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How Much Does Hiring A Technical Recruiter Cost?

The first question many employers ask right out of the gate is “How much will it cost me?” Because there seems to be a great deal of confusion and myth associated with technical recruiting. We’ve recruited technical talent for companies for years, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop on the costs of hiring a technical staffing firm or recruiter.


Recruiter Fees

In general, agencies charge a fee calculated as a percentage of the annual salary and are paid based on the number of candidates placed within your company.

The majority of recruiting fees run between 15% and 25% of the candidate’s total first-year annual earnings. Let’s do the math: If you’re looking to fill a position with a $40,000/year salary, you could reasonably expect to pay a staffing firm around $6,000 to find the perfect candidate for the role.

Simply stated, you should expect to be spending anywhere between 15 and 25% depending on the nature of your engagement with the recruiting firm, and the volume of hiring you will be doing with them.


Value vs Spend

While money is often the first concern when talking about staffing services (or anything else), there are other pieces to the puzzle that should be examined and considered, as well.

For example, some of the best candidates are hiding behind their current job. We call these people “passive candidates”, and they’re usually who you’re looking for. They’re also mostly inaccessible to a typical employer. This is precisely where a skilled recruiter is worth their weight in gold.

There is also the value of filling key vacancies quickly. Leaving a critical role open for an extended time can cause pain and strife for a team and a company as a whole.

According to Forbes, software engineers were among the top 10 most difficult and costly positions to fill in 2017. And, on average, it takes 43 days to fill the position of a software engineer, costing a company around $31,000 in productivity losses.


How Much is the Cost of In-house Recruiting?

In terms of time and effort, not to mention extended vacancies and crippling bad hire decisions, the short and long term costs of keeping recruiting in-house is precisely why so many employers today are hiring recruiters who can and will get the job done, on time and in most cases cost-effectively.

According to Monster, the average in-house recruitment cost of filling a vacancy, using internal or external recruitment methods is reported to be around $9,000.

Now, compare that to the productivity losses (see above) when a critical role is left unfilled. It’s not hard to see why more and more employers are seeing the value of using external resources who are trained and highly experienced at sourcing critical, hard to find skilled candidates.



The important thing to remember about staffing firms is that they aren’t all created equal. Some firms use more effective tools and resources to find the right candidates than others do.

Good firms invest far more time into tracking and building long-term relationships with potential candidates.

Always be upfront with your recruiter about what you need, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s your business to know about the search methods, tools and techniques they’ll be using on your behalf.

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