Internal vs External, there is another choice.

Over the last two years, there has been a significant rise among contingent recruiters looking to move internally. Given the market turmoil over the 2-3 years, a move in-house has been seen as a more secure option, and there are several reasons why this could be true.

No business development is an obvious attraction. There’s no need to hit the phones to generate business and less concern about job pipelining. The amount of work you have is directly linked to how much the Board, CEO and key stakeholders wish to expand their business or replace those who have moved on. It also offers the ability to work as a direct representative of an existing and ideally reputable brand name, and removes some of the traditional cultural aspects of recruitment agencies. Internal recruiters are unlikely to have to deal with a heavy KPI laden culture, ridged leadership structures, and a work hard/play even harder, late-night socials mentality.

So, it’s clear that there are numerous benefits for why one might want to move away from contingent recruitment into an in-house role, but is it all as rosy as it seems? Recent news suggests that it very well may not be, and I’m here to tell you that there may be a better option out there. Unfortunately, In the last few weeks, it’s safe to say the tech industry provides a perfect example.

Household name tech companies have been making the news by announcing significant cuts to their workforces after changes in market volatility and increased labour costs have necessitated a change in business strategy. Klarna, Netflix and Meta have all been victims of this, with Klarna having to lay off 10% of its workforce. With these layoffs have also come hiring freezes. Meaning over 500 people will lose their jobs*. And there are no prizes for guessing who in the company will feel a direct knock-on effect from this.

In general, the pandemic has shifted the opinion of recruiters towards internal roles. As mentioned before, it is primarily seen as a safe option. There is still an abundance of internal recruitment roles being recruited, which may seem appealing but the reason for this is that firms had to make significant cuts to these areas when the pandemic struck in the first place. Internal recruitment is more fragile than many would think.

There is an alternative, and the reality is that Executive Search can be as good, If not a better option. There’s a preconceived notion that working within executive search means having to win work, but this is not the case. Business development is a responsibility mainly left to Partners, Principals, and fee-earners. We argue that contingent recruiters seeking a change should consider moving into executive search as delivery consultants.

Being a delivery consultant is highly respected and lauded within executive search firms. The position can afford equal client and candidate interaction and tailored research team support. You have the allure of working for both a reputable brand and on some of the market’s most prestigious roles. The salaries are also highly competitive with the ability to earn good bonuses, not based on individual commission.

A move also does not mean having to start back at the bottom and can offer great career development. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we have seen success moving disillusioned but strong contingent performers into executive search.

If you would like to learn more about how a move into executive could work or the market more broadly, please feel very welcome to contact us.



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