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Cost of Recruitment

Dan 5

Cost of Recruitment

By Dan Statham

When I meet someone for the first time, say at a social occasion or at a business networking event, and mention that I work in recruitment – generally one of two things will happen. Either I’m asked if I can help a person find a new job, or, I hear about how they would never need to use a recruitment consultant because they can do it themselves.

I can see why people might hold this view – anyone can recruit right? And if someone doesn’t work out, well OK, just hire someone else.

Cost is often cited by people as one of the main reasons why they wouldn’t engage a recruitment consultant. And for those who may have previously had a poor experience when using an agency that didn’t deliver on its promises, it can be difficult to justify an expense when they can’t see what they get in return.

So I was particularly pleased to come across an article recently which examined the true cost of recruitment and why it pays to get it right. As I started to read, I hoped this would help to demonstrate the value that working with a good recruitment consultant can bring.

The piece, whilst not bylined by a consultant themselves, was keen to champion the positives that outsourcing would bring. And it highlighted the key expenditure points – there’s the obvious costs such as advertising, salary and benefits were also included, even the cost of training up your chosen candidate received a mention. The article wrapped up with a quick look at the cost of integrating the new employee into the existing team. And then it ended.

It isn’t surprising that many people feel they can, and should, do any recruitment that their business needs themselves when one of the most important costs involved is still overlooked. The time cost of the person doing the recruiting.

More often than not when I speak to clients and work through their requirements, they do not necessarily want a like for like replacement. So careful consideration is needed; what skills and attributes will be required and potentially any reallocation of tasks and responsibilities amongst the remaining team members.

Then there’s research to determine the best outlets to generate the right level of enquiries – keeping your fingers crossed that your perfect candidate is, in fact, searching for a new position at that very time. That could mean you need to check out your competitors and do some digging around to find out who is doing what and at which companies before putting in those speculative calls and emails.

Any time spent sifting through CVs, short-listing candidates and organising interview times is all time taken away from the day job – running the business, meeting clients, managing a department. And sometimes, where vacancies can generate dozens – sometimes hundreds – of applications, finding the time to read through every CV and pick out those that are of interest can be a hugely complex task in itself.

Once you’ve decided on your shortlist, I’m sure many of us have experience of conducting an interview and realising very early on that this person just isn’t quite right for the role; but it would be inappropriate to wrap up the conversation there and then so another hour passes before the interview draws to a close and you are no further forward in finding someone. And after a day invested in seeing one applicant after another, after another you return to a full in-box of emails that need attention, a bunch of unreturned calls and preparation for an important meeting the next morning.

When it comes to adding up the cost of replacing a department member of staff or adding to a growing team, it can be all too easy to dismiss the ‘time’ investment that is needed to make a new appointment – no invoice is received. Even with a recruitment consultant on board there is, of course, still a time commitment from the potential employer – but nowhere near the level that would be needed going it alone. And given the time – and the monetary – cost of bring in someone new, can your business afford not to get it right?


Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals.  With offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Manchester our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and the North West.