Scared? Don’t Hire More Recruiters…

Kris Dunn Kris Dunn, Recruiting

So the economy is recovering.  Some still don't believe that, but for those who do, there's one thing that follows a recovery – hiring.

There's just this one little problem. Many recruiting departments suffered serious cuts during the downturn,Scared-pic which makes sense.  After all, if you're not hiring much over a period of 2+ years, you're probably going to look hard at your staffing levels in your recruiting departments and make cuts.

So, the recovery comes, and with it, the 64K question – when do you start hiring more recruiters?  Most recruiting departments I'm aware of haven't yet made that commitment, which means that the recruiters who survived the downturn are going to see an increasing load of positions that they're asked to recruit for.
Want to give those recruiters relief?  Your choices are as follows:

1.  You can hire more recruiters.  That's a commitment many companies aren't yet ready to make.

2.  You can supplement your recruiters with agencies that supply contractors and (if hourly spots) temps.  Your play if you go that way is contract to hire, or temp to hire, which offloads your recruiters from having to recruit for the spot(s) in question.  Be prepared to pay 35-55% markup (up to 100% for high end contractors), depending on your volume and the type of positions you're trying to fill with the contract to perm strategy.

3.  You can hire headhunters and pay contingency or retained search fees.

4.  You can put a recruiter back to work by bringing them in as a contract recruiter on a month-to-month basis. You name the fair rate, find them, and onboard them yourself to avoid the fees cited in #2.

For me, the answer is pretty simple.  There's a lot of cost in the contract/temp and headhunter routes, and if you're scared to commit full time via option #1, go with option #4. Hiring a contract recruiter is a great way to hedge your bets.  You get someone who has been there, done that – and will be very, very happy to be back in the saddle again.  Rather than paying the significant overhead in options #2 and #3, you can 1099 a contract recruiter and if you pick the right one, you'll have a jump start on a great candidate when you are ready to hire recruiters full-time again.

Be a sport.  If you're not ready to hire more recruiters, take some of the pressure off your recruiting team by bringing in some contract recruiting help as the number of open positions grows.

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