The Benefits and Drawbacks of DIY Hiring vs. Engaging a Specialized Recruiting Firm

Before we break down the pros and cons of engaging a firm or locating your next hire on your own, we want to clarify for this article we are referring to engaging a firm on a contingency, not retained, basis. In a contingency relationship a fee is not owed until/unless the engaged firm is successful in sourcing and placing the candidate in your company. This is not necessarily an exclusive arrangement and so you are free to conduct the search on your own or with other contingent firms concurrently. 

A common misconception is that recruiting firms will take any search (within reason) on contingency, and at times convince potential clients that their service offering is appropriate in every situation.

That’s not what you’ll find here at BVOH. We regularly tell hiring managers that there are times when it makes sense not to engage us. We have longevity in the marketplace because our goals are aligned with our clients. We know neither party wants to waste time and energy attempting to fill a role that’s not a fit for our service offering. 

With that in mind, let’s explore both options from an objective perspective so that you are positioned to make an informed decision when faced with an open role. 

The Benefits of Hiring on Your own

These companies might benefit from running the hiring process completely inhouse: 

  • The hiring managers have time to dedicate the effort and resources to gathering applications, promoting opportunities, and screening candidates based on unique, identified criteria.
  • The HR departments are saddled with tight budgets that cannot accommodate outside expertise, so they adapt their approach to account for these limitations. 
  • The roles in question have adequate inbound candidates, so the talent pool does not need to be broadened. 

While there may be a few other factors based on the circumstances, we see these three most often. So, what are the benefits to undertaking the hiring process?

DIY hiring keeps the entire process in-house

Companies who need greater control benefit from the fact that they own the whole hiring process from start to finish. 

DIY hiring enables you to quickly filter candidates based on internal values

While good recruiting firms can quickly settle in and make decisions based on your company’s needs and values, you might not have the time to onboard them. Your in-house team should be well-versed on your internal values and won’t need to be brought up to speed.

So, a quick scenario to help you decide if you need a specialized recruiting firm : Let’s say you’re ready to hire a senior accountant. If you have multiple distinguished junior accountants, a strong pipeline of inbound candidates, and a hiring manager with ample time you may be able to run a limited process to handle the hiring effectively on your own.

The Drawbacks of DIY Hiring Your Open Accounting or Finance Roles

Consider these critical points:

DIY hiring means you are on the hook for the results

If it’s taking too long or the wrong kind of candidates are showing up, absolute control means you are also squarely responsible for the results. It can be fun to ping your network to find your next great hire…until it’s not. Inevitably, hiring in finance and accounting will require a focused, high-volume, outbound sourcing approach, and most hiring managers do not have the time, experience, or interest in doing this. 

DIY hiring often brings confirmation bias

Accidently infusing confirmation bias into your hiring process is one of the most common cognitive biases in the hiring market. Whether it’s absolute certainty around an internal candidate or a lack of diversity in current networks, it’s human nature to seek out information that confirms what we already believe to be true. 

Unfortunately, even the best DIY hiring processes can succumb to unintentionally selecting or eliminating great candidates based on their experience, abilities, race, ethnicity, age, gender, or a variety of other factors. 

DIY hiring eliminates the opportunity for valuable outside perspective

Is your process too lengthy? Is your job scoped appropriately? How’s the candidate’s experience on the other side of the table? These very real scenarios are common when you go it alone.  

DIY hiring shrinks your candidate market considerably

You only know who you know. Unless your in-house recruiting team is highly connected within your specific functional talent pool, it’s unlikely they will have access to the finance and accounting network a specialized firm brings to the table. 

Here’s another subtlety to keep in mind. Internal recruiters and team members are typically skilled in assessing  inbound applicants. It’s an entirely different skill set to source, attract, and engage passive candidates, particularly from scratch. Even if your internal recruiter IS adept in sourcing, why will a passive candidate, who is not actively looking, respond to one LinkedIn message by someone they’ve never spoken to before? Specialized recruiters spend material time, even years, nurturing relationships with passive candidates and so often have their “ear” when an appropriate opportunity pops up. 

DIY hiring takes time, effort, and expertise

The reality is that finding the right candidate to invite into your organization is a huge undertaking. Even the most successful hiring managers can be eventually overwhelmed by the attention and detail needed to recruit and vet the perfect person. 

At this juncture, it’s also important to also distinguish between generalized and specialized search firms. The firms who fill roles across sales, marketing, operations, finance, and more offer a valuable service. They are a general one-stop shop for all your recruiting needs. 

However, the focus of this article is to highlight the niche value of a specialized search firm. In our case, finance and accounting roles are our zones of genius. Hiring an accountant, controller, or VP of Finance for your company brings nuance, complexity, and a variety of competing priorities. 

The Benefits of Engaging a Specialized Search Firm for Your Open Accounting or Finance Roles

Specialized recruiting firms provide expertise and a proven process

When you engage a qualified recruiting firm that specializes in finance and accounting, you benefit from a turnkey process that offers the very best experience to you and potential candidates. Gone is the burden of managing every step and other responsibilities. 

Specialized recruiting firms expand your talent pool

More often than not, it takes more than a handful of posts on LinkedIn or posting your job on a job board to find the perfect candidate. A lot is riding on your next hire. With the right job qualifications in hand, a specialized search firm goes to work for you speaking with dozens of candidates—both actively on and off the market. 

This extends the conversation beyond your currently available network and leverages the search firm’s bench of relationships to find the best candidate in the market. 

Specialized recruiting firms bring an intimate knowledge of the industry

Filling a finance or accounting role is nuanced. The strategy changes during busy seasons. Tech layoffs impact this profession in ways other departments may not see. 

You wouldn’t hire a general handyman for a complicated home build. Hiring important financial roles requires a specialized approach too. 

Engaging credible, specialized recruiters in your space will mitigate risk and instill confidence in the outcome. 

The Potential Drawbacks of Engaging a Specialized Recruiting Firm for Your Open Accounting or Finance Roles

Specialized recruiting firms require healthy budgets

It would be inaccurate to call hiring a specialized recruiting firm “expensive”. It’s an investment that can pay for itself time and time again. The reality, though, is that you do have to have the budget to engage a search firm. Wondering what your budget should be? Let’s have a quick conversation

Remember: making the right hire the first time around (even with a placement fee) is much more affordable than the cost of a bad hire

Specialized recruiting firms mean more people will be involved in the process 

If you are working with a recruiter for the first time, you will need to spend time getting them up to speed on your company, needs, and values. Over time and with success, this process becomes incredibly efficient but is an investment of time upfront. 

You will also have other opinions to weigh alongside your own throughout the process. However, the right firm never demands control and instead provides thoughtful input derived from a history of experience and results. This approach will complement everything you’re doing as the hiring manager. 

Finding the Right Fit When Engaging a Specialized Recruiting Firm

After evaluating both approaches, if you determine hiring a firm is the best fit for your situation, it’s time to consider engaging a team who understands how to attract and place the very best talent. 

As one of the market’s top specialized recruiting firms, BVOH has the expertise to help navigate the hiring landscape with confidence. Let’s have a conversation to discuss your priorities and talk next steps. We’ll ease the burden of managing the hiring process yourself. 

Plus, our objectives are aligned, we are not successful until you are. 

With more than 18 years of experience, a proven track record in recruiting top finance and accounting talent, and an experienced team dedicated to meeting your needs, we’re confident in our ability to take you from DIY to BVOH.

Connect with us today to learn more about our process.

Schedule a consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Connect With Us

Whether you’re ready to hire or just want to strategize, our recruiters are always available to listen. Let’s talk. No strings attached.

Home / The Benefits and Drawbacks of DIY Hiring vs. Engaging a Specialized Recruiting Firm