Why Your Business Might Need a Recruiter

If you're like most small to medium size business owners or hiring managers, your typical reaction when one of your key employees quits is "Oh, #*%$!” Hiring a qualified replacement can be hard, and doing it quickly often seems impossible. Or what if you have a new position to fill? Do you relish the chance to recruit the perfect candidate, or do you regret having to dip back into the employment pool?


Many business owners view hiring as a chore rather than an opportunity. But the reality is good employees are the key to a business’ success. Most business owners don’t have the time or the resources to do it right. Advertising, culling through resumes, and interviewing candidates is a full-time job. As a result many companies look to third-party recruiters to help them hire better people.


You might think that hiring a recruiter is too expensive. It can be, but so can all the time and money you’ve spent on identifying, recruiting, and hiring people. Try quantifying your recruiting efforts in dollars and cents. Don’t forget to include the impact that the diversion had on your business. Then compare that to the typical fee of a recruiter, which is anywhere from 20 percent to 35 percent of a candidate’s salary. You may be surprised at how much less the costs are to hire a recruiter.

In fact, one of the benefits of hiring a recruiter is that you’ll have a controlled, fixed cost. You’ll know what it’s going to cost you to fill that position. Plus, the right recruiter can do the job better and faster than you can.


After you compare the cost of hiring an outside recruiter with the cost of your time spent on the hiring process, honestly evaluate the results of your hiring. Have you hired good employees? Or are they mediocre? Have you had to fire some of them? Have they quit after only a few months?


Another consideration before hiring a recruiter is the type of candidate you’re after. Do you have specific positions that are particularly hard to fill? Is there a talent shortage for those jobs? Even if you have an in-house human resources person who handles the hiring, you may still need a recruiter from time to time to help you with very specialized or high-level positions. In fact, an outside recruiter may have access to people you couldn’t legally or ethically consider. It may be unethical for you to try to hire talent away from your competitors, but a third-party recruiter is free to contact particular people to tell them about new opportunities.


Finally, a recruiter can help you hire strategically rather than ad hoc. If you retain a recruiter on an ongoing basis, he or she can help you develop a plan for attracting good people, hiring the right people for the right jobs, and managing them so that they don’t jump ship at the first opportunity.