It costs how much to get a job via a recruitment consultancy?!

A new candidate called me the other day. She had never used a recruitment consultancy. Despite what you might think this is not that uncommon, and not just amongst younger people who are new to the world of work.


The first question she asked me was whether we ‘do’ sales jobs. After I told her that we do indeed ‘do’ sales jobs, she then said something which is, again, not untypical. “How much will it cost me then?”, she asked, and was then somewhat unbelieving when I told her that it would not cost her a penny. “What, nothing?” she said, in a tone that suggested there must be some sort of catch.


I assured her that a) there is no catch, and b) it really does not cost her a bean (or any money come to that). She came in for an interview and proved to be a really good candidate. We got her a job within two weeks!


I explained that recruitment consultancies do not make their money from the candidates. Instead, our clients pay us for providing successful candidates. She was slightly surprised at this, asking why a company would not just do the recruiting themselves. However, when I pointed out the cost of advertising, the time (cost) of staff to assess CVs, create a short list, send out invitations to interviews, conduct interviews and whittle a long-list down to a short-list, she understood.


Our clients, the companies on whose behalf we recruit, pay us a fee for each successful placement we make. If we don’t succeed, we don’t get paid. This means we’re very careful, very careful indeed, to match the best possible candidates with the jobs we put them forward for. Clients do not like to waste time; that’s why they use recruitment consultancies, but they also hate the poor recruitment consultancies that simply ‘spray and pray’, sending out as many CVs as possible in the hope that something sticks.


The better recruitment consultancies (including 9-20 of course!) do not do this. Apart from anything else, it tars the candidates with the same brush as the rogue consultancy, so the client tends to dismiss these CVs no matter where they come from. This is why it’s very important when you come to a recruitment consultancy for help in finding a job to make sure that they give you time, either in person or over a phone call, to find out about your personal as much as your professional abilities. Be aware though that sometimes we do turn down candidates if they are not suitable for any of our jobs – there is no point in wasting everybody’s time!


Once we are sure that you are a suitable candidate for the jobs we have from our clients we take care of everything else. With your approval, we’ll send your CV to all our clients who have jobs that match your skills and experience. If they want to see you, we’ll arrange all this for them and you. We’ll even give you advice and guidance of what they are like at interviewing (we know our clients!) and then, sooner rather than later, you’re starting your new (sales) job with a great new company!