So how much does recruitment cost exactly? The short answer is …it depends. Most recruitment companies will understandably try to push their fees as high as possible. It is not unknown for companies to charge 30% of starting salary, sometimes even more for executives or difficult to fill roles. However fees are more commonly pegged in the 20-25% range. So for a £35k role you may have to pay upwards of £7k.
This is a serious investment, especially for smaller companies or those that are in a growth phase. It might feel like a cost that you don’t feel comfortable with. That’s completely understandable, and I would encourage you to look at other options if that’s the case.
You could do it yourself.
This seems a viable option. How hard could it be? We have found that people can become overwhelmed or paralysed by the fear of making a bad decision and so get stuck. If this is you, we are developing a number of tools and downloads for you to use, many of which are free.
You could outsource parts of the process.
Many smaller companies look to take this option. Look for recruiters that provide a partial service and will charge you a fraction of the cost. You will be able to tap into their expertise at an entry point you can afford.
You could partner with an agency on a retained basis, perhaps for a fixed fee.
If you are a skilled negotiator you may be able to get an agency to agree to service your role for a smaller fee if they are given exclusive access. From their point of view this may make sense if they are working without competition. You would need to be sure that they can provide you with the services you require.
This could be a model that works well if you have a number of roles. The recruitment agency will be happy for the work, and you get to deal with one trusted recruiter who can provide you with a bespoke service.
Whichever option you decide is best for you, make sure you do your due diligence and don’t let the recruiter browbeat you into a solution that only really works for them.