What’s so great about being an in-house recruiter, you might ask? Well, it’s better than being an outhouse recruiter! Corny jokes aside, an in-house recruiter might be just the thing your organization needs to meet its hiring needs. Continue reading to find out what an in-house recruiter is, their responsibilities, the benefits and drawbacks to in-house recruiting, and more.

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What Is an In-House Recruiter?

In many companies, HR is a one-stop shop; the HR department typically does the recruiting. However, some companies choose to have recruiting done by their own employees (in-house recruiters) or through a professional agency.

  • An in-house recruiter works directly for the organization they are recruiting for and typically sources and recruits for multiple roles within that organization.  In-house recruiters work closely with hiring managers and stakeholders in order to develop an effective and in-depth recruiting strategy. This includes sourcing, evaluating candidates, analyzing and creating job descriptions, and filling roles across the organization.
  • An agency recruiter typically hires across different industries and recruits for several different companies.

Depending on the situation, a company may even need to use an agency in addition to an in-house recruiter to fill open roles. In-house recruiters might also be called corporate recruiters depending on the size of the company.

Should Companies Have an In-House Recruiter?

There are several benefits to having an in-house recruiter. They help your company reach its long-term hiring goals, have more of a personal touch compared to recruiting agencies, and possess a deep understanding of your company. There are also drawbacks to having in-house recruiters. They may have limited knowledge of more technical roles, lack a sense of urgency, and tend to be a bit more expensive compared to agency recruiters.

Benefits of In-House Recruiters

  • Deep understanding of your company. As an employee, an in-house recruiter understands the ins and outs of your business better compared to someone who recruits for an agency. An in-house recruiter is also expected to take the time to meet with your hiring managers in order to fully understand the roles they are recruiting for and continually work closely with them in order to meet needs.
  • Fill roles across your organization. The benefit of having an in-house recruiter is greater when your company needs to fill positions fairly continuously. In contrast, a recruiting agency may make more sense if you hire more rarely.
  • Personal touch. An in-house recruiter can take the time to analyze and review job descriptions, work closely with shareholders, and better determine whether or not candidates fit the company culture and vision.

Drawbacks of an In-House Recruiter

  • Limited knowledge. An in-house recruiter may lack perspective and knowledge when it comes to recruiting for executive-level or technical roles. Since in-house recruiters are expected to fill roles across the whole organization, they may have only general knowledge of the roles they recruit for. If your company needs to hire for a position that is considered a bit more technical or senior, you may benefit from an agency recruiter.
  • Lack of urgency. If an in-house recruiter is unable to get the job done and roles remain open, there is a risk of operations being slowed, which can result in decreased profit. Since agency recruiters are typically motivated to fill positions as quickly as possible, you may consider an agency if you have many positions that need to be filled ASAP.
  • Cost. It can be difficult for a company to justify the cost of hiring an in-house recruiter if it doesn’t have a long-term hiring plan where there are many positions to fill in the future. If this is the case, an in-house recruiter might not be worth it financially for your company.

Responsibilities of an In-House Recruiter

In-house recruiting is a very important function of the Human Resources department. In order to be an effective in-house recruiter, you must be able to partner with the leadership of your company, create a process in order to define the roles you are recruiting for, identify and use the best resources for recruiting candidates, and design metrics to track your results.

Partner with Hiring Managers

The first step is to get on the same page with hiring managers to find out what they are looking for in an ideal candidate. Meet with them to set correct expectations and figure out what kind of knowledge, skills, and abilities the ideal candidate should possess. Build trust with hiring managers in order to become a consultant for them. Advise them on the best way to fill open roles in their department.

Define the Job

How can you find something if you haven’t defined what you’re looking for? With the knowledge you’ve gained from the hiring manager, create or amend a job description that matches the role you’re trying to fill. The knowledge, skills, education, and other requirements you’ve learned from them will help you create a job analysis. The job analysis will help you produce a job description sure to attract and hire the candidate your organization needs.

Search for Qualified Candidates

A recruiter proves their value to their company by proactively finding (or “sourcing”) job candidates on their own, especially when few people are applying directly. The most efficient way to do this is through online sourcing platforms such as LinkedIn or Indeed. These platforms allow you to search for qualified applicants based on geographical area, education, experience, and other filters. Other methods include attending job fairs, advertising, and networking with relevant associations.

Move Candidates Through the Interview Process

Whether your candidates have applied directly or you found them yourself, the next step is to narrow down the pool to several top candidates the hiring manager would likely be most interested in. After the hiring manager has decided which candidates they’d like to pursue, the recruiter arranges job interviews between candidates, hiring managers, and other people involved. During this step, it’s important to move quickly so candidates are not kept waiting too long.

Act as an Adviser to Hiring Managers

Although the hiring manager is the expert in their own department, they rely on recruiters to advise them on best practices to attract talent and keep the communication going with candidates. This is especially true when it comes to avoiding illegal or inappropriate interview questions. The recruiter needs to balance the hiring manager’s needs with giving proper respect to all candidates.

Determine Future Needs

Determine the future recruiting needs of your organization by comparing data and working closely with leadership. Is there a certain time of year when your company turns over more employees than normal that you need to prepare for? Do you have key positions in your organization that require a strategy such as succession planning in order to identify and develop employees? By answering these kinds of questions, you can ensure that your company strategizes well for the future.

Should You Become an In-House Recruiter?

Being a recruiter involves people skills and analytical skills (not to mention the attention to detail, organization, and time management). In fact, people often compare recruiting to sales. In both jobs, you are trying to convince people to buy into something you have to offer them. If this sounds like it’s up your alley, you could do very well as a recruiter!

What People Like About Recruiting In-House

  • Personal investment. As an in-house recruiter, it’s easy to see the results of your work as new employees directly impact your company. Many business leaders will tell you that an organization’s people are what make it special. Recruiters can take great pride in knowing they help attract the talent that defines their company.
  • Changing people’s lives. An in-house recruiter helps people find what could be their dream job. Because they work for the same company, they’re also helping to hire their future co-workers. It’s rewarding to see the difference you make in the company when you see someone you helped recruit start their job.
  • Learning opportunities. Few jobs offer as much broad exposure to the inner workings of a company. A career in recruiting gives opportunities to work with a variety of functions and personalities. This variety helps keep the job interesting.

What People Don’t Like About Being an In-House Recruiter

  • Workload stress. A recruiter has a limited capacity for the number of openings they can work on. This workload is also subject to the level of difficulty certain jobs have. Since no hiring manager should feel like they are a lower priority to you, it can be stressful to manage giving equal attention to each job. It takes time management and mental resilience to cope with this stress.
  • Ongoing requisitions. Some jobs are easier to find people for, while others can take several months or more to fill. When you have a particularly tough requisition, it can feel demoralizing when your work hasn’t resulted in a hire. There are many reasons jobs can take a long time to fill, so it’s important to keep trying new methods and cut yourself some slack.
  • Energy drain. This issue is a greater struggle for introverts, but making phone calls to strangers all day can take a toll on your energy level. That is especially true if your conversations all revolve around the same thing. It helps recruiters to mix up the requisitions they spend time working with on any given day.

How to Become an In-House Recruiter

It helps to have prior HR experience, including interviewing, candidate evaluation, and selection. Job descriptions will usually ask for a bachelor’s degree, but plenty of people have made a career as a recruiter without one. Having an HR background along with an HR-related degree could give you a leg up on the competition (although degrees only in recruiting don’t exist). You can become an in-house recruiter by properly developing your skills, creating a career plan, and networking.

Step 1: Develop Your Skills

Recruiting is fast-paced and requires an individual to be able to work quickly and efficiently in order to meet hiring needs. The ability to communicate clearly with strong interpersonal skills will allow you to help you and applicants determine if they are a good fit or not. Being able to understand your company’s long-term hiring needs and develop an in-depth strategy will help you grow closer to becoming an in-house recruiter. If your company uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it, along with any other databases or software used for recruiting. If your company doesn’t have an ATS or you’re considering an in-house recruiter role outside your organization, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how an ATS functions. Gaining a relative recruiting certification can also prove your competency. Certifications aren’t always required, but they can be earned from SHRM, HRCI, AIRS, and LinkedIn Recruiter.

Step 2: Create a Career Plan

Creating a career plan helps you track your progress towards your goal. It helps you discern how you will reach your destination, measure your progress, and provide direction to your professional life. It can keep you accountable and even help you decide which industries you might be interested in working in. Do you want to make a lateral move to an open role in your current organization? Is there an open role outside your organization you have your eye on? Providing clear answers to these types of questions can help you create an effective career plan.

Step 3: Research Companies You Like

Think of a few companies that you’d be interested in working for and look through their website. Better yet, visit their site’s careers page and look at what kinds of jobs they have open and their locations. The types of open jobs make a difference in what a recruiter’s day-to-day job looks like, so ask yourself if you’d enjoy speaking to candidates about these jobs and about the company on a daily basis.

Step 4: Network

Now that you’ve sharpened your skills and created a career plan, don’t forget to keep networking. Networking with others who currently work as in-house recruiters is a great way to gain more insight into this role. You might consider speaking with or job-shadowing others who currently work as in-house recruiters to gain more insight. They might be inside or outside your company. Find out what they did to become an in-house recruiter. Did they start out working for a staffing agency? Did they get a temporary job as a recruiter which eventually led them to become an in-house recruiter? They may even be able to connect you with a specific recruiting role or someone else who could lead you closer to your goal. Never stop networking

Questions You’ve Asked Us About In-House Recruiters

In-house recruiters work directly for an organization, while a recruiting agency is contracted by a company to find candidates for them.
Usually, in-house recruiters are paid simply on salary (plus any bonus programs offered by their company). It’s more common for agency recruiters to be paid on commission.
Typically these positions are full-time. It is pretty rare for a recruiter job to only be part-time.
James Barrett
James Barrett

James has worked in the HR field going on 5+ years and currently serves in the role of HR Manager. His areas of expertise are in managing recruiting, onboarding, HR metrics, performance and engagement, employee relations and development. He has earned a masters degree in HR along with the nationally recognized certification of SHRM-CP.

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Brian Fleming
Brian Fleming

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from BYU and have four years of professional experience in HR and Recruiting. I am also currently pursuing my MBA. No matter the field or setting I’ve been involved in at work or school, I’ve always really enjoyed writing in a way that makes the subject at hand relatable to the reader.

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