Recruiter Tools

10 Secrets Your Third Party Recruiter Won’t Tell You

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A lot has changed in the world of recruiting over the last ten years.

However, one fundamental fact remains unchanged: there is no shortage of third party recruiters eager to take a fee for placing a candidate at your company.

It seems there are a zillion recruiters and it’s become impossible to determine which to engage and which to ignore.  We created this list to help you figure it out.  Let’s get started!

1)  Relationships: Recruiters Oversell the Value of Their Relationships

How many times have you heard this from recruiters?

“We have deep relationships with the most-sought after candidates and insights into their career goals…”

Sounds impressive.  But what they won’t tell you is relationships aren’t enough to get a candidate to accept your job — especially when factors like location, salary, and company mission matter more than who the message is coming from.  Research shows 8 of 10 candidate searches start from scratch anyway due to specific requirements of the role.

Instead of focusing on a recruiting firm’s “relationships,” ask about their process.  Good recruiters have the right tools and a systematic process in place to help them recruit candidates.  If you don’t receive a detailed process, then we’d suggest finding someone else to work with.

2) Bait and Switch: Never Trust a Recruiter That Sends Anonymous Resumes

Has a recruiter tried to set a meeting with you by sending a perfect resume, then after you agree to meet that candidate has suddenly “taken another job?” WTF?

There’s a reason recruiters are lumped in with used-car salesmen.  It’s happened to us in the past and left a terrible impression.  Completely unacceptable behavior if this happens to you, we’d recommend blacklisting the recruiter.

3) In-Person Vetting: Recruiters  Are Just Meeting KPIs

“We meet all candidates” is another common selling point for recruiting firms.  But here’s the real story hard-to-find, in-demand candidates have several opportunities.  They don’t have the time or patience to go to a recruiting office and get screened before they hear about open roles.  

This is truly a holdover performance metric from the pre-LinkedIn days that most large firms still stick to (just call Randstad to hear the pitch).  These days, in-person vetting is far less important than a recruiters’ ability to sell your talent brand and attract candidates with the right skills.

4) Fees:  25% is Absolutely Archaic!

Ever wonder why recruiters charge 25-35% fees for finding candidates?  

We did and conducted a TON of research on the topic.  

There’s no reason to pay those kinds of fees especially if you need help with one specific area of your candidate funnel.  For example, there are times when you need extra help sourcing and times when you need the entire funnel taken over by an expert.  Why then are you locked into 25% fees?

What if there was a better solution?  Fortunately, with Vested, there is.

5) Representing Your Company: Agencies Are Notoriously Bad at Candidate Experience

It’s no secret recruiters are working more roles than yours.  Let’s say, for example, a recruiter is working 10 roles for 10 different companies (a small number vs. what they actually work).  The recruiter will need to continuously have at least 200 candidates sourced, engaged, updated and happy. This is nearly impossible given how quickly roles open and close which naturally leads to a terrible candidate experience.  

Guess what?  If the candidate knows the name of your company, that bad experience is inherently linked to YOU.

Why does this matter?  Because candidates talk with each other and a bad experience makes it harder for you to engage similar top talent in the future.

6) Loyalty: Recruiters Are Loyal to Their Wallet, Not to You

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard employers brag about their ability to negotiate recruiting fees.  While this sounds like a good thing, it’s important to understand how recruiters are incentivized.

Let’s use a basic example to illustrate this point.  You’re hiring a software engineer in Chicago and negotiate a recruiter down to an 18% fee.  This same recruiter is working with another company that’s also hiring a software engineer for a 25% fee.  The recruiter then finds an amazing candidate and has a choice to make which company do they submit this candidate to?  

You guessed it, the 25% fee will win every time.  

The truth is recruiters typically work on the same roles and submit the best candidates to the companies that pay the most.  This is why we maintain price integrity, the lowest costs, and transparency for both our clients and candidates.

7) Staying Engaged: The Longer a Role Goes Unfilled, the Less Value You’ll See

Recruiting is a highly front loaded process and the upfront work comprises the majority of the search for any given role.  

The initial step of identifying a qualified candidate pool and reaching out to them usually results in an eventual conversion or hire.  This step is ~70% of the hours spent on a search. The more rejections a client makes, the less likely a role is to be filled and the more likely recruiters are to pursue other opportunities.

8) Technology: We Doubt It

With the popularity of artificial intelligence and machine learning, recruiting businesses are putting a new marketing spin on their antiquated services.  

Every firm now has a “job-matching technology”.  What does that even mean?

Here’s the current spin: “Use our platform (i.e. “service”) because we have technology that matches your company to ‘best fit’ candidates an algorithm.”  

It sounds nice, but for this to work in reality, companies need millions of candidates and billions of data points.  Most recruiting firms don’t have any bench of candidates that would qualify for your role, so an algorithm becomes irrelevant.  These companies likely just hand pick their top available candidates and send them to you.

9) Differentiation: Anyone and Their Mother Can Become a 3rd Party Recruiter

Here’s the deal with recruiting anybody with a LinkedIn profile and an email account can set up a recruiting firm.  In fact, there are 30,000+ recruiting agencies in the US alone. In any low barrier to entry businesses, services become commoditized.  

When that happens, guess what comes next…

Hyper-competition, a struggle to differentiate, and exaggerated claims about their ability fulfill your needs.  

This is why recruiting companies hide behind their “secret sauce.”  They don’t want you to know what they’re actually doing to fill your role.  At Vested, we provide full transparency into our searches with a simple online dashboard because we believe our clients deserve a better experience.

10) Executive vs. Contingent: There’s NO Difference

Actually, there is a difference.  Executive recruiters show up to your office in suits and charge half of their fee upfront!

The difference arises in how these companies were set up and what business model they chose originally.   For instance, Korn Ferry’s legacy business model has been retained search and Randstad’s has been contingent.  

The fee arrangement is the same but the work remains the same a high-priced salesperson is responsible for bringing in the leads and the support staff is responsible for attracting candidates. The recruiting process is the same finding the candidate that the client is excited about.  

Which should you work with?  It really depends on you if you prefer the high-touch approach and can stomach the fee, then go for the retained search.  If you want multiple recruiters running after the same role and want to save slightly on the fee then contingent might be the right approach.