Turning your career page from agency to internal TA

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Your career has many chapters. And the best career advice often comes from those who’ve read the same book (or at least one in the series).

That’s why we rounded up 5 of Strivin’s faves who’ve all jumped from agency to internal TA. We sat down with each of these stars and grilled chatted to them about their experiences. 

via GIPHY

We uncovered LOTS. Too much to cover here (that’s why we’ve included the podcast links down the bottom. You’re very welcome). 

But let’s just say, if you thought exiting agency was also leaving clients behind, you could be disappointed. They might go by different names, but stakeholders are everywhere and, as a recruiter, it’s your job to make their journey as easy and enjoyable as possible. 

But what really stood out for us was the passion these podcast guests all had. Spades of the stuff! They love people, they want to support everyone the best way they can and they’re in for the long haul. 

Sound like you? Read on 👇🏼

It’s more than just bums on seats

‘For me, the journey doesn’t stop when that bum is on the seat. It continues, it evolves and we look at the internal progression and development.’ Rebecca Powell, IntelligenceBank

Moving from recruitment to in-house is ‘just a bit of a mindset shift’, according to Rebecca. You still need to fill roles, yes, but there’s a different emphasis.

‘I think it’s really important to be clear about understanding the business…not just the role,’ she reveals. ‘[It’s about] understanding how everything fits together and having that commercial awareness, as well as actually understanding the ins and outs of the role.

And, for Rebecca, it doesn’t stop once she’s recruited someone.

‘I want to make sure they’re supported and they feel that what I’ve promised and offered to them is what they experience,’ she says. 

Get bums on those seats – but make sure it’s a comfy ride.

Agency vs internal: it’s just a different type of sell

‘A recruiter’s job is not to find the perfect candidate. It’s to find the best available candidate in the market right now,’ Garth Quinn, Healius

Like we said: whether you’re in agency land or in-house, you’ve always got stakeholders – and you’re always peddling a ‘product’. It’s how you engage with those stakeholders (be they clients, hiring managers or candidates) that largely dictates your performance.

Garth’s career advice? Look at the recruiting process as a an end-to-end journey – with the candidate in the driver’s seat. 

‘If you follow the candidate’s journey, you’ll identify where there are going to be issues in industries,’ he explains. ‘You need to make sure that your experience is giving the candidate the path of least resistance into your organisation.’

That means keeping on top of the data you can measure – like hiring times, conversion rates and choke points – to understand what the market’s doing and get the best candidate you can.

Storytelling and finding what you enjoy

‘I can’t sell mistruths – I’m really bad at it. But if I believe it, I think I’m a lot better at communicating that to people.’ Mitch King, Linktree

Obviously, everyone’s different – but Mitch undoubtedly found his niche when he stepped away from recruitment agencies. He says being inside an organisation lets him support candidates on their path into a company and beyond.

‘[At recruitment agencies) I really enjoyed…speaking to people, conveying the story of the employer to that person and matching what somebody was looking for with what something actually is,’ he tells us. ‘And I found that hard from an agency perspective because you’re always a third party; you’re always an onlooker…and you can only tell secondhand stories.’

These days, he relishes giving people that ‘go to woe’ experience.

‘You bring someone into the company and you get to see them work out or, if they don’t, you get a bit more exposure and insight as to why,’ Mitch says. ‘Then, you can improve and iterate on that.’

Stories with lived experience are always better, right?

Knowing your why

‘Recruitment is recruitment. It’s building relationships and understanding need,’ Matt Woodard, Torii Consulting

Why do people jump from agency to in-house roles? The reasons are many, but doing it for an easier life? Perhaps not the best rationale, according to Matt.

‘I think internal brings a different kind of challenge,’ he points out. ‘If a client has a bad experience, they don’t use that agency again – whereas your clients are your colleagues. So it’s really important that you continue to bring your best…to deliver the best kind of quality candidates.’

And Matt reckons that’s an incredibly satisfying place to be.

‘If you really value the ability to create that service…build your own brand internally and be able to influence and shape a company in the longer term, then I think it’s a great move,’ he says.

Your ‘why’ might also centre around new opportunities, says Matt.

‘A lot of people have used internal TA as a springboard to learning and development, or something completely different,’ he reminds us. ‘So, potentially, it can open up avenues for your future career…’

Relationships are key

‘I think you just have to love recruiting to start with, period. You have to love the idea of helping someone find their next opportunity.’ Jo McCatty, Protoscience

There’s a lot to be said for healthy working relationships no matter your role, organisation or industry. And when you’re recruiting someone into your business, that rapport matters even more.

‘The biggest difference [with an in-house role] I find is it’s end-to-end,’ Jo explains. ‘So not only are you doing the attraction piece, you’re engaging and really getting to know the candidates. [Those] internal, end-to-end stakeholder management…relationships [are] next level.

‘You’re really getting to know them, as well as what the candidates’ needs are…and now with internal mobility, recruiters are getting involved more with supporting people find their next role in [that] business.’

Love seeing a job through? It might be time to switch from agency to internal TA.

How to plot your next career move

Thinking about trying out your TA skills in-house? Listen to some of the best career advice around with these inspiring, interesting and insightful podcasts!

🎧 Rebecca Powell, IntelligenceBank

🎧 Garth Quinn, Healius

🎧 Mitch King, Linktree

🎧 Matt Woodard, Torii Consulting

🎧 Jo McCatty, Protoscience / Invisible Partners

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