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The limitations of in-house Talent Acquisition

by Paddy Collins on October 28th, 2016


Over the past ten years or so many large corporations and tech companies have built internal talent acquisition teams to identify and recruit new staff.

This probably works satisfactorily to an extent, especially for entry level and regular hires, and it saves on headhunter fees. However the approach is self-limiting in a number of ways.


For a variety of reasons it is often necessary to keep a search highly confidential – perhaps to protect current staff, prevent leakage of business strategy, comply with shareholder or regulatory requirements etc. This level of confidentiality can only be achieved through an external partner.

Independence & Reach

Internal talent searchers focus very much on the industry sector, technology clusters and peer companies – especially those that employ people with target skillsets. This is fine up to a point but where there is a need to broaden the search an external consultant can think outside the box, tap into multiple talent pipelines, utilise personal and industry networks and review similar projects in order to unearth hidden gems.

Ethics and Brand Protection

Most companies simply don’t want to steal talent from their peers and regard the practice as contrary to their CSR principles. Equally whereas internal staff will ‘toe the line’ on company message, the external consultant can act as a Brand Ambassador for the company whilst balancing and protecting the interests of all stakeholders – the client brief, the candidates’ career and personal needs and his/her own professional interests.

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