Signs you should consider outsourcing your recruitment

Do you see outsourced recruitment as an expense rather than an investment? It’s a common point of view, yet an increasing number of organisations are realising the value of outsourcing their recruitment.

The market is evident simply from the number of new recruitment start-ups across the UK. In fact, the need for better management and leadership recruitment is what drove us to establish Sitka.

Senior, more specialist roles present certain challenges to in-house recruiters. And even if you’ve got the most fantastic internal team, there are still occasions where it makes sense to outsource the recruitment of certain roles.

These are some of the reasons clients have been driven to seek out our support – and why you might need to consider outsourced recruitment:

Your hiring process is too long

On average it takes a month to recruit a new employee – more for highly skilled vacancies where the candidates aren’t often actively seeking out a new role. If your process is extending beyond this, you run the risk of losing the most qualified talent and this in turn will cost you more than it should.

54% of employers have lost out on qualified talent because of a lengthy hiring process.

You may be fed up of hearing that it’s a candidates’ market, but it is often the case that the best candidates will have more than one job option available to them. If a speedier competitor doesn’t win them over, you might end up having to offer a higher salary as a result.

Tackling lengthy recruitment processes in-house is challenging. It can detract attention from your core business activities and have a knock-on effect on your profitability.

A good recruitment partner can provide much needed support to prevent you losing the talent you most need. We know how to attract the right candidates, we might even know some suitable ones already. After all, that’s our core business.

You need a more diverse workforce

Most people are aware that diversity is good for business, but there is still a disproportionate balance of employees when it comes to ethnicity and gender. Affinity bias – where you subconsciously preference candidates whose values and qualities match your own – is partly to blame, and to a certain extent it’s human nature, but uniformity isn’t good for business.

A recruiter can provide an objective perspective that reduces bias and helps you avoid inadvertently recruiting employees in your own image. And a more diverse workforce makes a business more efficient, successful and competitive.

Your HR department can be overwhelmed

In-house HR teams have numerous pressures on them. It can be overwhelming and can have a negative effect on their efficiency. HR’s primary focus should be on keeping your current employees engaged and happy, particularly if you’re one of the many employers for whom employee retention is a big priority.

In our experience, HR teams don’t usually have the capacity to keep up with the latest recruitment trends or spend time getting to know candidates in person. A good external recruiter, however, does. They can provide an impartial view on how to refresh and focus your recruitment practices, and optimise candidate experience in the process.

You have too many CVs to sift through

There is a lot of truth to the claim that recruitment software can simplify and speed up your recruitment process. However, setting up and maintaining the latest technology is time consuming itself and it’s not fool-proof. Relying on technology puts you at risk of discounting good candidates due to technical errors.

This is why we practice a blended approach to recruitment; technology has its place, but an external recruitment firm like Sitka can dedicate time to scouring CVs and building relationships with candidates to ensure you only invest your time reviewing CVs from well-matched candidates.

You have high staff turnover

High staff turnover is costly and can have a significant impact on your customer service and employee engagement.

The cost of an unsuccessful hire is estimated to be around 21% of an employee’s salary, and that’s before you take into account the legal and time implications. If you’re also having to dismiss new employees just a few months after they start working for you, you’re probably not getting the right people through the door in the first instance.

Part of the problem may be a lack of attention to cultural fit or soft skills when recruiting. Or that the job description isn’t clear enough to begin with. A skilled recruitment partner can help you clarify and communicate the specifics of the role upfront and screen candidates more thoroughly. We can provide better insight into their personalities and will only put forward those who we’re sure are a good fit.

We can also advise you how to best retain your existing staff, for example, through managing expectations, providing development opportunities and strengthening your employer brand.

You’re missing specialist skills

Employing people with specialist skills can be a great source of competitive advantage for your organisation. If you’re recruiting from a different business area or industry, you might not have the knowledge you need in-house to recruit the best person for the job.

As many aren’t actively job seeking, you might not be able to reach a wide enough pool of qualified candidates either. A good recruiter will have a number of tools at their disposal and know where to find the more passive, high calibre candidates you need.

Agencies like us who carry out personality testing and reference checking will also be better able to scope out candidates with the right balance of soft skills – an important priority for many employers. (See our soft skills blog).  

Your cost per hire is too high

It’s a misconception that in-house recruitment is cheaper. Although it doesn’t involve search and selection fees, the cost of unsuccessful advertising, lost productivity, and training for less than ideal candidates can quickly add up.

If you end up needing to replace that hire because they’re not well matched, that cost can quickly exceed the investment you might have made in outsourced recruitment.

By knowing where to look, recruiters streamline the recruitment process which reduces your cost per hire, ensures you get the right person first time, and also makes it easier and cheaper to onboard them.  

You want to expand rapidly

If you’re looking to expand geographically, increase your product offering or acquire new business, there’s a good chance that new and highly qualified talent will be an important part of your strategy’s success.

One senior role can require 20+ hours of dedicated recruitment activity each week. If you can’t dedicate those hours to doing this, it’s probably worth outsourcing the recruitment to a recruitment agency who can.


There are many reasons that businesses are increasingly outsourcing recruitment when it comes to highly qualified, managerial and other significant roles. But in our view, the overarching one is the recognition that it’s a valuable investment for the growth of their business.

If any of the above rings true for you and you’re considering outsourcing some of your recruitment, we’d love to talk to you. And if you’re in any doubt, a read of our testimonials from those who have made the investment in us may help you decide. 

To find out how we can work with you, please drop us a line