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Executive Search Recruitment Agencies vs. In-house Hiring

When recruiting executives, there are two paths you can take: in-house hiring or executive search recruitment agencies. Hiring an executive can be challenging, requiring an extra level of complexity that not all in-house hiring teams can handle. Rather than trying to do it all on your own, working with an executive search firm can be a great solution. If you're unsure of the best recruitment approach for your organization, here are some key differences between executive search partners and in-house hiring. 

Access to Candidates 

When your company is faced with recruiting executives, finding and hiring a qualified candidate often falls on either the company's HR department or an executive search recruitment agency. But, hiring a C-suite position isn't a common hiring event for most organizations. C-suite roles are leaders and decision-makers, meaning finding the right executive requires a specific set of skills. 

Executive search recruitment agencies work with hundreds of clients across various industries. And they plan, develop, and initiate executive search solutions for their clients on a routine basis. Because executive search firms are larger and more specialized, they have the capacity to execute executive hiring at scale and with speed, often within a matter of weeks. The advantage of executive search recruitment agencies is the volume of candidates they can reach due to their network and innovative hiring technology. By contrast, in-house hiring teams may be stretched thin or lack the resources to find quality candidates outside of one particular industry or geographic area. 

Speed of Hiring Process 

Another important factor to consider when deciding between these two recruitment options is speed. Top executive search firms have streamlined sourcing, recruiting, and hiring approach—they've got it down to an exact strategy. This means they can often fill positions much faster than an in-house team because they have experience recruiting executive-level talent with discretion and speed. 

Unlike most in-house organizations, which hire C-suite roles once every few years, executive search recruitment agencies hire executive talent regularly. So, recruiting firms already have established a network of potential candidates who are actively looking for new opportunities. Due to their smaller networks, in-house recruitment teams often lack access to executive candidates. 

Sense of Urgency 

The sense of urgency associated with filling open positions also differs between agencies and in-house teams. Agencies usually operate under tight deadlines since they are typically hired only after there is an immediate need for a certain C-suite position. 

While the best recruitment agencies will take time to find you a candidate who is the right fit for your leadership team, they won't waste your time or theirs by pursuing candidates who aren't a good match. By contrast, an in-house team may be unable to keep up with this pace. In-house teams must balance competing demands in hiring for other roles and tasks, which can slow down the executive recruitment process 

Skills and Expertise 

Executive recruiters are specialized in finding executives. It's what they do, and they have the behavioral tools and resources to do it exceptionally well. This is because search firms are staffed by specialists with years of executive recruiting experience and access to executive network databases that are often out of reach for in-house hiring teams. Agencies also often have access to more data about current salary trends and market conditions that can be used when negotiating contracts with potential hires. In contrast, in-house hiring teams may lack this information which could lead to costly mistakes during negotiations. 

Plan For Executive Search Success 

Finding the right executive to join your team and lead your company can be demanding. Whether you work with an in-house hiring team or an executive search agency, you want to ensure that you're charting the right course for your company. Plan for success by developing a clear job description, preparing for the hiring process, and having an executive recruitment plan in place ahead of time. 

At Hire Velocity, we're in the business of building relationships that lead to stronger, loyal hires that fit your company's culture. By working with Hire Velocity, your team gains access to executive hiring advisors who leverage talent acquisition solutions and behavioral assessments to understand the role and ideal candidate and have the expertise to save your organization time and resources. Connect with us to learn more about our executive search strategy and how we can help you hire the best candidates at every level. 


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