Investing In Your Recruitment: Are Recruitment Agencies Worth It?

Director asking management team "are recruitment agencies worth it?"

If you need to recruit new talent but are looking ahead with dread at the mammoth task of hiring, you might start considering, ‘Are recruitment agencies worth it?’.

Recruitment agencies can support your business in accessing pools of talent, market insights, technical knowledge and expertise, and more. Within our own internal hiring campaigns, we often use recruitment agencies that specialise in recruitment and sales talent to help identify new team members. Just like a business that would choose to obtain our services, we see the value in using a specialist recruitment agency. Why? Because like any other organisation, we have time and resource limitations to consider, and we understand the extensive value specialist agencies can bring to the hiring process.

For us, recruitment agencies are worth it, but whether they suit the needs of your business will depend on your situation.

Are recruitment agencies worth it?: The advantages of using a recruitment agency

Access to great candidates

Recruitment agencies have access to wide pools of talent that they can use when recruiting for your roles. As they consistently identify and are approached by new candidates, they have large databases of fantastic professionals to pick and choose from.

Often, they have access to both active and passive candidates that your company on its own would struggle to find. Passive candidates are individuals who aren’t actively looking for work but could be open to a conversation about the right opportunity. In the UK, this amounts to around 45.1% of the workforce. Recruitment agencies can access this group of individuals through headhunting, networking, advertising, and more, creating relationships that they nurture and keep warm until the right role comes along.

Benefit from recruitment expertise

Recruiters know what they’re talking about. Their jobs revolve around optimising and producing efficient recruitment campaigns.

Agencies stay informed about market trends and wider socioeconomic factors that affect hiring. They also talk to candidates and businesses daily and keep their fingers on the pulse to detect where the market is heading. With the changing economic climate, these insights are more important to you than ever before. This economic uncertainty has previously reduced the number of companies willing to hire due to uncertain risks. Therefore, understanding the hiring market through the expertise of a recruitment agency can help you obtain inside knowledge and ultimately get ahead of your competitors.

Obtain specialist knowledge and insights

If you’re hiring specialists with skills you don’t currently have in your company, you may struggle to adequately assess their suitability for the role.

Agencies that specialise in certain industries or sectors make the cost of recruitment agencies worth the money. Specialist agencies not only have niche talent pools to source from, but they also understand the roles and responsibilities needed and can evaluate the wheat from the chaff. Although specialist recruiters aren’t qualified in the field, most will work a vertical market, this means that they dedicate all of their energy to one specialist area. Therefore, they talk with the same types of skilled professionals each day and strive to understand the right skills and responsibilities needed for each role.

Additionally, specialist agencies will also have the ability to run technical assessments. At VIQU, we have our own technical assessment tool specifically for evaluating developer talent! Recruiters at specialist agencies will know which questions to ask to correctly assess the candidate’s skills to make sure only the best and most qualified individuals are put in front of you. This will reduce your chances of a bad hire and cut the time you have to spend on the interview process.

You might choose a generalist agency, but they can only go so far in helping your recruitment process. As they’re not specialists in the field you’re recruiting for, they’re unlikely to have more than a passing knowledge of the skills you need. So when considering the cost of recruitment agencies, you need to be clear on the sort of recruitment professional you want to work with.

Reduce internal workload

Whether you rely on your talent, HR or management teams for your hiring, planning and executing an effective recruitment campaign takes significant time and resources. Depending on the size and availability of your talent team, it’s easy to become overstretched, particularly if you are looking for several new hires. If you don’t have an internal talent team, your management or administration team will likely have to take the brunt of the efforts, ultimately affecting productivity and your bottom line.

Recruiting can take time. From sifting through applications to distributing skills tests to organising interview slots, there are many time-consuming tasks along the way. A recruitment agency can manage the process from start to finish, taking the pressure off your team and sourcing the great talent you need.

Align your processes to your values

Recruitment agencies can help not only make your processes and procedures into a well-oiled machine but also align your business values to your recruitment strategy. For example, if you have a DEI strategy but are unsure how to adequately address it in your recruitment campaigns, using agencies with experience in diversity recruitment is crucial. They can use gender decoder tools for job descriptions, standardise interview questions, anonymise candidates, and more.

Agencies can also help improve your employer brand and perfect your messaging to showcase your employer brand and values. With 86% of candidates agreeing that DEI is an important factor when applying for a new role, effectively communicating your values will help you seem more attractive to candidates.

Faster time to hire

When considering the question, “Are recruitment agencies worth it?”, it’s important to consider whether a delay in hiring the right person is going to impact your business and bottom line negatively. If ‘yes’ is your answer, then the cost of recruitment agencies is negated by the fact you’ll get the right person far faster and more efficiently.

From the multitude of factors mentioned above, including improving your processes, access to and knowledge of great candidates and specialist expertise, it will be much quicker to find a great new hire. Recruitment agencies can dedicate significantly more time and resources to obtain a new recruit, in addition to having well-trodden and streamlined processes. This can make the cost of a recruitment agency less expensive than trying to hire using your internal team who have other responsibilities.

Are recruitment agencies worth it? The drawbacks

Risk of bad representation

Outsourcing can be a risk. Working with a recruitment agency means that they become your brand representative and will normally be the first introduction the candidate has to your company. If they give a vague or ambiguous explanation of the role and your company, or they mess the candidate around with irregular contact during the hiring process, this might give them a bad impression, leading to a less than ideal reputation in the market for you.

Additionally, if you are using multiple agencies on a contingent basis, this can dilute your brand message and create a more chaotic candidate experience and recruitment campaign. To combat this, building a close personal relationship with one recruitment agency can help to give you more control and confidence over the process and provide a more accurate brand experience to candidates.

Increased cost of a recruitment agency

The cost of recruitment agencies has always been labelled as an expensive option. This is because they are often seen as a high one-off payment, whilst internal teams are a planned expense. However, you should consider the cost of time and resources that your management, internal, and admin teams would accrue to hire a new employee. Often when you are relying on management to find an employee, their time costs more and it takes them away from their responsibilities and projects, which will inevitably have a negative effect on your operations.

Although this blog has mainly explored how the cost of a recruitment agency is worth it, it is likely to still be a negative to some businesses. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of the process to understand whether the investment would be worth it for you.

Are recruitment agencies worth it? Yes – we think so!

We regularly use recruitment agencies to secure talented recruitment consultants to join our team. We understand our limitations as a business and know the value the right specialist recruitment agency can bring up in terms of access to fantastic pools of talent, insights into the market, and reductions in processes and workloads.

When you grow as a business, you want to limit your chances of acquiring a bad hire and maximise your time, resources, and profits. Recruitment campaigns can take significant time and resources away from our team, that’s why recruitment agencies are worth it for us, and just might be for you too!


Working with a recruitment agency can help you access fantastic specialists, improve your processes, and help reduce your internal talent team’s workload. If you are looking for IT professionals, please contact our team to see what we can do to help you.

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