Alan’s three best recruiting tips for in-house recruiters

Having trained thousands of recruiters over a 20-year period across the globe, all of which had access to every level of employee, I can safely say that I have got to know the industry pretty well.

I regularly speak with both in-house recruiters and recruitment agents alike, and often the key challenges or problems they face are pretty similar: time management, keeping their CRM and/or candidate database up to date, getting feedback from hiring managers, and candidate and process control, to name a few.

This blog will help in-house recruiters (you) with three of the challenges listed above, providing a series of approaches that will make your life much easier. However, the tips outlined in this blog are not designed to be easy wins or “”tactics””, but are instead suggestions and techniques that you will need to implement and continually work on to become more effective at your role.

Here are my three best recruiting tips for in-house recruiters.


Qualify your work

At any one time, you will have multiple vacancies on your job sheet, therefore it is important that you prioritise them in terms of urgency and importance. All hiring managers will tell you their role is a priority, but we know that, more often than not, this is not the case. Spend your time on the roles where the hiring managers are serious about hiring – perhaps there are serious implications to the business if the necessary hire or hires are not made. Prioritising your workload and roles will reduce your time to hire, and increase the number of direct placements made. Here are some qualifying questions that will help you to prioritise roles:

  • What is the date they need this person in position by? (Get a critical start date – and by the way, ASAP is not a date).
  • Have they written/provided a full job description and person specification?
  • Are they willing to meet you face to face to discuss their role and brief you in depth?
  • Are they prepared to book in provisional interview slots into their diary or interview at short notice?
  • Has this position been signed off by their business partner(s)?
  • Will there be business consequences if the hire is not made by the agreed date?

The answers to these questions will provide you with a pretty good idea of whether or not they are serious about hiring, and if they are ready to hire now! You should only spend your time working positions that are fully qualified, just as someone working in a recruitment agency would.


Trust your recruitment suppliers! 

Being an in-house recruiter ultimately means you are tasked with cutting recruitment agency spend by making direct hires. Often, the reality is that workloads are varied, and you will have times where several line managers will brief you at the same time, and as a result, you will require external support.

Taking the time to get to know your suppliers, whether by telephone or via face to face meetings, might seem like a significant time investment, but it will pay you dividends at every stage of the process in the long run. Building trusting relationships with a few key suppliers (or sometimes just one) will be mutually beneficial as both sides will be committed to delivering a great service to each other. There needs to be a flow of open and honest communication, and your suppliers will need access to all of the information they need to identify talent, qualify them, and ultimately fill your roles.  FYI – this tends to be additional information other than what is on the job specification.

One of the gripes I hear on a daily basis is about poor relationships between recruitment agencies and talent acquisitions partners/in-house recruiters. However, when your agency partners are treated as a valuable extension of your in-house team, you can improve every aspect of your operation, resulting in a seamless process that is great for candidates and your performance. Ensure you have good working relationships with everyone involved in the recruitment process!


The Admin!

Let’s face it, if companies didn’t get the admin right then the industry would grind to a halt. Admin is important, BUT it’s also a great excuse used by a lot of people to not do what they should be doing. I often hear things like: “”I didn’t have time to do that as there was too much admin!””. One of the key objectives for in-house recruiters is to provide a great candidate experience from the start to the finish, irrespective of outcome. Whilst booking rooms out, sending interview confirmations, and organising a hiring manager’s diary are all important – you should never forget that providing a fantastic candidate experience is essential, as it will reflect well on you and your company. Unfortunately, due to large workloads (the admin), this can often be overlooked. There are many recruitment basics that need to be achieved as part of the hiring, on-boarding and talent acquisition process, but you should always be thinking about what the candidate is experiencing at every stage. For example, have you briefed your candidates prior to the interview? Do they have all the information they need to present themselves well? And do you always give constructive and timely feedback post-interview – positive OR negative? Remember too, that they are interviewing you and your company, so you need to be just as well prepared!

In some situations, there may well be opportunities for you to delegate some of the administration tasks to other members of your team. If this means that you need to train them for an hour or so, or set up the correct templates and procedures, then consider this a worthwhile investment of your time. The benefits are twofold. If you can delegate administrative duties, it gives you more time to focus on other elements of the recruitment process, while on the other hand, you can train members of your team to complete admin tasks correctly.  However, if you have to do the admin yourself, allocate times during the day to complete these tasks and then stick to them. Some people like to do administrative tasks when their energy levels are lower, while others prefer doing them towards the end of the day.

That’s it for me this week, I hope you found this blog and my three best recruiting tips useful. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions that you would like answered. I will endeavour to have your question and my answer published!

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