Working in Recruitment – A Tale of Three Halves

As I approach the three-month mark working at Hunter Adams (which has passed in a flash!) it seems a good time to reflect on my journey here so far. Hunter Adams operates as a true HR consultancy. By ‘true’, I mean everything a business could possibly require for its people challenges. We have our Hunter 100 team offering over 350 SMEs HR services and support, and we also have our HR Interim side of the business, with access to a large number of both external and internal interim consultants ready to step into organisations to provide all nature of HR support, on a project, assignment or short-term basis. Then we have our busy recruitment team, who support all aspects of recruitment; from interim and executive search to FTCs and permanent hires. Due to the ambidextrous nature of the company, sitting here internally is all very exciting.

My first foray into the world of recruitment was in IT recruitment, more years ago than I care to remember! Following my move to the Highlands, my experiences encompassed high-street agency recruitment, from which I then moved into engineering consultancy. My next move was to in-house recruitment, working in a variety of sectors including medical devices and nuclear & defence. The next step was quite a formative role for me, working in-house in the semiconductor industry for an innovative and successful organisation headquartered in Austin, Texas. It was here that I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to dip my toe into HR working as both a Recruiter and HR Business Partner. I will always be grateful to both my manager and my VP for this chance to go deeper into the employee journey, whilst still retaining recruitment and all the excitement that goes with that. I’ve now arrived at Hunter Adams, an HR Consultancy with a dynamic approach to solving all types of people challenges for our clients.

Having dabbled on all sides of the fence, I am often asked the question of which is best; agency, in-house, or consultancy? The answer is not entirely straightforward!

In agency recruitment, recruiters get exposure to a whole spectrum of clients and industries, which is fun and exciting. There can be a lot of pressure though if you have to focus on KPIs which can be stressful when your day is just not going as planned. But the team ethos I’ve experienced whilst in agency recruitment is pretty incredible; everyone is in the same boat, and sometimes a bit of competition pushes you to go that bit further. Unfortunately, agency recruitment gets a bit of a bad name, but I think this is unwarranted. Times have changed, and although the old-fashioned stereotype of recruiters drinking champagne with clients in expensive suits/dresses still exists, the industry has had to change and adapt massively. Agencies provide an important service to organisations globally and agency recruiters become talented industry experts with huge networks that businesses can leverage upon and in turn, build close-knit and successful relationships.

In-house recruitment allows you to fully immerse yourself in an organisation. You may not be part of the big decisions, but you often get to know about them in advance, which hones your approach how to get the best results you possibly can. Relationships you develop reach broadly across the organisation, allowing you to leverage knowledge and understanding which provides insight into how to do your job well, and you can become specialised in that particular domain. In-house recruiters manage upwards, downwards and sideways which is not easy, but incredibly rewarding when you have a supportive network and close-knit team around you. (If not, then that can make or break your experience.) It is worth noting that in-house recruiters are the ‘hot potato’ of the market just now, with many organisations realising the value they bring to them as the first face of the business, especially in such a challenging market.

Consultancy is a mixture of both. You become an extension, or another ‘arm’ to many of the businesses you work with, because success isn’t individual to each party – it’s a joint goal, and a client’s success is our success. This allows for long-term relationships to develop where both have a true understanding of the priorities, challenges, strategic decisions and business direction of the company and almost operate as one. At Hunter Adams, we pride ourselves in offering ethical support and advice and although we are a commercially driven business, we are governed by our values. The range of backgrounds and sector experience of the individuals within the company is vast, from oil & gas, to software, to charity, to semiconductors and career coaching, plus everything in between! For our client organisations, this wide-ranging experience combined with our holistic and flexible approach to all things HR allows them to select which solution is best for their needs. For us working here internally, this provides a lot of variety in the day-to-day tasks and no two days are the same.

So in summary; there are no ‘best’ out-of-agency, in-house, and consultancy careers. They’re all slightly different, though utilising a lot of similar skills. Each has its unique set of quirks that make the roles challenging, and each provides vital support to organisations. But for me above all, they’ve all been a lot of fun! As with most environments, it is the people that make it, and that is certainly true here at Hunter Adams, which operates with inclusivity, respect and openness. This isn’t just something fluffy that is said without thought to enhance the brand of our organisation; it is part of how we operate and central to our whole ethos and being as a company. These core traits flow internally throughout our employee culture, and through to our clients. To find out more about this unique organisation, whether you are a candidate wanting to see what’s happening in the market, or an organisation looking for support, please contact us at


This article was written by Anna Sapkota, Senior Recruitment Advisor at Hunter Adams.