Colin’s Corner

In House Recruitment

By Colin Toll


Last month we looked at the pros and cons of low-cost recruitment methods compared to using a professional specialist recruitment agency.  This month we discuss the pros and cons of in-house HR departments as a company’s major recruitment arm.

What is an HR department and what is its roles and duties?

In simplest terms, the HR (Human Resources) department is a group who is responsible for managing the employee life cycle and administering employee benefits.  But what are the roles and duties of a typical HR department?

Here are thirteen major tasks a HR department is busy completing every day.

  • Search for quality candidates.
  • Recruit candidates.
  • Hire the right employees.
  • Conducting On Boarding of new employees.
  • Process payroll.
  • Conduct disciplinary actions.
  • Update policies.
  • Maintain employee records.
  • Conduct benefit analysis.
  • Providing career growth.
  • Providing continuing training and education to employees.
  • Training and supporting managers.
  • Supporting Health and Wellness.

Which of these tasks is the most important?  They are all very important and they are all demanding, time consuming tasks.  However, I consider the recruitment tasks are the most important because if you don’t have the right quality and quantity of employees the company is doomed.

The In-House HR Department as A Recruiter

This article is not critical of any HR department anywhere.  In my experience it is evident that HR departments do an exceptional job across the broad scope of their duties. Many HR departments are large enough to have members specializing in one or more of their functions.

This article is focused on the recruitment function of the in-house HR department.

Let’s have a brief look at some of the recruitment techniques that should be employed by in-house HR departments.

In-house Referrals

In house referrals is one of the most popular techniques used by HR departments.  This concept is simply seeking from your existing employees recommended referrals of people they know.  Its cheap, fast and can be successful.  Some organizations pay the referrer a cash bones if the person they referred turns out to be a successful hire.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this technique PROVIDING the HR department does not solely rely on it by not looking elsewhere as well.  I believe the best result is achieved by including a referred candidate in the pool of candidates both internal and external.

Casual Contacts

A good HR department member should be constantly on the look-out for potential employees.  Wherever and whenever you meet impressive people, especially when you are receiving service from them, you should keep them in mind.  these people could be your next top performers. Be on the look-out for top talent in the most unlikely of places. You never know where you might locate your next best hire!

Social Media

It seems that everyone these days carries a mobile phone, and they spend many hours looking at that screen.  LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are all rich resources in a search for employees.  In-house HR members should be mining these free resources for top candidates.  Many people have their career profiles on these sites.  Connect with co-workers on LinkedIn, then use the site to request introductions to others who interest you.  There are many ways effective HR


Attend events such as Chamber of Commerce meetings, industry conferences, trade shows awards dinners etc., and focus on networking. You will meet potential employees at these events. Talent currently employed by your competitors will be there so why not network and meet with others who work in a related industry. If you are uncomfortable networking get help from a good networker and copy their style.

Job Fairs

It is not necessary to have a display stand to derive benefit from Job Fairs.  Just go along and network your way around.


Recruitment is a demanding and absorbing activity.  Its degree of difficulty and attention demanding does depend on the level and type of job for which you are recruiting.  There is obviously big differences in processes and demands between recruiting say a gardener and a CEO of a large corporation.  Both are important tasks but one is vastly more demanding than the other.

In-house HR departments have a broad scope of demanding duties of which recruitment is but one.  In Precruitment we have found that HR departments seek our involvement for the recruitment of the more senior and difficult to fill roles.  Agencies like Precruitment have a single focus, specialist knowledge and vast experience in the demanding techniques of recruitment.