Hire Smarter, Not Harder: DIY vs. Recruiting Firms Explained

Hiring Experts vs. DIY Hiring: Which Is Best for Recruiting the Right People?  

Imagine a key person deciding to quit while your team is amidst crucial projects; what would you do? 

In the intricate landscape of hiring and recruitment, it’s essential to know whether you should continue with traditional in-house hiring or contact and utilize the expertise of a recruiting firm. In this article, we’ll help you figure out which path you should take to find the best and most skilled candidates for your company. 

Do-It-Yourself: Why Employers Choose In-House Hiring 

Do-it-yourself or DIY hiring has been one of the oldest forms of adding new members to a team. It is when interested candidates can directly send their applications to the company’s HR department or hiring manager. 

Let’s dive deeper and closely examine this approach to gaining new team members. Aside from being accustomed to this method, DIY hiring has some benefits, and many companies still utilize this approach. 

1. Cheaper and More Cost-Effective  

Many lean towards the internal or DIY hiring route because it’s a money-saver. Or at least it appears to be (we’ll get to that later). When you go the DIY route, you do all the work and avoid paying someone else to help with your hiring efforts. This can make DIY hiring appear more attractive to companies. However, is it really that cost-effective? 

There is a misunderstanding when it comes to DIY hiring about its cost efficiency. According to SHRM, bringing a new team member on board can have unforeseen challenges to companies, costing up to four times an individual’s salary. So, if you’re looking to fill a $70,000 salary position, you might be shelling out a whopping $210,000 to snag the perfect candidate.¹ This includes all different kinds of costs like: 

      • Time of managers allotted to the hiring process.  

      • Reduced productivity costs.  

      • The emotional toll it costs hiring teams due to demands and rejection.  

      • The risk of losing a candidate to competitors. 

    2. More Control Over the Hiring Process 

    With DIY hiring, you have total control over the hiring process and operations versus needing to brief a recruiting firm on what you’re looking for. You can change your mind about the details–and companies change their mind a lot. This level of flexibility ranges from salary expectations, level of expertise, multi-step hiring process, and so on. 

    By going DIY, employers can set their standards and processes or make sudden changes to their hiring decisions without hesitation. This allows companies to own recruitment and look for what they need based on their preferences and skill requirements. 

    3. Cultural Fit Assessment 

    One of the things you can control when you choose in-house hiring is cultural assessment. Your team can review if the new candidate will fit your culture and assess whether the employee will stay and be satisfied. 

    According to a recent study, 40 percent of new employees leave within the first six months.² In the same study, cultural challenges have been one of the top drivers and reasons for this. Companies can develop specific processes to find the right fit when doing DIY recruitment. 

    4. Transparency 

    Hiring on your own or DIY hiring will give full transparency within your company, such as visibility of the resume and the candidate’s initial interview. Your HR department will be able to research the candidates before they get scheduled for an interview. 

    Read More: Find Your Unicorn: How to Identify and Attract the Perfect Creative Candidate 

    Using Hiring Experts or Recruiting Firms 

    Recruiting firms employ 16 million employees per year in the US.³ While small compared to the country’s total workforce of 135 million, this data still shows how much businesses and organizations rely on the services of staffing or recruiting firms to help them find top candidates. Here are a few reasons why many companies choose to partner with these firms:  

    1. Wider Market Range 

    Recruiting firms, especially those with broad industry experience, have networks and connections that are exclusive to them. This is one of the primary benefits of seeking help from hiring experts versus hiring on your own. We tap into pools, networks, and resources that you can’t take the time to build or don’t have access to. 

    These firms also reach out to passive candidates, especially within their industry niche. They build long-term relationships, staying connected for years or throughout the candidate’s career. Our team members love connecting with other people, and maintaining these relationships is key to quickly filling open positions with high-quality candidates. 

    2. Cost-Effective 

    It may seem contradictory, but asking a recruiting firm to find talent is actually cheaper and more cost-effective. Aside from the unforeseen and unpredictable costs of DIY hiring, there are ways that companies can save a lot of money by hiring a recruiting firm. Here’s how companies can reduce costs by hiring an expert: 

        • Access to specialized talent that is ready to step into the role, saving you training costs and onboarding time. 

        • When using third-party resources, it’s easier to quickly scale your teams up or down whenever you need it. 

        • Hiring costs are predictable and pre-determined. Recruiting firms know the cost of finding the person you’re looking for. No more guessing and hoping! 

        • HR teams can be smaller, more nimble, and stay focused on other vital functions for their business.  

        • Smaller, more flexible teams mean reduced overhead costs like computer equipment, office supplies, electricity, etc.  

      And these are just some of the cost benefits! 

      3. They Only Focus on Recruitment 

      With in-house hiring, the only people focused on recruitment are the Human Resources or Talent Acquisition team, but what about recruiting firms? 

      Recruiting is their entire business! Our team focuses on finding, screening, hiring, onboarding, engaging, and offboarding people every day. We’re experts in both the recruiting process and the marketing and creative industry, allowing us to put all our efforts into achieving one goal—finding you the best candidate! 

      4. Higher-Quality Hires 

      Recruiting firms can ensure top talent. They spend their energy on finding candidates, tap into resources employers can’t or don’t have time for, and adopt advanced screening processes, allowing them to fully commit to finding the best individual for a job. 

      The United States Department of Labor says bad hires can cost up to 30 percent of the employee’s first-year salary.⁴ This means hiring the wrong person for a position that pays $60,000 annually will equal $18,000 worth of losses, mainly due to turnover, lower organization morale, and lower productivity. Not to mention how sad you are when you need to start all over again! 

      5. Advanced Tools and Technology 

      Hiring experts are able to build vast networks of candidates by using advanced tools, while also focusing on specific niches and specialized talent. They can leverage cutting-edge tech to source candidates efficiently and create detailed systems to manage and find just the right resume when they need it.  

      Recruiting firms often maximize platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and social media to reach professional communities and networks with employees who are not actively looking for a job but are open for career growth. This gives recruiters the edge compared to traditional hiring methods that mainly utilize common job boards.  

      6. Gain Better Diversity 

      Around 66 percent of the time, diverse teams arrive at better decisions than teams of the same gender, geographical background, and ethnicity.⁵

      Often, an internal team will hire people they know or who are similar to them. By focusing on a candidate’s skills, experience, and cultural fit within an organization, third-party recruiting firms can help eliminate bias. This, in turn, helps promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, ultimately fostering innovation and creativity. One way Portfolio Creative does this is by actively seeking candidates through specialized and niche groups found within colleges, universities, and industry organizations. A broader, more diverse candidate pool is always better!

      Recruiting Firms or DIY Hiring: Which is the Best For You? 

      According to the most recent statistics, it takes an average of 36 to 42 days to fill a position–and then it’s not even guaranteed that the new hire is fully qualified and high-quality.⁶

      The same study says that about 60 percent of candidates quit in the middle of an application process because it’s too complex. Fortunately, recruiting firms have mastered the art of hiring, streamlining their processes, and ensuring they only perform the necessary steps in obtaining talent. 

      If you’ve been searching for the perfect candidate for a while, it might be time to team up with hiring experts. It can be a game-changer!  

      Related Article: How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days: How Bottlenecks in Recruiting Hurt Your Bottom Line 


      When it comes to building a dynamic team of creative professionals, you deserve nothing but the best. That’s where we come in! The Portfolio Creative team is your dedicated expert in sourcing and selecting top-tier creative talent. Whether you need to fill short-term or long-term contract roles or find full-time team members, we’ve got you covered. 

          • Access to thoroughly vetted candidates 

          • A large pool of talented creatives with a variety of skills 

          • Personalized recruiting solutions and recommendations

        With specialties ranging from copywriting and content creation to design, fashion, marketing, and more, our curated pool of candidates is at your fingertips. Contact us today and take the first step toward elevating your team’s creative potential. 


            1. Navarra, Katie. “The Real Costs of Recruitment.” SHRM, 11 Apr. 2022, www.shrm.org/the-real-costs-of-recruitment.

            1. Sudakow, James. “This is Why Good Employees Resign Within Their First Year.” INC, 18 Oct. 2017, www.inc.com/this-is-real-reason-why-good-employees-resign-within-their-first-year-what-you-can-do-about-it. 

            1. “Staffing Industry Statistics.” American Staffing Association, americanstaffing.net/staffing-industry-statistics. 19 Sep. 2023. 

            1. Schooley, Skye. “How to Handle a Bad Hire.” Business, 23 Mar. 2023, www.business.com/cost-of-a-bad-hire.  

            1. Larson, Erik. “New Research: Diversity + Inclusion = Better Decision Making At Work.” Forbes, 21 Sep. 2017, www.forbes.com/new-research-diversity-inclusion-better-decision-making-at-work. 

            1. Boskamp, Elsie. “25+ crucial average cost per hire facts [2023]: all cost of hiring statistics.” Zippia, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/cost-of-hiring-statistics-average-cost-per-hire/