Recruitment Fees   Do You Know What You're Paying For

Recruitment Fees - Do You Know What You're Paying For?

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Recruitment Fees - Do You Know What You're Paying For?

Recruitment companies come in all shapes and sizes, from high street to executive search, and therefore their pricing structures reflect that.

Making the decision to outsource your recruitment to an external agency is a big one and there are many factors that are taken into consideration. Possibly the largest factor is cost. With the well-known saying “buy cheap, buy twice”, ringing in everyone’s ears, it is important to point out the cheaper a recruitment consultancy doesn’t always mean a poorer service, although it is likely that the service provided will be different.

The service behind the fee

If you’re looking to fill a few low-level generalist positions, cheaper agencies may be the best option for you. They will contact the easily accessible candidates from job boards, registrations or applications, go through a basic screening process and then submit a number of CVs for you to review. The success rate of CV submittal to placements will vary, reflected in the lower fee. Typically, you could expect a fee of 8-15% of the candidates first year salary.

When you enter the realms of a specialist recruiter, you’ll be looking at a fee of 20-25% of the candidates first year salary. A specialist can command a higher fee because of the level of service and expertise they offer.  Candidates presented won’t just comprise of active seekers but predominately of passive candidates, made accessible by the specialist’s network and reputation allowing them to reach the entire market and a higher calibre of candidates.

The quality wont just be evident in the candidature but also in the involvement of the specialist. The level of screening prior to representation will be more detailed but, not only this, they will also act as partner to you, offering advice and consulting around your solution.

Of course, the type of vacancy you’d take to a specialist will differ in seniority, be of a niche background and skills, and a more strategic hire. A hire that is worth greater investment to ensure its likelihood of success.

The behaviour behind the fee

Unless operating on a retained basis, you will only pay a fee once a successful candidate is selected, meaning that, until that point the recruiter will be investing their time for free. Every recruiter will ensure they are investing in a client and opportunity that has the greatest chance of return.

In order to be successful, lower fee agencies will be working on several projects concurrently, meaning less of their time will be dedicated to your positions. Conversely, a specialist that is being paid a higher fee, will have a greater motivation to dedicate their time and deliver the results. This will be evident through understanding your brief and your company, really looking to get under the skin of what you’re looking for.

A consultant that feels their time is being undervalued won’t be committed to you.


Simply, you get what you pay for! The value of a specialist recruiter comes from their knowledge, network and reputation, the higher fee reflects the recruiter’s investment into their niche and in turn reflects the investment you are willing to make into your recruitment plans and new employees. Value stretches further than just the individual you ultimately hire but also comes from the process of getting there including the ease, time and minimising impact on you. Investing a specialist recruiter will provide reassurance you’re getting the best service out there.

To find out more about the value StaffHost Europe can bring to your recruiting plans, get in touch today!info@staffhosteurope.com


BLOG: How to Spot a Specialist Recruiter