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How you pay, is what you get!

When an organisation needs to recruit, they are normally faced with two choices.  They can either do it themselves or seek out the services of an external recruitment partner.  If an organisation has invested correctly, with a strategic in-house recruitment function, then they will be able to handle the majority of their recruitment internally.  In order for the proper investment required for a strategic function to be cost effective, they will need to have a significant ongoing recruitment requirement.  This means that most organisations at some point are going to need the services of an external recruitment partner.

In today’s post, we are going to talk about how you choose your recruitment partner.

It is no secret that the recruitment industry has got a poor reputation for service and perceived value for money.  High fees, poor communication and badly screened CVs are some of the common complaints.  These issues are predominately the result of the contingency recruitment model, where multiple agencies are engaged, but only one can be successful.

The contingency model

It is widely agreed that agencies working to a contingency model, probably have a c25% fill rate which means they have to register 4 vacancies in order to create one placement.  You quickly see how this becomes a numbers game and why so many recruitment agencies are heavily KPI driven.  If enough CVs are sent, then one may just get the job.  In this instance, it is all about the volume of activity rather than a focus on quality.

We have all seen the number of poorly written adverts littering the online job boards, some no more than a straight cut and paste from a generic job spec.  The reason for this is not because the consultants want to do a bad job, it simply comes down to time.  In order to cover all the vacancies, they are working on they do not have the time to spend creating quality advert copy and identifying which candidates are actually the best fit for the role and organisation.

What is the answer?

If a recruiting company is using an external recruitment provider, then there is a strong chance that they are going to end up paying a recruitment fee.

If you are going to pay a fee, then why not engage a single provider who can manage all aspects of the recruitment process for you? Not only does this make life easier with one point of contact, it also allows your internal team to concentrate on other activities and projects.

Ultimately, we are talking about exclusivity and/or retained arrangements.  It comes down to commitment and if both sides are fully committed to the process then it makes sense that time and quality of hire will improve.  Traditionally this approach was reserved for senior executive hire, however the principle is valid for all levels.  If a hire is not important to your business, then you probably should not be making it.

An experienced recruitment partner will be able to write good quality advert copy that resonates strongly with your target audience.  They will be able to put together a clear recruitment timetable and will have the time to identify the best candidates for your vacancy by providing quality and well-rounded short lists.  They can manage the offer and feedback process and through closer communication with candidates ensure a seamless transition into your business.

It’s more cost effective!

The best part about this arrangement is that because of the upfront commitment, many recruitment providers, particularly those operating as independent consultants or as part of niche consultancies are able to offer highly competitive and flexible fee arrangements as well as a much greater level of service.


“Paul Withers is an experienced HR Recruiter with extensive exposure gained across a diverse range of industry sectors. Equally happy working at entry through to director level, he is well placed to advise on any recruitment or job search challenges that you may be currently facing.