Talento | Employers

Staffing Agencies & In-House Recruitment: How to Successfully Combine Them

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    May 6, 2020    |      8 min read


Combine In-House Recruitment with Staffing Agencies

If your technology company has reached a certain point of growth, you and your stakeholders may be facing a difficult question: How to build and scale your tech team? Should you hire a whole team to manage your recruiting efforts or outsource to a staffing agency? If there are multiple job roles to fill, someone will need to write down all those job descriptions, search for candidates, arrange interviews, prepare job offers, and manage employees. However, for a series A or series B startup, this investment of time and money to assemble a recruiting team could affect their speed to generate profits.

 That said, there are traditionally two directions that your IT company may follow when reaching this milestone: the company hires an in-house recruiting team to manage all recruitment responsibilities or outsource the efforts to a staffing agency. 

 Both proposals have different benefits, skills, costs, and work differently. In our recent guide on how to build and scale a tech team in Mexico, we touched on the primary role of in-house recruitment and staffing agencies. 

 Today we’re going to dig a little deeper so you can learn effective ways to work hand in hand with staffing agencies with your in-house recruiters to help you hire remote developers to scale your team

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What are the roles of in-house recruiters and staffing agency recruiters? 

Let’s take a look at the simple definition for both types of recruiters. 

In-house recruiter:  

  • In-house recruiters cover the in-house recruitment of a single company.  
  • They hire permanent staff aligned to the culture of the company. 
  • The in-house recruiter often has experience hiring high-ranking roles that are important to the employer. (For example the hiring of a Chief Product Officer or a Project Managers). 

Agency recruiter: 

  • They work in staffing agencies that serve multiple clients in various cities and countries. 
  • They often hire staff for specific projects or short term contracts, but there are others like CodersLink that also hire for long-term positions and even permanent. 
  • Agency recruiters often specialize in recruiting talent in a specific industry (such as hiring remote developers for IT companies).   

 They usually seem to do more or less the same job, but there are some significant differences between the two. To understand these contrasts, let’s look at the many aspects of their day to day job and how they can affect or benefit your company. 

Difference Between In-house Recruitment and Staffing Agency: 


Staffing Agency

  • As I mentioned, the agency recruiter works for many clients in multiple business niches and often specializes in a specific sector. 
  • They can work with high-volume recruiting assignments and recruiting qualified candidates in different roles in the shortest possible time. 
  • Agency recruiters also have the primary responsibility to recruit with retention in mind. 

 In-House Recruitment 

  • The in-house recruiter hires only for the company they work for, which means they are limited to a single industry and within your company’s reach. 
  • In-house recruiters must pay close attention to cultural adjustment, as they generally hire for permanent positions where employees work on-site.
  • They also have the primary responsibility to hire with retention in mind. 

Skills and experience: 

Staffing Agency 

  • Staffing agency recruiters have a more sales-focused mindset, allowing them to get the job done quickly. Agency recruiters are highly competitive and will leave no stone unturned in their search for the right candidates (this is called active recruitment). 
  • The accelerated environment of their work and the pressure to exceed the delivery date can lead to moving more candidates of excellent quality through their selection process. 
  • By recruiting candidates for different businesses, they have a better understanding of the recruiting landscape and continuously update their selection practices and processes. 
  • These skills and experience can lead them to help companies find their candidates quickly. For example, CodersLink has a pool of qualified and skilled candidates that fit the needs and culture of your company.

 In-House Recruitment  

  • In-house recruiters are more focused on the management aspect of hired employees.
  • They spend little effort on active recruitment and wait for candidates to apply organically (passive recruitment).
  • As they work with company employees, they gain a better understanding of what it takes for a candidate to succeed in a position. 
  • They often take a long time to find and hire the right candidates. Still, the advantage of this is that employee retention statistics improve over time. 


Staffing Agency

  • Staffing agencies often earn a flat payment for their services, but most of the money they earn is based on commissions. This is what makes them highly competitive. Those fees may seem a little expensive for you, but in the long run, you are saving by getting results quickly.
  • With access to a pool of qualified candidates, staffing agencies are agile in filling almost any job opening.
  • Retention statistics from staffing agencies are quite impressive, especially in remote positions and international employee hires. 

 In-House Recruitment  

  • In-house recruiters may not cost companies commissions, but keeping a team on the payroll for years will undoubtedly cost more than hiring an agency for a specific recruiting campaign.  

Combining in-house recruitment and staffing agencies 

The progress rate of a company is directly proportional to the efficiency of its employees. Right? 

 But with increasing competition in all markets, it is difficult to find the best employee. Hiring remote developers, especially, is very difficult for in-house recruiters due to the candidate-driven market where there is an abundance of job openings and a scarcity of qualified candidates to fill those openings. 

 The lower unemployment rate is precisely the obstacle for in-house recruiters, as it leads to a significant decrease in job seekers and candidates. 

 Another difficulty in hiring remote developers and programmers for in-house recruiters is the passive nature of job seeking by experienced programmers and developers.

 The solution for the labor shortage is hiring remotely, but when hiring remotely, in-house recruiters need to be careful with their techniques, as efficient hiring can add real value to their projects or create real chaos.  

 Also, in remote recruiting, cultural compatibility is very complex. In many cases, in-house recruiters prefer not to give it a try. 

 On the other hand, if you bet for the staffing agencies’ experience, you can get you required remote candidates through their efficient hiring techniques. 

 Specialized staffing agencies like CoderLink will find the best fit for the remote position, reviewing all the candidate’s angles: technical, soft-skills, cultural, and communication. 

 In light of the details mentioned above, we urgently need another hiring strategy where companies do not have to choose between in-house recruitment and staffing agency. 

 Experts and HR professionals suggest that effective recruitment requires a combination of both in-house recruitment and staffing agency. This combination should include passive recruitment of candidates, but most importantly active recruiting like scouting college campuses to discover new talent, use of social media, and developing a strong brand. If you have a sufficient budget, the combination of both strategies will provide you with the best candidates capable of exponentially increasing the rate of progress in your company. 

 You may be confused at first about how to combine staffing agency strategies with in-house staff recruitment so let’s cover a few basics here.

 In your company, you must have at least one in-house human resources professional; Later, if your company grows, you could add more members to your team. But initially, an in-house recruiter will oversee all aspects of the recruitment hand in hand with the staffing agency. 

 He or she will interview the candidates proposed by the staffing agency. In the case of CodersLink, the candidates sent to the interview have previously gone through various filters, ensuring that the candidates meet the minimum requirements of the position. This will significantly speed up the time a candidate spends in the recruiting process, improving their experience and your brand. 

 He or she will also monitor the productivity of agency-hired employees to ensure that promised standards are being met. 

 Some staffing agencies, like CodersLink, handle payroll payments and statutory benefits for remote employees, sending a single, streamlined charge to your company. So in-house recruiting staff will only have to worry about that one monthly payment.

 Likewise, the in-house recruiter will be able to use the agency’s help to comply with labor law requirements in the country where remote employees are hired, including the work visa for employees requiring travel to your company’s headquarters, saving you time and money.

 Being a human resources professional, he or she will select the best staffing agency, which will ultimately provide you with the best of the pool of potential candidates.  

In conclusion

Remote personnel agencies can be beneficial when hiring remote developers in other countries like Mexico. And the combination of in-house recruiters with recruiters from staffing agencies is ideal for companies that need to fill positions quickly with minimal effort from the company. 

Companies with a strict focus on maintaining candidate-driven recruitment inline find much more comfortable combining in-house recruiters with staffing agencies as well.

So, if improving both effectiveness and efficiency in your company’s recruitment efforts are high on your list, combining in-house recruitment with staffing agencies sounds right for you. 

 Check out our ebook: How to build and scale a tech team in Mexico to learn more.

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