The Increasing Presence of Internal Talent Acquisition

Recently more businesses have been building an internal resourcing function, why is this?

  • To take control of the recruitment process and reduce the reliance on external partners (recruiters and headhunters);
  • Internal talent acquisition helps the business work towards growth strategies and develop business cultural;
  • Create candidate engagement and manage the recruitment experience;
  • Actively engage and manage potential candidates for future requirements;
  • Reduce the cost of recruiting.

Specialist internal talent teams form part of the wider HR function and strategy, they generally serve two purposes:

  • Recruit for specific roles within their business;
  • ‘Talent Map’ the market and build a pipeline of potential candidates.

The presence of internal resources reduces the reliance on agency providers for more general roles and creates the opportunity for specialist headhunters to add value and provide support for more complex, niche and confidential appointments. Quite often these teams will recruit up to management level and beyond that part of their strategy is to partner with executive search specialists.

How does this affect you as an active or passive candidate?

Agency recruiters are trained to try and encourage candidates to work exclusively with them so that they can increase their chances of placing you; whilst this may encourage a recruiter to work harder on your behalf it doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of getting your next role. As part of your search for the ideal role you should actively engage with internal talent teams to get on their radar and ask what their future recruitment strategy will be.

If this sounds counterintuitive coming from a headhunter these teams are generally made up of ex-agency recruitment specialists; if you are right for a role they should find you. They do not just advertise roles and wait for responses they are proactively mapping their market to highlight potential talent. The reason these teams turn to the specialist headhunter is when they know their network and resources are not able to fill a position.

What Impact does this Have on the Recruiter Relationship?

A good headhunter will manage relationships with clients who have internal resourcing teams and those who don’t; rather than avoid businesses with a talent function they will engage to understand what their strategy is. Where appropriate I will make introductions to talent managers for candidates when I know that the business will not work with an external partner. In the long run this arrangement benefits all parties and builds a level of trust.

If you are a candidate who would like to understand more about this relationship or a business contemplating an internal resourcing function I would welcome a conversation.


Occasionally management teams want an expert, objective opinion.


Businesses require the best talent in the long run but often interim support is invaluable.


Active networking is a great opportunity to share ideas and best practice.

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