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Professional Recruiter Fees – Return on Investment, Not an Expense

Hiring Advice

You have a vacancy in a sales, operations, marketing or engineering role. One of your top performers left unexpectedly, or you need to replace an under-performing team member. In either case, you realize the role needs to be filled in a timely manner and with a stronger candidate that can solve the challenges the predecessor faced to further grow your business unit.

You clearly acknowledge the value in working with a professional recruiter that specializes in your industry. In the case of Egret Consulting; the electrical industry. You realize that nobody knows your marketplace better than a professional recruiter. You recognize that a professional recruiter identifies who your competitors are, understands your go to market strategy, knows the technology involved in your products and can effectively identify, attract and land the candidates that are both a professional and cultural fit for your organization. Easy, peasy, right?

Now…that final question, “tell me about your fee structure?” Radio silence ensues. After reviewing and acknowledging all of the benefits to working with a professional recruiter, suddenly the recruiter’s fee is an ‘expense’. I challenge you to rather view the fee as an investment.

Let’s start over…remember…you’ve already walked through your professional recruiter’s approach to recruitment. You ‘get it’. Your professional recruiter isn’t creating an internet ad or social media post; nor are they posting a job description to a website only to collect 200 resumes of candidates that aren’t a fit. Think of how your valuable time will be wasted by reviewing all the submitted resumes that won’t get you who you’re looking for. Instead, your professional recruiter is attracting the best ‘passive’ candidates. They’re dutifully employed and achieving tremendous success…for your competitor. They’re the best, not the best ‘available’.

A professional recruiter will develop a list of a hundred or more candidates for each search they perform. Your professional recruiter has an established and vast network of industry specific contacts…relationships. Each are called and evaluated against the specifications that were outlined in a lengthy phone conversation with the hiring manager. In addition, the list of candidates is measured on a personality fit with the company and the team they will work with. The list is, then, broken down into a much smaller list of finalists; and in the end, three to four will be formally presented and  interviewed face to face by the client. Your professional recruiter works confidentially, with speed to minimize ramp up time and ultimately, save you, the client, money. Then, comes the close…the professional recruiter’s ability to negotiate a strong offer on your behalf. Remember, your professional recruiter has ‘real time’ data of what candidates in the same positions are making at your competitors. Your professional recruiter should be viewed as a trusted adviser who can assist you in preparing a great offer that the candidate will accept. Now it’s time for your professional recruiter to walk the candidate through the resignation process, address potential counter offers, and then walk both the client and candidate through the onboarding process. Your professional recruiter will then stay in touch with you and the candidate, checking in regularly to get progress reports and learn of successes. As a professional recruiter, there’s no better validation of a successful placement than learning of your candidate’s first big purchase order, product launch, or implemented product design. Personally, my greatest accomplishments come when I learn of placed candidates being promoted into even larger roles within the organization. What’s the end result? Retention and productivity; increased revenue from that placed candidate.

Back to present…the professional recruiter’s fee. Hopefully you’re no longer viewing it as an expense. When you consider the ‘real’ expense of trying to fill critical roles with less effective (and not necessarily less expensive) methods that may land a less effective candidate it makes sense. Sharp executives recognize that a professional recruiter’s fee is a strategic investment, not a line item expense. The return on your investment will indeed pay dividends over time.

Rob Wieska is a contingent and retained recruiter exclusive to the electrical industry with a specialty in Power Distribution and Building Automation in addition to general Electrical Product Manufacturing. To learn more about how he can help your company identify and attract talent send him an email at