Running Engineering Recruitment In-House vs. Using A Recruitment Agency

Discover the pros and cons of running engineering recruitment in-house or using a recruitment agency. Make informed decisions for successful talent acquisition.

June 21, 2023

Should you try and recruit directly yourself, or turn to a recruitment agency?

That's the age-old question that every hiring manager has wrestled with at some point.  

Sure, there's an immediate cost saving to doing it yourself, but utlimately is it a false economy, and does it actually cost you more to do it yourself?

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of each approach, helping you make an informed decision for your engineering recruitment needs.

Pros of Running Engineering Recruitment In-House:

1. Control and Customisation:

When you handle engineering recruitment in-house, you have complete control over the entire process.

From writing the job adverts through to defining interview stages and selecting candidates, you can tailor the recruitment journey to fit your organisation's unique needs.

For example, you can create specific technical assessments that align with your engineering team's requirements, ensuring a more accurate evaluation of candidates' skills.

2. Cost-Effectiveness:

Running recruitment internally can potentially save you money in the long run.

By eliminating agency fees, you can allocate those funds towards other aspects of your hiring strategy, such as investing in employer branding or offering competitive compensation packages to attract top talent.

3. In-Depth Understanding of Company Culture and Requirements:

As an in-house recruiter, you possess a deep understanding of your company's culture, values, and goals.

This familiarity allows you to identify candidates who not only possess the required technical skills but also align with your organisation's culture.

This synergy can lead to higher employee satisfaction and long-term retention.

4. Faster Response Time and Flexibility:

When handling engineering recruitment internally, you have the advantage of immediate communication with candidates.

This facilitates swift decision-making and reduces the risk of losing top talent to competing job offers.

Additionally, as hiring needs can change rapidly in the engineering field, managing the process internally gives you the flexibility to adapt and respond quickly to evolving requirements.

Cons of Running Engineering Recruitment In-House:

1. Resource and Time Investment:

Establishing an internal recruitment team requires dedicated resources and time.

Hiring recruiters, setting up applicant tracking systems, and creating efficient recruitment processes all demand careful planning and investment.

Moreover, sourcing and screening candidates can be a time-consuming process, especially when you have multiple open positions to fill simultaneously.

2. Limited Networks and Industry Reach:

In-house recruitment may limit your access to a wide and diverse talent pool.

Recruitment agencies often have extensive networks and databases of qualified candidates, including passive candidates who are not actively searching for new opportunities.

Additionally, agencies specialising in engineering recruitment possess industry-specific knowledge, which can be invaluable in finding specialised candidates for niche roles.

3. Lack of Expertise in Recruitment:

In-house recruiters may lack the extensive experience and expertise that specialised recruitment agencies bring to the table.

Agencies have honed their screening and assessment processes, reducing the risk of biased decision-making or inadequate evaluation methods.

They stay updated with market trends, ensuring they understand the evolving skill requirements in the engineering field.

Pros of Using an Engineering Recruitment Agency:

1. Wider Candidate Reach and Access to Talent Networks:

Engineering recruitment agencies offer an extensive reach and access to vast talent networks.

Their established connections enable them to tap into a diverse pool of qualified candidates, including those who may not be actively searching for job opportunities.

This expanded reach enhances your chances of finding top engineering talent for your organisation.

2. Specialised Industry Knowledge and Expertise:

Engineering recruitment agencies possess specialised industry knowledge.

They understand the intricacies of various engineering roles, the technical skills required, and the qualifications necessary for success.

This expertise allows them to screen and assess candidates more effectively, saving you time and ensuring you find the best fit for your organisation.

3. Time-Saving and Efficiency:

When you partner with a recruitment agency, you can offload the time-consuming recruitment responsibilities to the experts.

They handle tasks such as candidate sourcing, initial screenings, and coordinating interviews, allowing you to focus on other strategic aspects of your role.

Their streamlined processes and efficient workflows expedite the hiring timeline, reducing time-to-fill and ensuring you don't miss out on qualified candidates.

Cons of Using an Engineering Recruitment Agency:

1. Cost Implications:

Utilising a recruitment agency comes with financial considerations.

Most agencies charge a fee based on the candidate's salary or a percentage of the hired candidate's first-year earnings.

While this cost can be justified by the agency's expertise and the time saved, it's essential to evaluate the long-term financial impact on your recruitment budget.

2. Reduced Control over the Process:

When you rely on an engineering recruitment agency, you relinquish some control over the candidate selection process.

The agency takes the lead in sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates, which means you have limited influence in the initial stages.

It's crucial to ensure that the agency understands your organisation's culture and requirements to avoid potential misalignment between the candidates presented and your expectations.

3. Communication and Responsiveness Challenges:

Depending on an external agency means you're dependent on their availability and responsiveness.

Delays in candidate feedback or communication gaps can hinder the recruitment process, causing frustration and potential missed opportunities.

It's important to establish clear lines of communication and set expectations with the agency to ensure a smooth and efficient collaboration.


Now that we have explored the pros and cons of running engineering recruitment in-house versus using a recruitment agency, it's time to make an informed decision based on your organisational priorities and resources.

If you value control, customisation, and deep company alignment, running recruitment in-house might be the best approach for you.

On the other hand, if you seek wider candidate reach, specialised expertise, and time-saving efficiency, partnering with a recruitment agency could be the way to go.

Remember, there's no one-sise-fits-all solution.

Each organisation has unique requirements, and finding the right balance between in-house recruitment and agency support is crucial.

By carefully considering the pros and cons outlined in this article, you'll be better equipped to make an informed decision that aligns with your organisation's goals and leads to successful engineering talent acquisition.

Coburg Banks Engineering Recruitment Agency
We help great engineering professional get brilliant jobs in top companies.

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