Episode 3 : Recruitment & Sourcing Strategy

Tuesday, October 24th, 2023|


Now that you’ve clarified your employer brand, and written your job description, let’s talk about your internal and external recruitment strategy.

Before you start looking externally for candidates, have you considered anyone from your current team who may have the skillsets you need to execute? Perhaps they are in another department or are ready to take on a new challenge or for a promotion.

An internal hire could be a morale boost and build trust, bring recognition, growth, and internal mobility within your teams…and in the long run, be a great retention tool. It reduces the need for someone to look for a “better opportunity” elsewhere because they trust that opportunity exists within and you’ll look internally first.

However, if you do need to hire from outside of the organization, you’ll need a recruitment & sourcing strategy that is best suited for your needs.

If you have an HR or recruitment team in place, then you have great support as a first line of reviewers to evaluate the incoming candidates.

However if you don’t have the bandwidth or the support to plan your own sourcing strategy, you may want to consider working with a recruitment agency that will work with you to showcase pre-vetted and pre-qualified candidates.

Let’s do a pulse check:

  • Who do you know who may know someone?
  • Do you offer incentives internally for referrals?
  • Are there companies that are aligned with your expertise, or your mission/ values where you want to see people from?
  • And…what companies or verticals do you NOT want to hire from? ie.  Potential vendors or existing customers, or competitors
  • Do you want to hire from a competitor?

If you decide to pursue the route of working with an outside recruiter instead of doing it internally yourself, then it’s critical to ask the right questions to find the recruiters and agencies that best suit your needs.

Recruitment agencies typically work either as a retained or as a contingency agency.

A contingency firm will invoice you after a placement is made.  There are no upfront fees, however in a contingency search typically the agency is working on several roles with multiple clients at the same time, and every role has equal focus and attention.

A retained firm, on the other hand, typically charges a 1/3 to get started and the balance when the candidate is hired; or a third to get started 1/3 when they present candidates and the third one that hire is made.

In a retained relationship, specific focus and priority are given to an open role, and a dedicated team is assigned. They often will help you write the job description, take you through an in-depth pre-qualification process to learn about the role, team, and your company, and in return will send you a handful of qualified and pre-vetted candidates to review.  So if you have an urgent need or have a very specific requirement, this may be the right route for you.

In both cases, fees are typically anywhere from 20 to 30% based on the candidate’s first-year salary, and a guarantee period is extended.

Even though in a contingency agreement there is no upfront fee, there is still an internal cost to consider.

Do a cost analysis of what it means to hire a professional recruitment agency versus the cost of internally doing it yourself.

Internal costs include your or your team’s resources, bandwidth, and expertise, as well as the cost of that open role, the cost of lost productivity

This exercise is no different than doing a cost analysis whether to work with an outside marketing agency, an outside accounting firm, or a payroll agency vs doing those functions in-house.

If you do determine that working with a recruitment agency is the route to go, then hire a firm that has a specific focus and expertise within the skill set that you’re trying to fill versus working with a generalist recruiter.

When you’re gauging potential partners, ask your peers and colleagues for referrals, and schedule a meeting to learn more about that particular recruitment agency’s policies, processes connections in the marketplace, and sourcing practices.

Look at firms whose core values, culture, and mission align with yours and who can attract the type of talent you’ll want to hire.

By the same token, you must be upfront and truthful with your recruiting agency and partner with them.

Share with them any challenges or roadblocks with this role or at your company. Let them know of any past candidates and any who are being reviewed currently. The last thing you’d want is for them to reach out to the same talent pool.

The more your agency knows the more targeted they can be in their search and be advocates for your company.

Let’s do a Pulse Check

  • What is the internal cost of this position being open?
  • Is there someone on your team who has the expertise to review incoming resumes?
  • Does my internal HR team have the bandwidth to recruit this new role?


Watch the previous episodes in this series:

Episode 0: Introduction

Episode 1: Transforming Your Hiring Mindset

Episode 2: Writing Impactful Job Descriptions


Continuing to Inspire Hiring

Thursday, June 17th, 2021|

When the pandemic hit, many of our marketing and design clients were impacted—projects were canceled, deadlines were pushed out and jobs went on hold…which meant, many of the amazing creatives, copywriters, designers, and marketers we work with, stopped working.

These challenging times brought out our entrepreneurial thinking, and to help in the best way we could, we launched InspiringHiring.com as a free portal for impacted creatives to post their resumes and get hired. While it may seem odd that a recruitment firm would open up its resumes for others to see and connect without any strings attached, we decided to do it anyway.

We were determined to inspire the hiring of the amazing talent we believe in, even if we weren’t directly involved.

Now on the eve of the first anniversary of this launch, we continue to help our creative community find jobs. If you are looking to hire, look here and reach out directly to the talent you see listed.   And, if you aren’t able to find the exact candidate you are looking for, or need help with recruitment, then contact our Artisan Creative team.

If you are a candidate looking for a job, please look at our open jobs page, or post your resume here.

Together we can re-build a more creative world as we put the pandemic behind us.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 586th issue of our weekly a.blog.