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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?” And for good reason. While it’s true that businesses need to spend money to make money, it’s still important to put your hard-earned income in the right investments.

That’s why many businesses work with a recruitment agency to get connected with high-quality job seekers and fill positions efficiently. For technical businesses, the stakes for finding not just a good fit, but the best fit, for a job.

There still 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 how much it costs to hire a recruiter or technical staffing firm for your needs.


What Does a Technical Recruiter Do?

The job search can be stressful for potential hires and employers alike. Both parties are looking for the best fit. Recruiters help match qualified candidates to relevant positions in a bid to help everyone.

Recruiters can also help create job descriptions and assist job seekers in navigating the interview process. They can also negotiate salaries and more.

Technical recruiters fill a niche in this industry. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, tech recruiters can identify, recruit, screen, and present good candidates for technology positions, collaborating with hiring managers to set realistic technical requirements.

As we’ll discuss more in detail soon, the high stakes of filling technical roles often make working with a technical recruiter extremely beneficial.

How Much Does a Recruiter Cost?

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.

Now, do technical recruiters get paid more than recruiters? Not necessarily. The cost to hire a recruiter can depend on a number of factors, especially location.

However, because technical roles are often more difficult to fill because of the skill requirements, the experience of tech recruiters is often more valued than that of your average recruiter. A quick search often shows that technical recruiters make slightly more than typical recruiters.


Is it Worth Paying a Tech Recruiter?

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 since they’re working full-time and not actively searching job boards for a new position. This is precisely where a skilled tech 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.

Back in 2017 Forbes reported that, software engineers were among the top 10 most difficult and costly positions to fill . And, on average, it took 43 days to fill the position of a software engineer, costing a company around $31,000 in productivity losses. The same is true today. The tech industry is constantly growing, however, positions are difficult to fill. CNBC recently reported that in January 2023 there were 109,000 unfilled jobs in IT due to a lack of “qualified candidates.”


How Much is the Cost of In-house Recruiting?

Now that you know how much a recruiter costs, you may be wondering if it’s easier to go about recruiting in-house. Ultimately, the best choice for your company comes down to your resources and time.

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 are 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.


So, Is a Tech Recruiter Right For You?

The important thing to remember about technical 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.

Learn more about our technical recruiting and IT staffing services to help you find the best candidates for your company today.

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