Recruitment Agencies VS Job Portals: When should you engage recruiters?

Recruitment used to be done internally. But all that changed with the Internet.


Online recruitment has quickly become the preferred method of scouting talent, with industry commentators forecasting the decline of recruitment agencies as a result of that. However, both online recruiters and recruitment agencies have the same goal.


To provide you and your company with a way to save time and resources recruiting people while still finding the right employees for your company. Hence, the first step towards choosing the proper recruitment process is to understand the complete picture before choosing.


Let us break it down for you. 


Firstly, job portals.


Job portals such as LinkedIn and Indeed are big professional networking platforms that create a targeted and easily accessible pool of candidates right at your fingertips. They also allow you to be cost-savvy, expediting your hiring process with minimum fuss and will enable recruiters like to personally pre-screen potential hires directly.


However, as with all tools and methods touted to be convenient, there are disadvantages you should be aware of.


  • Dilution of quality 

Everyone has access to the Internet these days, making it very easy for people to apply for jobs online. Although this is generally a positive thing, easy application processes mean more applicants for each listing. Not all of them are serious about the role they are applying for. Some may also ‘just try’ applying despite being unqualified or unsuitable for the job because just clicking is so easy. As a result, you’ll end up with a diluted talent pool of applicants to choose from.

  • Time-consuming 

Another disadvantage of receiving a large number of applications is that you will have to sift through them personally. This means that you will have to devote time to vet through these applications and then contact the candidates you have selected and arrange to meet up with them on top of all the other work you have to do. This means your busy schedule will have to be further jam-packed with interviews with interested job seekers.

  • Tough competition 

Your company will never be the only one on these job portals searching for a candidate for your unique job scope. The competition for finding the right one will be challenging with many companies also doing the same thing. The hundred other similar job listings next to yours may quickly bury your listing under a mountain of other job listings. You may end up spending more money running ads or boosting your job listings to the top, instead of saving money like you intended to. 


With recruitment agencies, you won’t have to handle these problems. 


Recruitment agencies solely focus on recruitment, although certain agencies can provide more than just that. We, People Profilers, are one such agency. Not only do we aim to deliver the most efficient and effective recruitment and HR solutions, but we also prioritise the cultivation of long-term relationships between the candidate, you (the recruiter) and us. 


Recruitment agencies may be your go-to solution if you’re looking to urgently fill up a vacancy created by a departing employee or looking for a qualified and experienced candidate. Engaging a recruitment agency allows you to: 


  • Be Time-Savvy 

With a recruitment agency reading through resumes and vetting the mountains of applicants you’d otherwise have to handle alone, you save a lot of time doing the legwork. Engaging an agency guarantees that the time and process you’d spend on recruitment will be reduced. They’d be the ones shortlisting the best candidate for your job scope, and they’ll do it faster because they have a readily available pool of candidates in their system.

  • Have ready access to high-quality candidates

But will the candidates they have available be qualified for your unique job scope? Have they been vetted through properly? Fret not! Recruitment agencies dedicate themselves to thorough pre-screening and pre-referencing before adding candidates into their talent pool. You can be assured that the people chosen for you are of the highest suitability and quality.

They will use best-practice measures to differentiate real experts from the good talkers to make your money’s worth. 

  • Rely on specialised recruitment knowledge

Recruitment agents working in these agencies have a ton of experience with candidate selection, and some agencies even specialise in recruiting for particular industries, roles, and management levels. This means that they have insider knowledge and years of experience required to understand targeted job market segments and provide you with valuable insights and advice to guide you in choosing the best candidate for your job. For example, if you are looking for a country manager in the IT industry, a recruitment agency that specialises in IT jobs will intuitively know and understand the personality attributes and qualifications that makeup such an effective country manager.


However, even with all these advantages, using recruitment agencies, like job portals, also comes with disadvantages.

  • Higher cost

Engaging a recruitment agency can be quite costly. Typically, there is a fixed fee that will have to be paid every time you want to make a hire, and this cost varies by agency.

  • Might not fit your company’s culture 

As much as they try to find the right candidate suitable for the role you require, recruitment agencies won’t be able to ensure that the candidates will be the best fit for your company’s culture. This means they’ll be able to find the best candidate for the position you want but not necessarily for your company culture and your team. However, generally, recruitment agencies will go out of their way to familiarise themselves with your company goals, mission and values.

  • Lack of employer branding 

Every step of the recruiting process is an opportunity to formulate, present and promote your reputation as an employer of choice. So if you’re engaging a recruitment agency, you’ve missed a chance to build up your company’s branding. It also means that your potential candidates will create their first impression of your company based on the information that the agency provides to them rather than directly from you.


Ultimately, it all boils down to what kind of candidates you are searching for. If you are looking to fill the position with a high-quality candidate quickly, then a recruitment agency is the way to go.  However, if you have an in-house employee focusing on recruitment, then, by all means, stick to job portals. But do consider this: Will you profit more from paying an in-house recruiter or engaging an experienced recruitment agency?


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