Companies often work with recruitment agencies to help build their teams, whether it is to grow quickly or to fill positions that they can't fill on their own. For the best possible outcome, the in-house recruiting team and agency recruiter need to establish a good working relationship.

A strong partnership between the two ensures that the right candidates are hired for open positions in a timely manner, resulting in growing companies and happy employees.

For those not familiar with HR and recruitment, there are two different types of recruiters: 

  • Agency recruiters
  • In-house recruiters


Agency recruiters work for a recruitment agency, helping companies (clients) hire people for their teams.

Agency recruiters may work with many different clients or with just a few, but they essentially connect qualified job candidates with companies who are hiring. 

In addition to introducing candidates to clients and clients to candidates, agency recruiters also support the companies they work with through employer branding, refinement of their recruitment process, contract negotiation, and more.


In-house recruiters work directly for a company, and their job is primarily to find and hire qualified job candidates to fill the positions needed by the company.

Like agency recruiters, in-house recruiters also wear many hats, working as the middle-man between team leads or hiring managers and job candidates. Their job doesn’t stop there, though, as they frequently handle the administrative side of recruitment, employer branding, and other HR-related topics, such as onboarding new candidates and team building events and activities.


Agency recruiters will, at times, work directly with the management of a company or with team leads and hiring managers. 

However, with companies that have a recruiting team in place, the in-house recruiters will be their direct points of contact. Here is a detailed article on the difference between both

Like most of us, both agency and in-house recruiters are busy people with targets to reach, stakeholders to manage, and candidate pipelines to take care of, so a good working relationship between both must be established.


How is this done? As with most relationships, whether professional or personal, and one of the key in-house recruiter tips, communication is key to a successful partnership between the two.

Clear communication from a company about their hiring needs, recruitment process, requirements of the positions being filled, as well as expectations of the partnership are crucial in creating a strong working relationship. Likewise, agency recruiters also need to make clear how they operate and what they need from the in-house team in order to find the best job candidates possible for them.

Beyond excellent and open communication, in-house recruiting teams and agency recruiters must recognise that they are both on the same side.


I have worked in both agency and in-house recruiting, and there can, at times, be some tension between the two parties. In-house recruiters who, for example, want to keep hiring costs low, will at times see agency recruiters as competition rather than partners. 

This, of course, will result in the two working against each other. The fact is that the search methods of agency recruiters differ from those of in-house recruiters.

Thus, in order to get the best results, both candidate pools need to be accessed. Such collaboration will also result in better candidates from a wider spectrum and ultimately have a more positive impact on the business.

In addition, some recruitment agencies focused solely on numbers and not on what is best for the client. This approach can abuse the relationship, sending over as many candidate profiles as possible, essentially spamming their clients.

If agency recruiters remember that they exist to serve their clients and if in-house teams remember that the agency is there to support them, then a strong working relationship resulting in hiring great people is possible.

Here is a quick review:

  • Agency and in-house recruiters both often have different approach and roles.
  • For companies to work with both, they must have a smooth friendly relation between both.
  • Communication must be key to promote the best relationship and collaboration.
A Comparison Between Agency Recruiters & In-House Recruiters