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When to Utilize an External Recruiter

The Pietrack Press

When to Utilize an External Recruiter

This month’s newsletter is about when and why to utilize an external recruiter instead of relying solely on an internal recruiter.  I respect what my internal recruiter counterparts do and the purpose they serve.  Some companies have gone to an exclusive internal recruiter model to save money, and I understand the pressures that lead to cost saving measures.  Below, though, are three instances where you can’t afford to NOT use an external recruiter.

When time-to-fill is critical:  The main reason an external recruiter is utilized is because of speed.   It is hard to argue against the idea that an external recruiter, who is niched in the functional area of your opening, will bring you qualified and interested candidates quicker than an internal recruiter.   The reason an external recruiter is faster is because, in most cases, sourcing the candidate is already done.   A well-niched recruiter knows at least the top-line people to call before they are done taking your assignment.  On the other side of the coin, an internal recruiter has to spend time figuring out who those people might be by mining LinkedIn or the company’s database, then they have to wait for the person to respond to usually an electronic communication, and then they have to try to get the candidate’s resume without a previous relationship with them.  If they aren’t doing that, they have to write an advertisement and wait to see who applies.  During that time, you could have already phone-interviewed a couple of qualified and interested candidates through an external recruiter.   So, I can’t resist asking, do you feel the need for speed?

When hiring the best person is necessary:   Imagine you were in a job search. You get a call from an internal recruiter at company XYZ, and a few minutes later, an external recruiter who mentions three openings that fit your background with one sounding like XYZ.  Who would you call back?   Would you call back a person who has one position to offer you or would you call back someone who can represent multiple companies?   Most candidates would like more options than less, especially the top-tier passively looking candidates or the hot free-agents.    Plus, they have all experienced sending their resume into the black hole, so as a best practice, they look for the external recruiter representing the company first.  So to get access to the top free-agents and especially the passively looking candidates, your best option is to utilize a competent niched external recruiter.

When you have a highly technical role:  In most cases, internal recruiters are generalists.  They are trying to fill an MSL role, a CFO, an admin for the VP of sales, and an engineer.  They can’t be expected to be an expert in every functional area.  Imagine you had a heart condition that was serious and urgent, would you go to a general practice physician or would you go to someone who does nothing else but work on heart conditions?   If you were accused of a crime, would you hire an attorney that is a generalist or would you hire a defense attorney that specializes in defending that specific crime?  In the same way, when you have urgent, critical to fill, positions, why put that responsibility in the hands of a generalist when you have a specialist standing by?

There are times when internal recruiters are the way to go, but I’ve mentioned just a few when you should strongly consider hiring a competent external recruiter who is niched in a functional area.  My niche is in Medical Affairs, specifically MSLs and MSL management.  Let’s talk the next time that you have a highly technical opening that needs to be filled quickly, and when hiring the best person is critical.  Even if you don’t choose our services, these are the times when you can’t afford to NOT use an external recruiter.

-Michael Pietrack

About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).

What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.

Keywords: MSL, Medical Science Liaison, Medical Affairs, Medical Director, Recruiter, Staffing, Search Firm, Executive Search, Headhunter, Recruiting, Recruitment, Consultant, Consulting, Agency, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, MSLs, Medical Science Liaisons, Field-Medical, GMA, Liaison, RML, Firm, Consultancy, TheMSLRecruiter, TMAC, TMAC Direct, The Medical Affairs Company, Life Science, Medical Technology, HEOR, Health Economics, Outcomes Research, Integrated Delivery Network, Integrated Delivery System, PBM, Tip, Tips, Advice, Best Practice, Best Practices, Trend, Trends, Hiring, Interviewing, Interview, Hire


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