In-House vs. Agency Recruiting

January 27, 2023

There’s a myth that in-house recruitment is a lot more boring than external recruitment. You get less recognition; you’re treated as a paper-pusher; you can’t earn as much money. All of these CAN be true if you ALLOW it to be true.

It’s cliché to say it but your attitude does determine your future, especially when it comes to your role in recruitment.

Less Recognition Different Recognition

Being an external recruiter, you are often praised within the company IF you’re a top biller. Your recognition is purely based on how many deals you’ve closed or how much you’ve earned for the company. Essentially, treated like a salesperson, which is why moving in-house could be scary because your influence wouldn’t be measured by the same metrics as before.

As an in-house, you’ll be recognized for how much you understand the business needs, how forward-looking you can be, and how you improve your employer branding. It’s the same skillset, you’re just not being pressed to solely fill roles but the quality of the work you’re bringing.

Less Money Less Focus on Money

Being in-house = less lucrative is just not true! Sure, the role is not commission-based, but that doesn’t mean it’s less lucrative or rewarding. The [average person retires at the age of 64 and the average age of a recruiter is 40. That’s a whopping 24 years of gap between when a recruiter is expected to end their careers versus an average person. So while most of us are still early on with our careers, we need to remind ourselves that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Compared to external recruiting, an in-house role would have many more options to grow within the organization.

Paper-pusher Culture Advocate

Many agency recruiters think in-house HR’s just forward CV’s to line managers and, if the candidate is right, then the hires are made. In actual fact though, so much goes on in the background. From the design of the roles to aligning expectations with hiring managers; from managing different channels to making sure candidates have a good understanding of the business culture. All these efforts and work are often overlooked by external agencies.

Coming from both sides of the table, I would admit that I was once oblivious to what internal recruiters do and can do. While external recruiters can impact more lives thru their exposure to candidates, in-house recruiters have the advantage to influence business strategies.

Want to share your thoughts? Email me at!

Howard Sung

Co-founder of - Intelligent Recruiter Matching Platform

Further Reading

#ReinventingRecruiters series – what is Find Recruiter?

At Find Recruiter, we are obsessed with preserving the art of recruitment and challenging the status quo at the same time. We thought, what if recruiters didn’t need to spend so much time trying to develop their business, instead, focus their energy on what matters most – recruiting?
Howard Sung
March 23, 2022

Why should you hire in December?

In my 10 years of recruitment experience, December has always proven to be the toughest time of the year to recruit. Issues like companies figuring out the next year’s budget; candidates waiting for their annual bonuses; festivities and upcoming holidays all play a part in why it’s ultra-difficult to hire the right people.
Howard Sung
December 16, 2019