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

3 Steps to Setting Up Your Recruitment Firm in Hong Kong

As more clients move onto using boutique recruitment firms, more consultants are considering to start their own recruitment firms.Lucky for recruiters in Hong Kong, it is relatively easy to start your own firm. Here are a quick guide to help you get set up easily.
Howard Sung
October 15, 2019

Find Recruiter receives its first-ever funding from WNJ

Find Recruiter is extremely excited to announce an official partnership with WNJ Ventures. For the past 3 years, Find Recruiter has been a bootstrapped venture with the mission to streamline the recruitment processes for companies via their collaborative platform between employers and specialist recruiters.
Howard Sung
September 13, 2021

My Very First Post!

Of course, this is going to be about entrepreneurship — why not?I’ve co-founded 2 companies (Surge & FindRecruiter) within the past 18 months, it seems only suiting to have my first post about a topic that is so close to my life.
Howard Sung
August 29, 2019