Are Agency Recruiters Really Worth The Money?

Are Agency Recruiters Really Worth The Money?

Ok. I own an Atlanta Staffing Firm that locates and places top candidates into Permanent and Contract Positions throughout the USA.  Yes, our financial stability has depended on recruiting fees and contractor placements for the past 16 years. 

I have been asked this same question at least 272 times.  My answer has always been – It Depends.

Let’s discuss the reality and myth definitions of a Great Agency Recruiter:

Reality: A Great Agency Recruiter Makes a lot of money.    Great ones have been recruiting for many years.  They only get paid if they deliver a top candidate that gets hired – so there is a sense of urgency. They know, and keep in contact with 1000’s of people in the industry that they serve.   They have earned the ability to ask for referrals from top people.  This is  because they have professionally approached them about positions in the past or they have provided talented individuals to their teams.

Reality: A Great Agency Recruiter is in ‘hunting’ mode all of the time even if they do not have an exact skills search going on right now.  Good people need to know other good people. Relationships can be formed at a Barnes and Noble, a Starbucks, or a friends wedding.  Great Agency recruiters know how to professional meet people even in non-business situations.  They know how to remain on contact without ‘stalking’.

Reality:  A Great Agency recruiter works a LOT of hours.  60 hours plus is the norm. They have to be available to interview candidates when they are available which is usually in the evenings and weekends.  Most Start their days before 7 AM reviewing their emails, reviewing and reaching out on various social media outlets.  Ones that Telecommute never take a shower before 3PM (just ask them!) because they have been on the phones and reaching out with no notice of the time.

Myth:  (I’ve heard this one a time or two) “The Recruiter that we used provided us with two good candidates the next day.  Why would we want to pay a fee when it did not take them ANY time?”    We can gladly hold onto the resume for a week or two, if that is better?  Every now and then the candidate stars and planets align and we already know the perfect candidate for you quickly.  When you keep up with 1000’s of people and have many years in recruiting sometimes it seems easy to outsiders.

Reality:  A Great Agency Recruiter ONLY does Recruiting, period.  They do not solve HR issues.  They do not get bogged down when it is Insurance renewal time, or get involved with Worker’s Comp yearly Audits.  Most also do not have to deal with internal office politics because good Staffing Firms are way too crazy busy to have petty office arguments.  

Reality:  A Great Agency Recruiter “Boldly goes where no person has gone before”.  They are creative, intuitive and fearless.  It pisses them off if they cannot find the perfect candidate.  Ego? Possibly.  Reputation? Absolutely.  Delivery of top talent is key to their identity and reputation.

SO? Are Agency Recruiters Really Worth the Money?  Are your open positions  critical to your organization, (even if it is a critical administrative position)?   Do you need 100% focus on your openings, 12+ hours a days from a recruiting pro that has a vested interest in finding the right person for you to hire?  Then, yes,  Agency Recruiters are totally worth the money.

We just make it look easy.  Usually that is the Myth.


Jacki Neal
Jacki loves solving the worlds issues over lunch with industry professionals. She is a self proclaimed non- recovering technology junkie and Diet Coke addict. As the owner of an INC 500/5000 Staffing and Placement firm since 1997, she has helped her clients grow by locating Top Talent to join their teams. She has been known to totally blow the Peak marketing budget by 'grabbing' a bus and taking 75 clients and employees to see Jimmy Buffett. Funny, how relationships change when you see executives in grass skirts.
Jacki Neal
Jacki Neal
Jacki Neal

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