“Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t need any executive search support. We have an internal talent recruitment team.”

Executive recruitment firms have heard that line more times than they can count.

Here’s the thing.

“We’re never looking to be in a position where companies are outsourcing their entire recruitment function to us,” said Wes Ashworth, Vice President of Executive Search for Lee Group Search. “We’re looking to be in a position where we can help a company with specific and targeted recruitment needs to augment their team.”

An internal talent recruitment team is well positioned to ensure everyday positions remain filled with the best team members possible.

“It’s the 10% or 5% of searches – very specific situations – when it just makes sense to bring us in and use our skillsets, even if you have an internal recruiting team,” Ashworth said.

Here’s why.

Bandwidth issues.

“Often, we hear internal talent acquisition teams tell us they are working on 60 open vacancies,” Ashworth said. “It is physically impossible to really dedicate significant time, effort and resources to 40 or 60 different searches and a really specific need that is beyond the day-to-day role.”

Think about the time, and discretion, needed to recruit from a competitor, or a position that is really high impact and filling it has become urgent.

“That’s when you just need a specialist come in,” Ashworth said. “We only hold a handful of searches at a time so that we can hyper focus on getting the right person in the seat.”

Opportunity cost.

“Yes, opportunity cost,” Ashworth said. “In many organizations, a vacant position doesn’t save companies money. It costs them, especially when a position is urgently needed to get filled.”

There are multiple ways to approach calculating a real dollar figure on what an open position costs day to day and in long term opportunities lost.

Average daily revenue x average time to hire = cost of vacancy.

Position budget value x average time to hire = cost of vacancy.

Average daily value x average time to hire = cost of vacancy.

“No matter how to calculate it,” Ashworth said, “chances are bringing in an executive recruiter from an outside firm, even if you have an internal talent acquisition team, will save you in the short and long run.”

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