Your Top 3 Recruiting Fee Questions Answered: An Interview with Sandra Smith

It’s Friday at 4:30pm. You struggle to remain productive for the last thirty minutes of the day as you anxiously anticipate the upcoming weekend. Tonight, you have reservations at the new Thai restaurant in town, tomorrow you’re going boating with your college roommates, and Sunday? Sunday is the best day because you plan to spend it watching football and relaxing at home with your family.

It’s 4:55pm and you begin to gather up your belongings. Out of nowhere you feel a tightness in your chest. Suddenly you notice you are having a hard time breathing and feel light headed. The next few hours are a blur, and when you come back to consciousness you realize you are in a hospital bed with your significant other holding your hand and a doctor standing near your bed asking if you feel okay to talk.

“You’ve had a myocardial infarction…. A heart attack. You’re going to be okay, but you need to have open heart surgery. I’ll give you the names of some surgeons and have our scheduling coordinator call you.”

You start Googling names of different surgeons and realize that you have many options.

For example, one surgeon recently graduated from medical school, has low ratings, and has never performed this surgery solo before, however she is in network with your insurance plan. The other surgeon who has been in practice for 25 years has done this surgery thousands of times and her success rate is high, but the surgery will cost you a bit more due to her being out of network.

Which surgeon will you pick?

Most would readily agree that choosing the second surgeon will give you the best outcome.

You may be wondering how choosing a surgeon relates to recruiting. Of course, trying to choose a heart surgeon is more of a personal life changing decision than choosing a recruiter, but choosing a recruiter with years of experience and an excellent record of accomplishment can be life changing for your company. 

Perhaps you’re like our subject and you’re confronted with not a health crisis, but a talent crisis.

Your company has given you a list of “preferred vendors” but your feedback from the candidates has been that these vendors don’t take the time to understand their career goals, let alone prepare them for the hiring process. You’re hiring managers are equally frustrated because they are introduced to candidates that are actively interviewing and feel like they are in a bidding war and not given a chance to decide if they even want to hire this candidate.

In a recent interview with Sandra Smith, Founder and President of Insight Talent Solutions, Sandra gets real with responding to your most burning recruitment fee questions.

Question #1: “Is hiring a recruiter really worth the cost? I’ve had a negative experience with recruiters in the past and don’t see the value in the service delivery.”

Sandra Smith: “This is a valid concern and one I hear frequently! My questions for you are: Does your firm have a solid reputation with candidates? Do you find it difficult to find qualified, enthusiastic employees?

If your answer is yes, you are not alone! If you find yourself in a situation time and again where you are needing to fill vacant roles and have underperforming employees, this can cost you a great deal of time and money.

In a Fortune magazine article on the subject, it was noted that researchers from London-based Centre for Economic Research set out to calculate what the much-lamented skills gap actually cost U.S. companies. Their conclusion: more than $13 billion a month, or roughly $160 billion a year.

When you pay for a recruiter, you are paying for years of work that they have put into building connections, contacts, and relationships with candidates who will be game changers for your company.

This is a time-consuming process which is both an art and a science. The top performing candidates that the recruiter has formed a relationship with are more likely to make a career change if they are approached by someone who they have built a relationship with.

In HBR’s Definitive Guide to Hiring in Good Times and Bad, they noted: ‘The typical cost of a search is negligible when compared with the expected return on investment in candidate assessment.’ ”

Question #2: Is it cost effective to have only select aspects of recruiting outsourced?

Sandra Smith: “Absolutely! HR Leaders continually battle the budget between variable and fixed recruiting expenses.

If there is a temporary spike in hiring, or seasonal spike, it becomes risky to hire a full time internal recruiter. As you know, there are so many costs involved in this process: the hiring expense, salary, benefits, PTO costs, onboarding, computers, subscription fees, and training, not to mention a steep learning curve.

There’s also the very real concern that after you invest a great deal of time and money that the employee might not work out or that the requisition load may drop, and you will have to lay off or terminate. These expenses are far greater than it is to outsource aspects to an outside firm. There is less cost and risk involved in partnering with a recruitment firm and the added benefit is that if you choose a reputable recruiter, they will be 100% focused on the task of filling the roles.

Question #3 What is the main reason companies choose to hire a recruitment agency? Why can’t I just utilize our in-house recruiters?

Sandra’s reply: “Great Question! According to a 2015 survey conducted by Insight Talent Solutions, 54% of HR Leaders said that the best thing about using recruitment agencies is reduced time to fill. A good recruitment firm has the resources and commitment to efficiently locate the best candidate for your company. The result is more productive employees who will be with you for the long haul.

In addition, a reputable recruitment agency will be able to efficiently deliver candidates for very difficult to fill skill sets because the agency is focused on specifically filling the role instead of contending with internal corporate functions.

Most corporate recruiters spend their time working on special projects, participating in administrative tasks, and reporting. Consequently, they don’t have the luxury of truly recruiting for passive candidates.

Interestingly, a recent LinkedIn study showed that as many as 60% of employed professionals consider themselves “passive” candidates, meaning they are open to a job change but are not actively looking.

This is important to note because professional recruiters invest their time, energy, and focus into actively seeking out these candidates, building a relationship with them, and understanding their unique skill sets. As a result, these high demand candidates will be much more likely to be open to hearing about your open position from their recruiter than they would be from someone they have never spoken with before.”

Still have more questions or concerns about partnering with a recruitment company? We want to hear them! Contact Insight Talent Solutions today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (262) 782-7255.


About Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith is the Founder & President of Insight Talent Solutions. With over 25 years of recruiting experience she is a Practice Leader of Executive & Professional Search in the following areas: Information Technology (IT), eCommerce, Digital Marketing, Marketing & Sales, Supply Chain, Logistics, Strategic Sourcing, ERP, and Human Resources & Recruiting. She is a certified Mcquaig Systems Evaluator and a member of SHRM and NAPS. Her specialties include RPO, Custom Recruiting programs, and Pre-Employement/Talent Development Assessments. Connect with Sandra on LinkedIn!

About Insight Talent Solutions

Insight Talent Solutions is a full-service recruitment firm that has successfully been serving the greater Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago areas for the past ten years.

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of services to fill roles ranging from the board of director to executive and professional level searches. We use a creative, respectful, and engaging approach to enable us to find the best candidates for our clients. We have a genuine passion for people and take time to understand your unique story so that we can help lead you to even greater success.

About the Author

Amy Roesch is the Copywriter at Insight Talent Solutions. She uses her creativity and passion for writing to help develop Insight’s blogs, job descriptions, eBooks, white papers, and more. She enjoys researching current job-related trends to give professionals the tools they need to manage and improve their careers. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn!