When Is It Time to Hire a Recruiter?

January 30, 2015

What are the advantages working with a contract recruiter vs. a full-time recruiter, and when is it time to make the switch?

When you work at a tech startup you quickly become accustomed to juggling priorities. If you’re a hiring manager, however, the real challenge comes when you find yourself struggling to balance the need to continue driving productivity while quickly scaling your team with top new hires at the same time. The sheer number of vacancies and urgent demand to recruit efficiently can be overwhelming for many team leaders. When they realize they don’t have enough time to personally devote themselves to recruitment efforts, it’s time to find a new solution.

The question then becomes, what type of recruiter should you hire — a contract recruiter or a full-time recruiter?” Both types of recruiters present various benefits to the organization, but it’s important to assess what makes more sense given your particular situation and the climate of your startup.

Let’s take a look at the various advantages of hiring either a contract or a fulltime recruiter.

Advantages of a Contract Recruiter

Best suited for: Scaling a specific team, a short-term hiring push, recruiting for a high-priority position

In each of these cases, a recruiter is needed to get down to work ASAP. Perhaps you need to recruit one particular skill set (BDRs, software engineers, etc.), and it’s a matter of hiring for multiple openings at the same time. If so, this is the perfect opportunity to hire a contract recruiter who is a specialist in that one area. When a contract recruiter specializes in a particular skill set, she often has several contacts and a network in that space that she can leverage on your behalf to speed up the hiring process.

On the other hand, if your needs vary across the business, a contract recruiter can also work for few quick months on the immediate needs then leave the business once the hiring slows.

Advantages of a Full-time Recruiter

Best suited for: Scaling in more than one department, streamlining the hiring processes across the business, active and passive recruiting efforts

When it becomes clear that a variety of departments need to hire, the need to recruit is immediate but must also be strategic. Rapid hiring will eventually slow down and vacancies will start to vary in seniority and skill set as you begin hiring more senior roles to the company. As such, you will start to see a consistent need for an in-house recruiter to focus on new positions on a rolling basis across the company. A full-time recruiter will not only focus on filling roles as they open, but will also develop an active network for the startup and embark on more proactive recruiting engagements. He or she can also assist in streamlining the hiring process across the company so that interview cycles become consistent.

Bottom Line

If you’re just trying to scale quickly, a contract recruiter is the solution. When your startup is ready to move on to the next level by getting more strategic about the company’s hiring process, a full-time recruiter is your best bet.

When did you decide it was time to hire a full time recruiter? Have you ever had any negative experiences with hiring a contract recruiter?

Bonus: Free Guide to Building an In-House Talent Team

Ready to take the next step? Download our free comprehensive guide to building the kind of in-house recruiting team your growing company needs to lower recruitment costs, drive higher ROI, and create a better, more visible, and highly credible company culture.

Photo by: Ryan McGuire, Gratisography

Technical Recruiter

<strong>Rose O'Connell</strong> is a technical recruiter at <a href="http://www.athenahealth.com/">AthenaHealth</a>. She was previously a Talent Specialist with OpenView.