The debate continues. In house or outsource?

Organisations need to change the way they manage talent acquisition, and change who manages it.

Following my last post, I’ve spoken to a number of organisations currently having the same debate, and seen many comments which have opened up interesting discussions. As we all know the recruitment landscape needs to change from traditional recruiting, the “fill a vacancy” recruitment practice, to a focus on building strong employment brand, social networks, mapping competitors and putting in place talent pipelines. But does that really happen?

This recent shift challenges the need to outsource vacancy management in favour of building in-house resourcing teams who live the values of an organisation and experience the organisation/culture first hand thus enabling them to offer ‘real’ insight into the organisation for prospective employees. So, isn’t the debate here not whether in-house teams trump outsourced teams, but more how organisations should look for and manage their talent.


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So, let’s go back a few years – OK, so maybe more than a few! I remember when Thursdays were the ‘job paper’ day. All of the companies / agencies advertising their vacancies and those who are looking for a new job, scurrying to buy the lunchtime editions. Have things really changed?

We hear a lot about social recruitment, attracting passive candidates, direct sourcing, building talent pools – but the objective is still the same. We want to find the best candidate for our customers / organisations.

Having an in-house team means that the resourcing managers should be more closely connected with the business. They should also act as the talent scout for those organisations, constantly networking internally as well as externally, having a ‘seat’ at the table with the business to ensure they stay one step ahead of demand. They also should know when to use the skills of external partners and how to develop long term partnerships with such organisations. Unfortunately, what they don’t often have is the capacity or capability to be able to do all that, and so revert to vacancy management. In the last post, my view was that RPO providers only work when they are in a true partnership, and when organisations have a clear talent strategy. The debate then, isn’t In house or outsource, it should be whether it’s time for a fundamental shift of thinking across the whole recruitment and talent space.

Organisations need to change the way they manage talent acquisition, and change who manages it; freeing themselves from organisational structures, headcount numbers, FTE budgets, hiring against vacancies, driving down costs through PSL and supplier/procurement constraints, and start to looks at the way to attract and engage the best talent available, and how best to utilise the resources available..

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