand, leaving a negative image in their minds about your company.

Pointing would-be employees to agencies through your careers website makes an impression on candidates about your organization, good or bad. Investments in a career website are better realized if you make the effort to engage with candidates directly at some level. This direct communication puts you in control of your candidate pool and is particularly helpful when there are jobs in the pipeline that haven’t been advertised yet.


An important cost consideration is related to the number of recruits. If you don’t hire a lot of people each year, it’s probably not worth having in-house recruitment staff. If you do, it’s worth measuring the cost effectiveness of outsourcing against the cost of having an in-house team and a well-developed career site with a front- and back-end recruitment system.

Using external recruiters can be expensive if you are a small company and do a large number of hires per year. Invest in some sort of recruitment technology, as well as a good recruiter or two on site who know your business, your brand, and your culture.

Whichever method you choose, or if you use both internal and external recruiters, the most important things to remember are that you need great people for your company, you need them now, and you want to spend as little as possible to get them.

Great candidates don’t need your job. Making the process as smooth as possible will go a long way to building relationships with candidates for the long term. Star candidates often have multiple offers, and will move on if you can’t make decisions quickly enough, even if they would rather have worked for your firm.

By delaying the process, cancelling searches, and not replying at all, you are sure to damage your employer brand and your reputation in the market.

Source: http://bit.ly/WLF54

Qualifications Matrix – Sample

Several purposes of the Qualification Matrix:

  1. Clarify the position with Management, Manager, Team, Recruiter on the target

  2. Communicate position requirements externally - Vendor, Referral Sources, Postings, etc.

  3. Define position for applicants/potential candidates


Required Qualifications:

  • BS manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Technology

  • Minimum of 3 years directly related experience (welding, fabrication)

  • Experience with ERP systems

  • Autocad, CAM works and SolidWorks (or ProE) experience

  • Physical ability to do the job (50lbs occasional lifting)

  • Prior experience in working with floor, quality, sales, cost reduction

  • R & D experience

  • Project management skills

  • Cross functional work and team experience

  • Design, 3D drawing ability

  • Microsoft office experience/p>

Other Qualifications:

  • Strong oral and written communication skills; can adapt message and style to meet the audience

  • Team player and ability to build teams; "on the floor mentality"

  • Well organized; ability to prioritize; flexibility

  • Handles multi-tasking and fast paced environment; willing to work the hours necessary to get the job done

  • Excellent problem solving skills

  • Assertive; get it done approach; goal oriented; responsive; hands on; willing to get hands dirty

  • Quick study, digs in, self sufficient and investigative; a go-getter

  • Personable; likable to wide range of people; approachable; not arrogant; sense of humility

  • Smart enough; blue collar engineer

Job Search Traffic

What site do Americans frequent the most to search for a job? Turns out it’s a job aggregator named Indeed.

Last month, says comScore, the web traffic measurement company, 17.3 million different visitors from the U.S. clicked into Indeed to look for a job. That translates into a 29% increase over December’s job search count.

Overall, January saw a 24% increase in the job search category, ranking comScore’s broader Career Services category among the fastest growing of all website groupings.

Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore, noted that in addition to big jumps in tax and travel sites, “We also saw a very seasonal spike in the Career Services category, including Job Search, Training and Education, and Career Resource sites, as Americans looked for ways to grow their careers and expand their skill sets in 2013.”

CareerBuilder, Monster and SimplyHired also saw big increases in their job search traffic. CareerBuilder was up 20% to 9.6 million visitors; Monster grew 32% to 9.1 million, and; SimplyHired was up 40% to 4.7 million.

Source: http://bit.ly/12IW2A0

Find the right person in 6 steps

1. Define the requirements carefully. This sounds ridiculously easy, but it's amazing how many business owners will embark on a search without determining exactly whom they want to hire. It's important to detail the specific job requirements and desired personal characteristics, creating a "hiring scorecard" that can be used in screenings and interviews to determine if a candidate can fulfill the requirements of the job. Needless to say, it's also critical to determine if the candidate will be a cultural fit as well.

2. Look for repeated patterns of success. Don't just look for tactical job responsibilities and skills--find the applicants who have repeatedly made a mark and exceeded expectations, time and time again. Drill down in the interview to ask those questions; find out how they measure their own success and whether their employment history tells a story of a superstar.

3. It's the network. With so many resumes flooding in for each open position, you should rely on inbound candidates even less than you ever have. Your friends and their friends know the fantastic players who are searching for their next opportunity; tap into them and save yourself a lot of paper time.

4. Find a recruiting platform that allows for pre-screening. When you do need to wade through resumes, use a recruiting system with pre-screening questions and candidate rating capabilities. This allows you to focus on the exact capabilities you need and only review the candidates who have passed the initial screening, saving yourself massive amounts of time.

5. It's still about the passive seekers. I personally recently hired a VP of Marketing for my company, but when I first came across him, he was already installed at another company. I courted him for months, persuaded him and eventually he came to work for me. In essence, I treated this executive search as though it was occurring during a gangbusters economy where talent is scarce. The reality is, the truly premium talent is still scarce, and always will be. If your bar for talent is as obscenely high as mine, passive seekers can make or break your search.

6. Don't settle. Almost every tip I've provided works in both a good and lousy economy. But let's be honest: When the good times roll, it's easier to find someone and say "good enough." But in a down economy, you should never do this. Take the time you need to find the right candidate, either active or passive, and make the right hire.

Source: http://bit.ly/pkbpwX

Is “Made in the USA” making a comeback?

In the last few months we have heard about companies moving some production back into the US.  You can find examples of this with Apple bringing production of portions of the new iMac back to the US to be produced by an unnamed partner, and the new Gorilla Glass on the front of the iPhone 5 is being produced in Kentucky. In addition, both GE and Google have also been forerunners of the trend of bringing production back to the US.

The primary motivations for this increased US production are shipping costs, lead times, difficulties with managing distant manufacturing, and issues with quality.  In addition, labor costs of manual labor are skyrocketing, with costs of professional and management staffs rising to be comparable with those in the US.

On the other hand, the examples above are large public companies with deep pockets and investors demanding higher profitability. However, a small bicycle factory in Portland, Oregon has seen an increase in demand for US produced products. Chris King’s bicycle factory has seen an increase demand for bicycles produced in the US from an unlikely source. Annual sales for Chris King bikes are around $10 million. Half of these sales come from orders from abroad, including Europe and Asia. This small 100 employee company has been flourishing in manufacturing its products in the US. This can be primarily attributed to exporting their products abroad. The founder and owner have been in contact with the Obama administration on how to boost more American exports abroad. These types of exports are easier for more premium brands. People are willing to pay a higher price for a superior product. However, their marketing plays to customers’ willingness to pay a little more for a product that will last years, rather than pay less and get a piece of junk. Mr. King’s bicycle manufacturing in the US is a very small example of how a company is taking to heart the production of quality American made products. This company is a good role model for other companies that are similar in size.

At InPursuit we help companies from a small “ma and pa” shop to large publicly held companies. When working with clients, our focus is on us meeting with them individually to exactly define needs.   We personalize our search model for each client and each individual job, and present excellent candidates who will make long term contributions to our client.  Our primary industry is manufacturing, and we are pleased to see the trend for manufacturing and production making its way back into the US. In order to increase production in the US, companies need to have top notch employees. We are here to help. We can help boost your sales team or find you top notch engineers.

We hope everyone has a prosperous New Year!

Source: http://buswk.co/VxzNqQ Chris King bikes: http://chrisking.com/

Recruiting Games

During the interview process for a potential candidate, HR may fall into a trap of asking the same old questions: “Tell me about your sales history at company X” or “What types of machinery did you work on at Engineering firm Y” or “Why did you leave this company to work for the next one?” These are relevant questions; however, they do not give any insight to who the person really is, their work style, or their true personality. These elements could very well be game changers if the candidate does not fit the company’s culture.

One company took this concept to the next level. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a consumer goods company located in the United Kingdom. They are the world’s largest producer of household cleaning products and a major producer of healthcare and personal products. RB recently launched a personality evaluation on their website as well as on Facebook. It is made to resemble more of a game than a test. The user is asked a series of twenty questions given in the “would you rather” format, which is how the assessment got its name. Upon completion of Would you Rather the user is shown four different categories that fit their personality, for example “fearless, direct, ambitious and cool-headed.” It’s an element of recruiting that is used to better understand candidates and their fit for a particular job or team. After taking this assessment, a candidate can also access RB’s job openings and the fit. This is an example of how a company is putting a new face on personality tests and the insight given to understand people more deeply.

At InPursuit we do much of the “heavy lifting” for our clients. Before our client speaks with any candidates, people have been meticulously evaluated by our sourcing team. This means our clients are only speaking with exceptional candidates that are qualified for the position and will add value to the organization. InPursuit uses a number of personality and leadership assessment tools to delve deeper into our candidates and the quality of fit from both the company and candidate perspective. This is what sets us apart from other recruiting firms. We take pride in finding the best candidates for the job!

Check out the article: http://bit.ly/TtaS7y; Check out RB: http://www.rb.com/home

Feedback from HR professionals on recruting

Good Feedback from HR Professionals on Search Firms

Companies Care about the following in a Search Firm:

  • Sound recruiting process.

  • Speed to hire.

  • Accuracy - understanding the job and locating candidates that are interested and qualified for the position.

  • Acceptance - when the final candidate is selected the individual with accept the position under reasonable terms.

  • Longevity - external hires placed by a search firm need to stay at the company for a minimum of 3 years to justify the placement fee.

  • Deeper and broader reach - companies expect search firms that can uncover candidates that they can’t reach.

1. The need for the Search firm to be patient and persistent with prospective clients.

The Recruiting Dept Heads in the webinar explained that they receive 4-6 calls/wk from Search firms wanting to start a relationship. The response from the Dept Head was that they don't return the call until after 6-8 calls or even 6 months of phone calls. Their reasoning was an enormous amount of time wasted with firms and people that come and go. These firms might never do business together.


Hopefully you appreciate our persistence. Our history and how we do business has always been to develop long term relationship with clients. WE ARE ALL IN WHEN YOU ARE READY!!!

2. Companies don’t want to deal with Rookie Recruiters.


We are seasoned business professionals working as Recruiters. Bob Burfeind and Dave Zimmel have over 50 years of combined HR and Recruiting experience. We are experts at the complete recruiting process including sourcing (based on current technology), assessment (in-person candidate meetings) and integration (defining and measuring performance upfront).

3.Companies are seeking people that "understand their business" and don’t want to continue to reinvent the wheel every time there is a new search with another firm. Niche firms are take more time to keep up to speed on the company.


We have an emphasis on working as generalist to go deep and broad with a company which creates the knowledge to sell the company to high potentials. Our approach is to work as an extension to the company to located top talent. A smaller client list that provides a broad base of business is our growth strategy.

4. Companies are seeking multi-discipline firms that can work on a broad range of positions.


Our strategy is to develop the best sourcing, recruiting, assessment and integration process in the marketplace. We have experience in all functional areas including General Management, Engineering, Sales, Marketing and Business Operations. We can site successful projects across the board in all of these areas in several different industries.

Check out the link: http://bit.ly/SHICZy

Recruiting is the winner!

There are many different functions within Human Resources and it has been long-argued which of these is most important when it comes to bottom line profitability. So our friends at The Boston Consulting Group put this debate to an end. Drum roll please…

Recruiting comes in on top! When it comes to having the best employees, there are two ways of accomplishing this. The first is to take an average person and develop them into a high performing employee. This approach takes a lot of time and money. The other option is to see who the high achievers are in the market and recruit them into your company. This takes less time and money.

With recruiting at the forefront having a profit growth of 3.5 and a profit margin of 2.0 its total improvement score is 5.5. This means that recruiting alone is 5.5 times the impact of a low level HR function. One thing that sticks out in this table is employer branding. When this is combined with recruiting the total improvement score doubles. Employer branding is an intangible piece of recruiting. With this dynamic duo working together the performance bar is raised to a 10, meaning recruiting and branding together have 10 times the performance of a low HR function.

Knowing the different levels of HR functions is important for companies to be competitive in the market. You want to have the best employees possible on your team, this will intern have a positive effect on the profitability of the company.

At InPursuit we are extremely experienced in the recruiting and placement of excellent employees. We are a personable executive search firm that works hand in glove with our clients, working first to define the needed position in detail. Then, we deploy a search strategy using advanced technology to find exceptional candidates for the position.

With recruiting being the top Human Resource function it is crucial to have a solid recruiting team. That’s us!

Check out the article at: http://bit.ly/RCeKBI

High potential vs. high performance

There is a big difference between employee potential and performance. And the variance between business success and failure business hinges on the ability to decipher this difference in both employees and candidates.

The topic is discussed in a recent article on the Software Advice blog, High Potentials vs. High Performers: A Manager’s Guide to Identify, Assess, and Develop. High performing employees stick out by exceeding expectations and completing difficult projects. High potential employees on the other hand are a little different. They may show good aptitude in the beginning but may peter out as time goes on. Employers must figure out where their employees fall between performance and potential, and this will help with employee development. In the end, turning potential into performance will result in overall company improvement.

At InPursuit we are dedicated to finding the highest caliber of employees for our clients. High performance along with high potential is on our minds throughout the search and placement process. We pride ourselves at finding out exactly what our client is looking for in a new hire. We concentrate on the specific performance expectations in the first six months in our on-boarding process call FirstView™. These expectations will have metrics attached to them, and will help a manager guide the integration of a new employee through a “quick start.” This means each party knows how the other operates, insures a strong working relationship, and transforms potential into performance.

Check out the article: http://bit.ly/S7U4hF

InPursuit Search hires new search consultant – Jack Daggett

We are happy to announce the additional of Jack Daggett to our sourcing team.

He is challenged to use his manufacturing background along with a business management degree while developing his abilities in the search and talent management field. His passion is for assisting people on their career path and finding their dream job while locating top talent for our clients.

Jack’s prior experience includes a marketing internship with DeZURIK Inc. in Sartell, Minnesota. DeZURIK is recognized worldwide for top notch products, including valves and actuators for many water industry applications. He also has considerable experience in other manufacturing companies such as Hutchinson Manufacturing Inc. and Pride Solutions. With this manufacturing background, Jack was very interested in InPursuit’s work with search processes, sourcing and candidate research for companies in this industry sector.

Jack is a recent graduate of St. John’s University where he majored in business management and minored in coaching. Jack was a four year member of the SJU football team under Coach John Gagliardi. He currently lives in Minneapolis and is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying time on the lake along with hunting and fishing.

Please welcome Jack to our team!!!

Jack Daggett - jdaggett@inpursuitsearch.com, 651.695.7386