The Direct Hire Process: An Insider’s Look

The Direct Hire Process

As our Direct Hire & Search group works with candidates and clients, we are periodically asked “how do you do it? or “how do you work?” With that in mind, we thought we would give you an “insiders look” at how a direct hire team works (aka search, recruiters, placement, headhunters, executive search).

In this article, we provide an overview of the direct hire process from a staffing agency’s perspective — highlighting the importance of recruitment goals, candidate requirements, sourcing techniques, and ongoing communication.

Let’s start with a few definitions and primary goals.

A direct hire, as defined by Betterteam, is “a recruitment made directly by a company, or through an employment agency, to fill a long-term need”. Direct hires that are recruited by staffing agencies, such as SURESTAFF, usually become permanent employees of the company. Among other reasons, time and money are key reasons why you should use a direct hire firm to find and fill positions.

A candidate for direct hire can range from a supervisor, forklift operator, CAD operator, or electronics assembler, up to and including C-level managers and executives.

Most direct hire or search firms specialize in one or more sectors such as logistics, manufacturing, energy, IT, health care, or accounting and finance. Some focus on specific job categories – production and warehouse automation, being one example. As with the case of SURESTAFF, our team focuses primarily on the industrial related sectors that can include distribution, assembly, energy, manufacturing, logistics, and processing.

Where do we start?The direct hire process - an insider's look

Good question… the process starts with one of two items:

  • A qualified, experienced candidate looking for an opportunity, or
  • A client looking for a qualified candidate to fill a mission-critical role

In the case of a candidate coming to us looking for an opportunity, we “skill market” that candidate to our extensive base of clients and target companies.

In the case of a client outsourcing the recruiting process for a new hire, we begin an extensive search of active and passive candidates. Active candidates are those actively pursuing an opportunity.

Typically, they have posted a resume on the common job boards like CareerBuilder, Zip Recruiter or Indeed and are responding to jobs posted as available. Passive candidates are those in current jobs and have not made it public they are open to other opportunities.

Recruiting goals

Whether the search begins with a candidate or client, we need to understand the “end game” for both. What do they want? What is the culture, responsibilities, education, background, environment, experience, and of course, compensation requirements. Before we proceed with the sourcing process, we make it a priority to fully understand the requirements for positions and the candidates background

The Process Begins

In all cases, the process begins with a full, in-depth understanding of the client and/or candidate.

For each search or candidate, we assign a tenured and qualified recruiter to work on the client’s or candidate’s behalf. Think of this recruiter/individual as an extension of you — someone who ensures they know as much as possible about the organization, the position, and any specific requirements.

Recruiters become very familiar with the candidate requirements for the role from education and experience to industry knowledge, certifications needed, proximity, work conditions, and responsibilities. They will also be well-versed in the reporting structure, compensation and benefits, and the projected or desired career path of the candidate.


When it comes to sourcing, we spare no expense on the latest recruitment tools and technology. We know that using digital tools can increase productivity, and save time and money — while making the process more efficient overall.

At SURESTAFF, we have a dedicated team of senior recruiters with a wide range of resources at their fingertips. Your assigned recruiter will ensure that they clearly understand all aspects of the position and are able to identify the right-fit candidate for the job.

Typical Sourcing ToolsSurestaff named one of the top Direct Hire and Search firms in the United States by Manage HR magazine

  • Network referrals – clients and candidates
  • Proprietary and public databases
  • Associations
  • Digital
    • Job Boards
    • Social
    • Text and eMail broadcasts
  • Resume sourcing and review
  • Industry memberships

In most cases, our recruiters will meet with the hiring managers onsite at your organization to review the process, timing, vetting, tools, and sourcing techniques needed. We will also discuss broadcasting and referral tactics, business volume, and resources. For internal searches, check out these recruiting tips that may help.

Additionally, communication between all parties is key every step of the way.

Ongoing communication

Communication is the cornerstone of effective recruitment. Time is of the essence in the recruiting process, so we operate with a sense of urgency – many great candidates have been lost to a slow process – “time kills all deals”. Our focus is expedient time-to-hire when scheduling interviews, negotiations, and pre-recruitment preparation.

The flow of communication should be regular, ongoing, and include any and all follow-up as needed.

Candidly, this is a key component of what we do as a direct hire firm. Orchestrating interviews, Zooms, correspondence, scheduling, negotiations, travel, even arranging realtors and school visits can all be part of the web of activities.

Wrapping up

As a professional staffing agency, we have identified many benefits of the direct hire process. Most importantly, it can save businesses and job searchers a lot of time and resources.

At SURESTAFF, we offer comprehensive direct hire, search, and placement services. Our tenured recruiters have 20+ years of experience and we make it a priority to tailor the recruitment process to each of our client’s and candidate’s needs. We invest our resources in cutting-edge technology so that we can deliver spectacular results.

Contact us today to learn more! For more information on techniques for effective recruiting, download our guide.


About the Author

Kim is a seasoned content marketing professional with over twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her sweetspot is withKim Wacker - Author creative writing both short and long-form. She has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among others. Kim is a singer and actress and has been performing on stage and screen her entire life and has a great passion for TV and film production. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.