Is Your Recruiter Ripping You Off?
I already know that your current recruiter is the best recruiter.
I know this because…
…they have you as a customer.
No, I’m not being sycophantic. It’s simple logic.
The best recruiter is the best salesperson. In other words, simply by winning your business, they’ve identified themselves as the best recruiter.
In the battle to win you as a client, your recruiter came out on top.
Oh, hang on…
You don’t actually care about whether the recruitment industry thinks your recruiter is the best. You care about whether your recruiter is good at… you know… recruiting.
Your Goals Are Not the Same
This is why recruiters and employers don’t always see eye to eye, and why the recruitment industry doesn’t have a great reputation.
You each have a different definition of success.
You could strip out every unethical practice and every half-hearted recruiter, and employers and recruiters would still clash.
Recruiters need to make as many placements as possible to earn as many fees as possible. Whereas employers need a new hire who is going to add value to their business.
Recruiters need to operate on the basis of speed. Employers need to operate on the basis of quality.
That’s not exactly a match made in heaven.
Short-term Thinking Rules
Think of it like using an insurance broker.
You want a good, affordable deal. The broker wants you to pick one of their recommendations so they can collect their commission.
But what about years later when you need to make an insurance claim, and your provider is stubborn, pedantic, and makes it almost impossible to collect?
No one’s thinking about that in the beginning.
You just want the peace of mind that comes with being insured, and your broker just wants the commission. What happens after that is barely considered.
It can be similar in recruitment. Your business is short-handed and you urgently need to fill a vacancy. Your recruiter needs to place a candidate quickly because otherwise they won’t hit their targets this month.
You know that you need a quality hire and your recruiter wants to give you a quality hire.
But short-term thinking rules and questions like “what happens if the new hire doesn’t fit in well and leaves after four months” get put to one side.
What happens next?
· The new hire leaves.
· You’re short-handed again.
· You’ve wasted money on salary and onboarding.
· Your business is disrupted.
· You have to go back to your recruiter again who looks set to earn another fee.
Is Your Recruiter Ripping You Off?
This kind of scenario is why you might start to feel irritated by your recruiter and wonder if you’re being taken for a ride.
And despite the title of this article, there are very few recruiters who are genuinely crooked.
This experience is just a reflection of a dysfunctional business model that prizes speed over quality.
From your perspective, the best recruiter is the one that can find a well-qualified candidate that stays in the role for years.
Everything else is just frosting.
Recruiters often sell themselves on low prices, huge networks, and speed of delivery. All of these are great, but they’re considerably less important than finding the right person for your business who sticks around.
Without that, you’ll be on the recruitment merry-go-round far too frequently.
If you’re using an insurance broker, you’re perfectly entitled to ask whether the recommended provider has a good track record of paying out when required.
Equally, when you’re using a recruiter, you’re perfectly entitled to ask what percentage of their placements are still in the job after 12 months.
If your recruiter’s answer is less than 90% or they don’t know (usually hiding behind some rubbish excuse about retention being out of their control) - then you have cause for doubt.
The recruiter isn’t ripping you off… but you can definitely do better.