Different hiring methods discussed and evaluated

A strong hiring strategy is the power behind any talented workforce. However, achieving this can be challenging for even the most experienced employers. Luckily, there are a number of recruitment methods available which give companies the freedom of choice in how they carry out hiring campaigns. Here we discuss some of these methods, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Recruitment agencies – outsourced hiring

Recruitment agencies are a popular choice for many employers, allowing recruitment to be outsourced to professional consultants. These agencies take the bulk of the work associated with recruitment – running hiring campaigns, screening applicants, and even booking/conducting interviews on the employer’s behalf. This work is then paid for by the company, either in advance, or upon successful employment of a candidate.

How much do recruitment agencies cost?

The cost of outsourcing recruitment can vary depending on the services required by the employer. Contributing factors include the number of new recruits needed, the timeframe for hiring turnaround, and the nature of the role in question.

Common payment plans include:

  • An upfront fee for the consultants’ work, followed by a final payment upon successful hire.
  • A single payment after the chosen candidate has been hired, often based on a percentage of their first annual salary.

Pros and cons

For those asking ‘should I use a recruitment agency?’ some pros and cons of outsourced recruitment include:


  • Take away the majority of the work often associated with recruitment.
  • Agencies may not require payment until after a successful hire has been made.
  • Often lead to a quicker hiring turnaround than in-house recruitment.


  • Often associated with higher costs than in-house recruiting.
  • Can cut out an employer’s ability to assess candidates’ compatibility with their workplace culture.
  • Candidates are often unable to engage fully with your employer brand.

Centralised recruitment – ‘do it yourself’

Centralised recruitment refers to the process of hiring in-house, using your own HR team and advertising resources to attract new employees. This is a popular choice made by many companies, which sees hiring managers engaging directly with recruitment candidates from screening to interview. 

How much does it cost to hire an employee internally?

Figures show the average cost of hiring a new employee to be around $4,000 in the US, or £3,000 in the UK. These costs can be put down to advertising expenses, staff hours dedicated to recruitment, and the creation of assets such as employer brand material and hiring websites. 

This cost may vary depending on the size of the company, the resources available, and the nature of the role in question.

Pros and cons

Some pros and cons of centralised recruitment include:


  • Allow for greater candidate engagement with your employer brand.
  • Give hiring managers greater ability to assess candidate suitability.
  • Can cost less than outsourcing to recruitment consultants, especially in the long-run.


  • Often associated with a higher workload for your HR/management teams.
  • Can take longer to find a suitable candidate than outsourcing recruitment.
  • Requires some knowledge/guidance on advertising and employer branding.

Volume recruitment – hiring in bulk

Volume recruitment, or bulk hiring, is when companies seek to recruit a number of new employees over a set time period. This is popular practice when roles suddenly increase in demand, such as sales/customer service positions. 

How much does bulk recruitment cost?

Though hiring in bulk is often associated with a higher initial cost, it can help to reduce the cost-to-hire of individual employees. This is because candidate attraction is often led by one primary advertising campaign, rather than multiple campaigns for each individual role. This helps to cut advertising costs, and reduce expenditure on employer branding material.

Pros and cons

Some pros and cons of volume recruitment include:


  • Can reduce individual cost-to-hire by condensing recruitment for multiple roles into one campaign.
  • Can be effective in cases where companies require quick expansion.


  • Bulk hiring is associated with greater workload for your HR/management teams.
  • Requires the use of technology such as applicant tracking software to keep on top of recruitment.
  • Ineffective practice for companies who only require a small number of new employees, or are unprepared for the training/onboarding of multiple new hires. 

In summary

A positive recruitment strategy is essential for any successful business. There are a number of different methods available to employers, allowing them to build a hiring process that works for them, and their candidates. 

These processes include outsourcing to recruitment agencies, internal/centralised recruitment, and volume recruitment (hiring in bulk). Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages relating to cost, efficiency, time to hire, and workload.

Recruitment agencies are often more expensive than centralised recruitment, but take away much of the effort associated with hiring. Bulk recruitment is effective when hiring for a large number of roles, cutting individual cost-to-hire, but is inefficient practice for employers hiring for single or a limited number of roles.


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