Six signs that its time to outsource your recruitment

Six signs that its time to outsource your recruitment
Andrew Morris

Six signs that its time to outsource your recruitment

How to know the right time to start outsourcing your recruitment.

One of the most important parts of a business strategy is identifying gaps or weaknesses you may have, and delegating accordingly. There used to be a time when outsourcing elements of your business to external providers was frowned upon, but it’s now regarded as a routine and common sense option.

One area that tends to get outsourced is recruitment. It makes sense – the growth of any business depends on having the right people in place, so the recruitment process is key.

But how do you know when the right time is to reach out to experts and outsource your recruitment? Here are six red flags that might tell you.


Flag 1: You’re wasting valuable time and money

In an ideal world, you’d hire the best people as quickly as possible - especially in a competitive market – while also keeping recruitment costs down. It’s not always easy to achieve in practice though.

Many businesses miss out on good people because of a lengthy time-to-hire process, which means they have spent time and money without the talent to show for it. On the other hand, some try to go for a quick and cheap solution, but this usually costs more in the long run due to inefficiencies or poor hires.

Outsourcing your recruitment allows you to save both time and money, which is often the number one reason this model is used. A good provider will have the market expertise you need, allowing you to concentrate on running your business, rather than screening CVs or managing various agencies.

They will also have a number of solutions to restructure the recruitment process and reduce your costs – whether it’s streamlining supply chains and job boards, or increasing the number of direct hires through their talent pipelines.

The quality of their hires should also mean a decrease in staff turnover, saving you further time and money.


Flag 2: Your internal team are struggling with peaks and troughs

Many organisations have busy and quiet periods for recruitment – perhaps because the business model is based on seasonal fluctuations, or its needs can change throughout the year. Often this can leave internal recruitment teams with very little to do, before all of a sudden they are hit with a large volume of vacancies.

This could mean that at peak times, when they’re struggling with the load, candidate quality drops and time-to-hire increases. Alternatively, the quiet periods can leave them feeling demotivated and disengaged.

Outsourcing is the perfect solution for businesses in this situation. It offers scalability - the ability to flex delivery teams up or down, based on your hiring needs. It means you have the peace of mind that any spikes in hiring demand can be met, without inefficiencies on your own payroll.


Flag 3: You’re not making use of data

Every time you hire someone, there is a wealth of information that should be getting picked up along the way and analysed. This will help you with future decision making and highlight any areas to improve. If you’re not doing this – either due to time constraints, or because you lack the expertise – your recruitment outsourcing partner can help.

This is a highly underrated benefit of outsourcing to an expert. They are able to offer real-time reporting and detailed insight on everything recruitment related. Ultimately, this will improve the quality of your recruitment process, and help you achieve business objectives faster.

In addition, your outsourcing partner will have access to external market data, which will give you a better idea of what candidates want in terms of salary, benefits and more.

We live in a data-driven age, and if you don’t think you’re making the most of what’s available, outsourcing your recruitment should be a strong consideration.


Flag 4: Your talent acquisition is reactive rather than proactive

Workforce planning is one of the main building blocks of a good recruitment strategy. If you’re constantly reacting to requirements and trying to meet deadlines, you may struggle to get the right quality of candidate on a consistent basis.

It’s understandable why this slips off the radar though. Planning for the future takes an incredible amount of resources and knowledge. How do you predict the type of talent you’ll need a few years down the line? Will the skills you currently have be enough or will the market have changed rapidly?

This is where recruitment outsourcing comes into its own. Your outsourcing partner will have a specific remit which includes analysing your requirements and any skills gaps you could have. They can anticipate what will be needed, and will focus on building strong talent pipelines for you – covering the short, medium and long-term.


Flag 5: The quality of candidates isn’t up to your standards


Are you constantly finding yourself having to make up for bad hires? Perhaps you’re experiencing regular dropouts, leading to you choosing a candidate who wasn’t your first choice?

The business impact of this can’t be underestimated. Not only is it unsustainable from a cost perspective, but it also drains the time of your hiring managers and the morale of your employees.

When you outsource your recruitment, one of the first things your provider will do is audit your existing processes. This will cover everything from the way you source, screen and interview candidates, to the technology systems you’re using. They will even interview existing employees.

Sometimes a bad hire can be down to the candidate not being a good personality fit, rather than lacking the skills. One of the benefits of outsourcing your recruitment is the presence of a dedicated business partner who will embed themselves within your organisation. This is not simply an Account Manager – they will be based onsite and see themselves as an extension of your HR department. This allows them to get an idea of your culture, and therefore make the right hires.


Flag 6: Your processes no longer feel fresh

The recruitment market is ever-evolving and methods that worked well just a couple of years ago can quickly become stale and outdated.

Internal teams dealing with the usual daily challenges of their job may find it difficult to keep up with the newest trends and tools. Those that do, still find it hard to get budget for new innovations, which are sometimes seen as ‘risky’.

Outsourcing recruitment allows businesses to keep their finger on the pulse. Many outsourcing companies will give you access to market insight at no extra cost, while the best ones will also provide things like whitepapers, and seminars with key industry figures.

Crucially, they also constantly invest in new tools for sourcing candidates, and will provide this to you. This means your processes stay fresh, without you having to commit to the investment.



Outsourcing your recruitment is an established way to improve results, free up your resources, and reduce costs. While trying to keep everything in-house is a natural inclination, it can end up being quite damaging in the long run. If you feel like some of the warning signs above apply to you, then it may be time to reach out to specialists. 


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