News 20/12/2019 by "Kayla Gallo"

Let’s marvel at the feud between internal and external recruiters

[Opinion piece]

In our line of work, we attend a lot of events; networking, staying up with the latest news in our industries and celebrating the success of those in the fields within which we specialise. It truly is one of the joys of the job. We’re social creatures, and we love a good mingle. 

But at these events, there is often one kind of professional sure to try and avoid us like the plague; some more subtly than others. 

This is the internal recruiter. Here is a situation that happened just last week:  

At an event, I was seated next to someone who, at first, appeared to be a really lovely woman, whose perfect blonde bob I admired. We exchanged a kind smile, she looked at my name tag, which stated ‘Launch Recruitment’ and in response, she turned her tag around. 

It didn’t take long to figure out that she was an internal recruiter, and this action was her not-so-subtle way of letting me know that she did not want to know me – despite being sat next to me at an event. 

Why This Us vs Them? 

These interactions sting. Of course, we understand that internal recruiters have a lot on their plate, and they receive calls from every recruiter in their city. You can’t take them all; we understand that entirely. But where does this very uncomfortable tension come from? 

Let’s explore the benefits that we both bring to the recruitment process.

Internal recruitment

  • Dedicated 100% of the time to recruiting for the same organisation
  • Familiar with the business and how it operates
  • No additional costs to the business

External recruitment

  • Dedicated 100% of the time to a specific industry or specialism
  • Knows everyone and all the latest happenings within this industry/specialism
  • Largest pool of candidates, thanks to their access to both active job seekers and those passive for the right opportunity

From where I’m sitting, these two look like a perfect partnership. So why the tension? 

I can’t speak for the other side, and I am sure that everyone’s reasons are unique and nuanced. 

  1. Perhaps it’s been a personal experience with a particularly irritating recruiter — some of those exist, I accept that
  2. Maybe it is an attitude that was passed down from a previous manager and the habit to repel us exists unconsciously
  3. Perhaps it is a fear that being nice or engaging us once will open the door where we expect more. 

In response to these assumed situations, I would say: 

  1. I’m sorry for those irritating recruiters. They’re probably learning, and they don’t reflect us all
  2. If you don’t know exactly why you hate us, maybe it’s worth considering a change of heart
  3. Sounds like something open communication can easily nip in the bud.

At the end of the day, we are all truly on the same side. You want the best candidate to join your company, and we want the same. You have an in-depth, unique insight into your organisation and we have unique, in-depth insight into the fields within which we specialise. 

Use us. External recruiters should be, to internal recruiters, more than someone you call only when you’ve exhausted all of your options. We have insight that can be helpful. We can tell you when you’re going to have a tough time or be bombarded with applicants. 

Opening dialogue with us does not always mean engaging us. But it can mean that you gain a partner working behind the scenes in the event that you do need help. Isn’t that something that could be valuable?