So, obviously no one’s gonna tell me who to sock it to, right? Recruiting is a tough business. There are defined teams: corporate and third-party– and BIG secret, sometimes we don’t like each other so much. Third party folks are seen as unresponsive, overly sales-y and somehow less professional. (I don’t make the news folks, I just report it). Corporates are seen as less motivated, slow to move and yes, a bit smug.
Recently, I was able to attend a group where we chatted about this very phenom. What are the advantages of each? Which is better? Should you try to encompass both during the course of your career? And so on. . .
Since I’m pretty new to the industry, I have “grown up” doing third party and I will tell you some of the nicest, kindest, smartest and most driven people I know are fantastic third party recruiters. They can literally “do it all” from selling their services to filling the requirement to sourcing, billing, marketing. I have always found third party folks to be up-front, honest, driven and fun!
Obviously, I was less impressed with the corporate folks. After all, my sole interaction (at first) with anyone on the “inside” was one of imbalance: me coming to them, hat in hand, asking for their business (sales people will climb all over the lack of value in that statement). I found them to be dismissive, aggravating, and maddeningly slow.
So, it may come as a bit of a shock when I announce to the world that I have accepted a position as the head of recruiting at a Midwestern financial firm. True, in light of my sometimes vehement past positions on internal recruiters, particularly heads of talent acquisition, it might seem a bit hypocritical.
Here are the reasons I think going inside the belly of the beast will make me a better talent pro (can’t say HR, not yet):
1) I will learn how to overlay specific processes to a semi-recurring function rather than dealing with the bottlenecks that are not only common in agency recruiting, but constant.
2) I will learn how to manage a large group of people without killing them. No seriously, I have learned from brilliant mentor Susan Burns that strategy and management may just be “my bag” and I would love to explore that further (plus be the boss of people).
3) I will have the opportunity to map my career and discover other sides of HR, before discounting them.
4) I’ll know what it’s like when a third party recruiter calls me and be nicer.
5) If and when I go back to the agency side, I will then understand what it is like when twenty recruiters call you everyday, proclaiming their intrinsic value.
6) I will get to wear fancy big girl clothes every day, instead of just client days.
7) I will be able to further educate myself with certifications and conferences that used to have to come out of my pocket.
8) I will be able to transform a company’s processes from the inside out, since I am able to influence the executive team, something I have long hoped for loads of HR Pros to have.
There are probably many more, and perhaps (as some of my third party friends have hinted) I will be back soon and writing a post about why agency recruiting is the only way to go. But what I know about this endeavor is that I will learn a great deal.
And lucky you, you get to watch!
Maren Hogan is a millennial living the dream in Omaha, Nebraska. When she’s not plotting the downfall of Gen Xer’s like me, she’s doing marketing and development for an IT recruiting and outsourcing firm called HCI. When she’s not at HCI, she’s blogging at Big O Recruiting and becoming addicted to Twitter…