10 Proven Ways to Save Money on Recruiting Fees: Part 1


by vested

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

Here’s what hasn’t: there is no shortage of third party recruiters willing to do a fee-for-placement for your company.

Some of our best clients are spending over $1 million on recruiting fees because they haven’t explored all their options.  If you’re a business owner, CFO, or HR leader – you know those fees can be used elsewhere to help your business grow and become more competitive.

Based on extensive research and conversations with our clients, we compiled the “Top 10 Proven Ways to Save on Recruiting Fees”.  Here’s Part 1 of 2:

1. Invest in your employer brand

Most companies need to fill specialized roles with passive candidates. Since passive candidates represent 80% of the workforce, attracting these individuals is a MUST for your business.

This is a core value proposition of a third party recruiter — part of their job is to sell these candidates on your role and company.

You can accomplish a lot of the selling internally if you cultivate a strong employer brand.  In fact, LinkedIn data shows companies that invest in their talent brand solutions attract 50% more applicants to job openings.

Step 1: Develop a career site that positions your company as a compelling, mission-driven, and rewarding place to work. 

Ask your employees what they like about working at your company and collect testimonials.  Videos and photos also go a long way in showing candidates what it’s like to work with you.  You should create a way to stand out from the sea of options that in-demand talent have for their career.

Reach out to us for a free consultation and we’d be happy to create a branded job description that showcases your company for you at no cost.

2. Hire a contract recruiter

Rather than paying fees for placement, hire a contract recruiter that works on multiple roles.

Sometimes your internal staff doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle increased recruiting volume, and a permanent increase to your recruiting staff isn’t in the cards.  This is usually when companies reach out to a third-party recruiter.

You can achieve similar results at a fraction of the cost by hiring a contract recruiter.  

Unlike third-party recruiters that work with dozens of companies at a time, a contract recruiter is dedicated and can be utilized to fill specific openings or functions (i.e. only sourcing, assessing, or screening).  Since these recruiters are on an at-will contract, you have flexibility on the size of your recruiting team.

3. Maximize use of your LinkedIn Recruiter license

Most companies we work with are paying ~$12,000+ to LinkedIn for each recruiter license.  Despite this investment, it’s puzzling to see these same companies struggle to fill roles.  There are ways to maximize ROI on LinkedIn Recruiter to get better results:

1) Build your company’s profile page:  As we mentioned, your employer brand is a great way to attract passive candidates. Building a keyword-rich free profile will make it easier for potential candidates to find you using LinkedIn’s candidate tools.

2) Pin a post: Consider pinning a post on your company page that showcases your culture, team, or even open roles.  This will keep content at the top of your company news feed where your followers can refer candidates to your company.

3) Join relevant groups: Did you know that there are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Groups are a great recruiting and branding resource for your company.  Consider joining groups that make sense for your company and post content into the forum.

Once you engage in the relevant groups, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll connect with prospective candidates and thought leaders who can help you network and expand your candidate pool.

4. Use branded job descriptions

The vast majority of candidates learn about new employers through the job description.  Unfortunately most companies choose to showcase their employment brand through long, 1,000-word, factual job descriptions that do not articulate the essence of working at your company.   

What if there was another way?  

Incorporating your employer value proposition through dynamic job descriptions create candidate intrigue and increase conversion.  Some ideas to make your job descriptions stand out:

1) Use your logo and site header – only about 20% of job descriptions have company-specific branding around job descriptions

2) Media-rich job description.  These include: i) picture galleries of your office, team, or corporate events; ii) video testimonial

3) Include your hiring manager – make it personal and let your candidates “meet” your hiring manager

5. Negotiate!

Once you’ve made the decision to use a recruiter, try to get as low a fee as possible without sacrificing service quality. Most recruiters have some wiggle room on the price listed in their boilerplate fee letters. Here are a few scenarios where staffing companies would be happy to provide discounts since you’re providing them with more opportunities:

1) Staffing multiple positions: Using the same recruiter increases the chances to get a reduction in price

2) Exclusivity or retained search: Working exclusively with a recruiter reduces their risk of losing the placement to other agencies.  

3) Just ask:  Ask the recruiter for preferred pricing; you’ll be surprised how many times you may be able to get 5% cut from the placement fee.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful.  If you’d like more insight please let us know.  Vested is also offering a free, no risk trial of our candidate sourcing services.  Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Vested believes the external recruiting model is broken.  We see an opportunity to do things better.  Vested significantly reduces the cost associated with agency recruiting while provide à-la-carte services, full transparency branded jobs, and a suite of assessments.




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