Myth: It Costs Too Much to Use a Recruitment Consultant or Agency


Let’s set the record straight. Recruiters do not have magical, superhero powers. We sometimes hear of HR heads and hiring managers getting frustrated with recruiters – believing that paying an outside consultant or agency a fee means they are granted access to a list of candidates with unrealistically incredible skill sets who are all eager to work for their company.

People. That’s just not how it works. And expectations set in the realm of the quixotic will only slow down efforts to hire top talent.

Experienced recruiters are professional sourcers, network builders, and engagement specialists.  This allows them to find and engage top talent for your company’s needs. But the candidates they produce often have the same qualifications – those outlined in your company’s job description – as candidates you could potentially have uncovered if you decided to keep hiring efforts in-house.

So why are professional recruiters worth upfront cost? Why pay a recruiter to find candidates you could find on your own?

Because a recruiting consultant or agency can find the qualified candidates when companies often cannot.

Sure, a company could put the time and effort into sourcing and engaging candidates, but even if companies have in-house recruiters who won’t throw off a company’s daily groove by focusing on hiring, these employees are still pulled in various directions with multiple positions to fill and the regular distractions of meetings and other in-office duties.

A recruitment consultant or agency can put 100% of their time and effort into filling your job opening, and that brings in results that, to a company who needs quality candidates now, can feel a little bit magical. The “magic” is not a list of unicorn candidates from blackmarket-level-secret sources. It’s the magic of years of experience and well-honed networking and engagement skills yielding excellent results in a timely fashion. And that is what saves you money in the end.

We’ve cited Center for American Progress’s 2012 study previously, and the summation given in the closing remarks speaks to the extreme value of timely, quality hiring. “…The cost of employee turnover for businesses is high, regardless of the level of wages being paid to the departing or incoming employees. Companies typically pay about one-fifth of an employee’s salary to replace that employee. While it costs businesses more to replace their very-highest-paid employees, the costs for most employers remains significant and does become less significant for those with low earnings.”

Employee turnover costs swell when positions are not filled quickly. Training is laborious and expensive, and unfilled positions hurt the company as a whole when existing employees have to deviate from their own tasks to help fill in the gaps. The last thing a company needs is a poor hire to add to the cycle of lost earning potential.
Professional recruitment consultants and agencies can find the candidates a company does not have the time to find. If a company is willing to let a recruiter do the work they are trained to do, if they are clear about what they are looking for in a new hire, and if their expectations for the candidates a recruiter produces are feasible, professional recruiters can prove to be invaluable resources to the companies with whom they partner.

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