Why do companies use recruitment agencies? We explain.

Ever wondered why companies use a recruitment agency to find new employees when they have their own HR staff inhouse? Read the top three reasons why they do.

If you work for a company that has its own Human Resources (HR) department or team, you may have wondered why they use a recruitment agency to find new staff when theoretically they could do it themselves.

Of course, not all businesses that have HR staff use an external agency to find the people they need, but a great many do and in this article we’ll explain the top three reasons why.

1. Time

Ask any member of your company’s HR team about running a recruitment campaign to find new staff, and the first thing they are likely to say to you is that they don’t have the time for that.

They know that hiring staff can be very time consuming and involves many different processes, including those below:

  • Define the job specification
  • Create a job advert
  • Arrange its advertising on job sites
  • Manage candidate applications and respond to questions
  • Filter CVs and potentially talk to the best candidates to find out more about them
  • Create an interview shortlist
  • Arrange the dates and times of interviews with candidates
  • Provide post-interview feedback whatever the outcome


Despite their best efforts, most internal HR staff just don’t have the time for this. They are already busy working on a wide range of other staffing and human resources activities including performance management, learning and development, resource planning, and the management of pay and benefits.

But of course, not every recruitment company takes on all of the different processes and steps listed above. Many agencies just focus on a few of them – such as creating a job advert and arranging its advertising on job sites – whilst others end their involvement once they have provided a shortlist of candidates.

However, the best full service agencies will manage every stage of a recruitment campaign, from working with the employer to define the job specification to liaising with candidates after the interview process.

And some will also provide additional added value services to their clients, such as arranging personality and psychometric tests if required, and even joining interview panels if requested.

2. Expertise

The best recruitment companies will be true experts on the local and national (and even international) jobs market and will have a deep insight into what’s important to both employers and job candidates.

They will know what typical salaries need to be paid to staff in particular sectors and geographic areas, what benefits a company needs to offer to attract the very best talent, and most importantly what factors make for a perfect fit between a business and a candidate.

As they deal with employers and candidates every day, they also know how much competition there is for certain staff locally or nationally, and will understand how changing work practices – such as working from home or hybrid working – impact businesses’ resourcing strategies, as well as candidates’ expectations and requirements.

For this reason, many internal HR staff rely on an external recruitment agency not only to find them quality candidates for the vacancies they have, but also to keep them up to date on the recruitment trends in their sector.

The very best agencies will have deep expertise in specific sectors, such as healthcare or IT, or the area they are based in, meaning they will be aware of the factors that are key to employers and staff working in that industry or location.

At Anne Corder Recruitment (ACR), having operated in Peterborough for more than 25 years, we are experts in the local jobs market but also recruit nationally for clients. And as well as having deep expertise in sectors such as HR and Finance, we run successful recruitment campaigns for a wide range of industries and roles, from admin to marketing.

3. Cost

As highlighted above, running a recruitment campaign involves numerous different steps, each of which is time consuming.

Due to this, when a company decides to recruit staff directly themselves, they often soon find that the time needed to do this is far greater than they imagined.

And put simply, the time they are having to spend managing their recruitment process is time away from doing other important activities for the business, such as making sales or delivering their core products or services.

Unsurprising, this time has a cost to the business, not just in terms of the hours (or days) actually spent on the campaign, but also in terms of the lost business productivity or sales that result from staff being assigned to management of it.

This ‘opportunity cost’ can easily run into far more than it would have cost them to use a recruitment agency to find the staff they need.

In addition, the costs of a recruitment agency are clear and understood before a role is advertised, whether this be a fixed fee, a retainer, or a percentage of the new employee’s starting salary.

This means the employer knows exactly what the cost will be to recruit a new member of staff, rather than guessing the financial impact if they decide to do it themselves.

Read the article ‘Are recruitment agencies worth it?’ to understand the value of recruitment agencies or the article ‘How much do recruitment companies charge?’ to find out more about costs.


It may seem counterproductive for a company with a HR department or team to use a recruitment agency to source the talent they need, however, there are compelling reasons why so many do.

Even the largest companies in the world that have large (sometimes international) HR departments often rely on recruitment agencies rather than managing recruitment campaigns themselves.

And as specialists in employment and recruiting, the best agencies provide much more to their clients than just finding them new staff.


Alex Smith

Recruitment Specialist

I’ve worked in recruitment for the same agency for over 12 years, covering finance, office support, construction, and engineering. Temp and perm. Previously, my line of work was within banking and estate agency.
Favourite food: “Curry (Hot)”
Favourite film: “Heat”

Outside of work

“Gym 5 days a week. Home life consists mostly of entertaining a 3 year old! (for clarification – my son)”

Alex on ACR

“Very refreshing to work for a recruitment agency that genuinely care for their candidates and clients”

E: alex@annecorder.co.uk
T: 01733 235298

Sarah-Jane Bond

Recruitment Specialist

I have spent the majority of my career working in Operational and Project Management roles. I first worked with ACR about 25 years ago as a candidate. ACR secured me a role at RNIB, where I stayed for 15 years, finishing as Head of Operations. Recruitment has always been a big part of the roles I have undertaken and is something that I really enjoy. When you match a fantastic candidate with the right client there is no better feeling!
Favourite food: “Has to be any dish from the Mediterranean”
Favourite film: “There are many, love a chick flick, especially ‘The Holiday at Christmas”

Outside of work

“I love socialising with friends, can always squeeze a bit of retail therapy in around volunteering at Deeping Rangers FC, running their hospitality on match days.”

Sarah-Jane on ACR

“I couldn’t have been more delighted when Nel asked me to join the company and have felt at home since day one. They really do care about providing the best service for their clients and candidates, building genuine relationships with both. The team culture is second to none, everyone supporting and looking out for each other. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

E: sarahjane@annecorder.co.uk
T: 01733 235298

Emily Hill

Recruitment Specialist

Emily was a Primary School Teacher for 10 years, before moving into the EdTech space, as a Relationship Specialist for MATs. She joined ACR in July 2023 and particularly thrives when recruiting for Account Management, Customer Service and Sales roles.
Favourite food:
“Spag bol or pizza”
Favourite film:
“The Notebook – or any romantic chick flick really!”

Outside of work

“I have a 1-year-old, so love fun family weekends with my husband and son more than anything. Time socialising with friends and family is where I’m happiest.”

Emily on ACR
“The unique culture, values, and style at ACR is polar opposite to other recruitment agencies and what I believed recruitment was. Having previously been a Relationship Specialist, I feel I’m doing the same thing! No hard sell, we truly care about our candidates and clients, and the team culture is 2nd to none!”
E: emily@annecorder.co.uk
T: 01733 235298

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