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Recruiters Are Worth Their Fee

This article is reprinted with permission from: The Fordyce Letter

"When I need a heart by-pass, rest assured I won't select my surgeon on the basis of what he charges."

That's what an ailing executive recently opined when he was informed by his doctor about his arterial blockage problems.

Why then are corporate executives so tightfisted when dealing with what is so commonly thought of as the "heartbeat" of their companies ... top-talent?

Companies think very little about paying the often excessive fees charged by their outside accounting and legal firms ... or even to the gaggle of consultants who promise cost-cutting and streamlining miracles in other areas of operations.

Yet when faced with brain drains, talent deficiencies or the need to replace one employee with a better one, their thoughts too often turn to parsimony. This K-Mart mentality belies and contradicts their stated objectives to "hire the best," especially at pecking order levels below the "big picture" executive suite inhabitants.

Of course recruiting fees can vary from firm to firm but, when they do, you will almost always find those on the low side are sure to exclude some very key ingredients of the process, all of which are vital to providing the indispensable services necessary to satisfy the needs of the employer.

So why are recruiters worth what they charge? Just a few of the unspoken reasons are:

Expertise - Nobody knows the employment market better than a professional recruiter ... nobody!

Cast a wider net - Recruiters are in the marketplace day in and day out.

Unbiased third party input - Contrary to what some believe, recruiters don't try to put square pegs into round holes. A recruiter's stock-in-trade is their integrity and their reputation for finding someone better than a company could have found for themselves.

Confidentiality - A pro-active search can be conducted without subjecting you to unnecessary questions from employees or competitors.

Speed - The recruiting process is always faster through a search professional who is continually tapped into the talent marketplace than on having to start the process from scratch.

Post-Hire Downtime - The ability to locate a person who can immediately "hit the ground running" with a minimum of "ramp-up time" saves time after the hire.

Reality - A professional recruiter's primary function is not necessarily to fill a slot but to provide the right candidate to solve a problem.

Negotiations - As a buffer and informed intermediary, the professional recruiter is better able to blend the needs and wants of both parties to arrive at a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Prioritizing company resources - A well-placed employee can be the cause of a company's profit to skyrocket. And the fee for having hired these people pales to insignificance when compared to the contributions they make to the bottom line.

The next time you think a recruiter's fees are too high, put them in the proper perspective before asking for that Blue Light special or spinning your wheels thrashing about trying to fill vital openings with less effective (but not necessarily less expensive) pedestrian methods. Enlightened executives learned long ago that the fee paid to a recruiter is a shrewd strategic investment, not an extraneous expense.

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