How to build your direct in-house recruitment strategy

How to Build Your Direct In-House Hiring Strategy


Whether choosing to partner with a recruitment agency or using internal resources to recruit directly, the common goal for every size of business is always the same: to hire the best talent to maximise the job role delivery.

Each company strive to do this but the reality of hiring means that you will likely be working within the constrains of the existing team salary & benefits structures, the strength of the employer branding / reputation of the business and the ability to reach potentially suitable candidates.  

Different companies are likely to also have varying secondary goals, such as to:

  • Increase in-house direct hiring, as a means to reduce recruitment costs to the business
  • Reduce time to hire, to get people on board and contributing to profit as soon as possible
  • Improved quality of candidates – to hire quality members of staff who stay with the business and reduce the staff turnover

Prior to launching MacGregor Recruitment, Stuart MacGregor set up and developed internal recruitment functions within a number of companies who were traditionally very agency dependent, and who wanted to achieve all three areas above.

There will be many companies that already have a slick internal recruitment and in-house hiring strategy. There will also be times and key roles where a quality sector specialist recruitment agency is absolutely the right first approach. 

However, this article is designed to give small to medium sized companies who don’t have a large HR team but want to recruit more effectively, some free guidance around how to take your general direct hiring up a level.


Understand your data

It is vital to know where you are as a business in order to track your recruitment progress and success. Pull out the data for your new starters hired in the last 12 months and sort the following information by calendar month:

  • Department & job function
  • Application source (ie agency / Indeed / job board / LinkedIn / referral / window poster etc)
  • Recruitment cost (ie agency fee /job board advertising / referral fees etc)
  • Time taken to hire (the gap between job vacancy being authorised to the point someone accepts the job offer). You may not have this info recorded at this point, but it is something to track going forwards.

Set and manage the recruitment process

Set and communicate your company in-house recruitment policy in detail, outlining the process and timescales and then manage the compliance to it from your hiring managers.

If managers are passing vacancies to agencies straight away before you have a chance to advertise your position or consider recruiting in-house yourself, then you may win by hiring quickly, however you will struggle to manage your recruitment costs if that is also your aim. Similarly if you have advertised the role but aren’t getting appropriate responses then you may need to move to engage an agency rather than letting the role stagnate and sit unfilled, as there will be increased pressure on the rest of the team during this time. 

The recruitment policy should includes each of the following processes, complete with people involved and timeframes: 

  1. Authorisation to recruit
  2. Direct recruitment activities and timescales (advertising and recruiting for the role)
  3. Preferred agencies
  4. Reviewing applications & shortlisting
  5. Making the job offer and declining unsuccessful candidates
  6. Sending out the formal job offer

It is important to set sensible standard timescales for each stage that suits the needs of your individual business and industry so that everyone involved internally knows what to expect as the process unfolds. Of course where a role is particularly time urgent or has significant impact then exceptions and flexibility should be agreed and used.


Candidate attraction options

A lot of companies use Indeed already as their preferred recruitment advertising channel, but there are other options to include in a wider candidate attraction strategy which could also include:

  • Job boards – generalist boards such as Total Jobs, REED, CV Library or sector specialist boards I'e. CW Jobs for IT roles 
  • CV database searching – you can purchase access to job board CV databases and search and approach candidates who may be suitable and interested
  • LinkedIn – post a vacancy on your feed or company page for free, or purchase premium advert slots. You can also approach and message people directly about the opportunities based on their experience
  • Industry sector specialist websites – ie DGB vacancy page
  • Social media – share your vacancy to your company Facebook or X (formerly Twitter) page
  • Posters – often over looked but put a professional poster up in your trade counter, canteen, or gates
  • Word of mouth – have a referral scheme to encourage your team to recommend ex-colleagues and friends to attract trusted and recommended candidates
  • Company website – include a careers page on your website and list the vacancies with clear instructions on how candidates should apply
  • Head hunting - directly contacting potentially suitable candidates about the opportunity. However in a close and often intertwinned sector such as the fenestration sector this is very sensitive and so discreetly engaging via an agency as a 3rd party to have conversations with people may be preferable.  


Work with appropriate agency partners

There will be times and generalist roles where you have the lead time to implement and drive the above in-house hiring strategy. However  there will be specific roles or time critical situations where it is preferable to partner with a sector specialist agency who have the time, expertise, connections and industry insight relevant to your search who can pick up and elevate the search on your behalf.

They will be able to advise on the package for the role in hand, and to proactively identify, approach and engage with potential candidates on your behalf and act as an extension of your business. 

Partnering with a trusted suitable agency such as MacGregor Recruitment Solutions can be a critical element of a broader recruitment strategy. Seperate blog to follow on this in the future...! 

Manage your online employer branding

Your company reputation quietly has a huge impact on your ability to attract calibre candidates. If you were to apply for a position directly to a company, you would most likely check their website, read the job vacancy advert, and from there might also find websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor company profiles where people have left their opinions about the company – good and bad. 

Your potential candidates are likley doing the same so it’s crucial that you don’t neglect this area.  Claim your profile and add content to maximise your company profiles to help ‘sell’ working for the company. Also take the time to acknowledge and respond to those less than flattering comments that an ex-employee might leave online to meet any negatives head on. 

If you don’t your ideal candidate may just flick on to the next job advert…


Tracking your recruitment data

As mentioned earlier in this article, it’s important to track each hire details going forwards to monitor your in-house hiring and recruitment strategy and success.  This can easily be done in an Excel spread sheet set out to manually capture your hiring information and monitor your time and cost to hire and quality of hire stats (if you would like a free Excel based recruitment data tracker please get in contact). Or alternatively you can use an Applicant Tracking System... 


Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

If you make multiple hires a year and want to advertise, update your candidates and manage your metrics all in one place, then an ATS is a nifty piece of technology that can help.

An ATS is a portal that has two sides – one is a career page that sits on your website where candidates can see, search for and apply to your vacancies on your website and the other side is the back-end system that delivers real administration efficiencies. You can:

  • Set up advert templates
  • Set up one click advert feeds to multiple job boards
  • Easily review and short list candidate CVs
  • Safely store candidate data in the cloud in a fully secure and GDPR compliant manner
  • Send automated updates to candidates, rejection notifications, and invite candidates to interviews
  • Fully manage your recruitment data in one place

Recruitment Freebies!

If you have made it to this point in the blog – well done!

As a reward I would like to let you know that we would be pleased to offer a free review of your Glassdoor and Indeed company profiles, with suggestions on how to help draw in more applications, and a free Excel recruitment tracker document to help track your hiring data. 

We also are able to offer a brilliant ATS that can be set up quickly and is really intuitive to use.  If you would like more information about the features, benefits and practical applications of using one, do get in touch and I can provide much more detail about the system and the costs. 

Contact MacGregor Recruitment

MacGregor Recruitment partner with a wide range of companies within the fenestration sector, recruiting for small owner operated businesses through to complex national sized organisations.  

If you have any recruitment needs that you would like additional help with - or if you would like to discuss any parts of the blog - please contact Stuart via stuart@macgregorrecruitment.co.uk or 07549 194159. 

Posted by: MacGregor Recruitment