Why big companies don’t use recruitment agencies

Think your company needs to use a recruitment agency to hire new employees? The big companies don’t use them, and you shouldn’t either. Here’s why.

They’re expensive

Topping the charts as one of the most expensive resources for companies, recruitment agencies can burn through a company’s budget like wildfire. Not to mention the cost and risk of a wrong hire, for example, someone who leaves the company after a short time, after realizing the job is not for them.

They’re ineffective

When it comes to recruitment agencies, speed is the name of the game. Because they are in constant competition with other recruitment agencies, they are looking to fill positions as fast as possible. That means they are not looking for quality, and they access the same small candidate pool over and over again. And even after all of this, they are still not the fastest way to hire new employees

They’re old-fashioned

The world and its networks are moving faster than ever before – and it’s not going to slow down soon. No one reads newspaper ads anymore, and job boards are a snail-paced way to find candidates. What about the millennials – how do they reach them? And what about the passive candidates who are not actively searching for a new job but are still interested? Research shows that 90% of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities, so reaching these people is now more important than it’s ever been.

They’re not experts on your company

A recruitment agency’s goal is to fill your positions, but how should they know who is best for the job when they don’t do its day-to-day duties? They may understand the company’s culture as it’s described on paper, but have they really experienced it? Do they feel as passionate about your business and it’s vision as your employees and business partners? We doubt it.

So how do the big companies hire?

They use an employee referral program.

In fact, it’s the common denominator in how the big guys hire.  Referrals are found to be a more successful recruitment avenue than career sites and big job boards. For companies such as Google, Uber, Apple, Microsoft, and Linkedin, just to name a few, referrals are one of the best sources for hire simply because employees know which candidates would be best for the company. It saves the company time and money and provides them with culturally suitable, better-performing employees who stay with the company for longer.


As the
most successful source of hire, employee referral programs can no longer be ignored.  It’s true that the big companies have the ability and finances to build their own internal employee referral program, and many of us don’t have that kind of luxury. However, companies and startups of any size can use the same methods and technology to hire successfully. An online employee referral program, such as Firstbird’s, can allow any sized company to invite their employees and business partners to help them recruit. So you certainly don’t have to give any power or money over to those behind-the-times recruitment agencies, and you definitely don’t have to be Apple or Uber to hire the best. Any company can hire great employees the same way they do – through their own networks.

Our employee referral program is designed to empower all companies – no matter what your size.  So if you’re ready to hire excellent employees the same way the big guys do, check us out.

Majella Grawatsch

Majella is committed to developing Firstbird's referral platform and pushing the boundaries of HR. Part of the team since 2015, she spends lots of time crafting and writing content across a variety of areas.

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