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Internal talent teams – An external recruiter’s best friend

By Victoria Rybak

Internal talent teams and recruitment agencies – a match made in heaven! Here’s why striking a balance between the two is important…

One of the longest debates in business is which department is the most important? Sales, marketing and finance teams are always the top contenders – but not once have I heard internal talent or HR mentioned. No matter what the industry, these teams are vital and play an important part in your organisation…

The reality is you could have an amazing product, a savvy marketing team, a great finance manager and tons of funding, but without the right people taking your product or service to market and looking after your prospects and customers, you’re not going to get any sales.

There’s a trend on LinkedIn right now where people write posts with some statistics only to then tell you that they’re made up, but that isn’t my style. I could go out and find some statistics from someone else, but I’d much rather discuss my personal experience with organisations and their internal talent teams (or lack of them!).

Internal talent teams are often faced with a near-impossible task

Earlier this year, I attended the Smart Factory Expo and after speaking to several prospects, I was met many a time with “we have an internal recruitment team” – and yes, so do 95% of my clients! The other 5% are smaller businesses and in their cases, it isn’t financially viable for them to have an internal HR or talent team, so outsourcing is their only choice.

When digging deeper, we uncovered that although they had internal talent teams, hiring struggles were still prevalent – whether it be applicants not always being the quality the hiring managers expected, a lack of candidates in general, or securing candidates proving tricky. When working on 20 roles that are all ‘high priority’, it’s no surprise that internal talent teams often struggle to bag the best candidates.

Don’t get me wrong, some organisations are blessed to have fantastic in-house recruiters who come from the industry and understand the requirements, trends and where to find candidates with niche skills. It’s often the lack of time and extremely high expectations which are the issue – no two roles are the same so internal talent teams often have to pivot quickly. The expectation on the team varies as does the expectation on the individual, which has got to be hard to deal with. Sharing the responsibility where extra firepower is needed could significantly boost your success rate…

This is where recruitment agencies can help you out!

Recruitment agencies have access to a huge off-market talent pool aggregated from years of conversations – plus a multitude of paid services such as websites, job boards and other channels used to attract talent. The cost of these services quickly adds up and is far higher than often expected if you’re looking to target a broader pool of talent and present a more diverse candidate shortlist. Utilising multiple channels and expanding your target group increases the chances of success but is also a good marketing method by helping increase your brand awareness, which takes me to my next point – taking an effective message to market.

The same pitch will not work for C-Suite executives, sales executives and technical professionals as they are motivated by different things. Creating a message that sparks interest and encourages the prospect to respond and find out more is vital. I’m not saying we get this right 100% of the time (no one’s perfect!) however, having spoken to hundreds of candidates about what qualities they look for in their future employer means we understand what makes them tick.

A more tailored approach means you don’t have to sieve through hundreds of CVs, as we aim to deliver a shortlist of candidates who have relevant experience and are genuinely bought into the organisation, its culture, value proposition and role. This reduces the number of no-shows, time-wasters or individuals looking to use your offer as leverage for a pay rise or promotion with their current employer.

Speed of response is key right now considering the level of demand for talent in the software space. Working with an external recruitment agency that has completed aligned projects recently means the turnaround is likely to be faster, as warm leads and candidates will be available and ready to interview.

A rich CRM and strong relationships with respected leaders in the industry means recruiters also often get insider information about mergers, acquisitions, layoffs and re-structures before they hit the headlines, giving early access to quality candidates who may be open to a move. It also allows us to access referrals for A-player candidates who then automatically come with at least one strong reference.

A recent comment that has stuck with me the most came from an MD of a 10-person business, who was under the impression that we wouldn’t work with them due to their company size, having been previously turned away by a different agency. Yes, there are companies out there who only target enterprise businesses however, at FMC we support up-and-coming companies with hiring for their teams but also create robust and efficient recruitment processes, assist with putting together compelling offers and navigating through counter offers and pushbacks. It’s always good to review your processes and get an outsider’s opinion on what is working well and what could be limiting you and impacting your success rate.

Getting the best of both worlds

It doesn’t have to be a case of choosing one or the other. In many cases, our clients come to us for help with extremely niche roles and we work in partnership with their internal team, helping to support where industry/niche knowledge and experience is required. Striking a balance between knowing when your talent team can succeed on a role and knowing when you need to draft in external help sets you up to secure the best candidates for your organisation.

If you’re currently hiring and need assistance on a role, or are looking to grow your team in the future, please feel free to reach out to hear how FMC Smart Industry can help! Drop me an email on or give me a call on + 44 (0) 7834 792352 or +44 (0) 1275  840 684.