True or false: Recruiters work harder when in competition with another recruiter?

  • Post published:12/10/2022
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Thumb downIt is totally not true that recruitment firms work harder if competing with another recruitment company. Who’s kidding who? Who thinks they are fooling anyone?

Most recruitment firms in Thailand compete on price and not on service or the quality of candidates.

What is a “contingency” recruiter

A “contingency” recruitment firm will only be able to invoice their client if their candidate is hired. Only then will the recruitment firm receive an income and the recruitment consultant a commission.

Consequently, it now becomes a matter of speed. Who comes first with a box of resumes? Who gets a first shot at getting the candidates interviewed?

  • The root cause is that clients only pay a fee contingent on hiring a candidate (a.k.a. success based) who was presented by the recruitment agency (hence the term contingency recruiters).
  • Recruiters of course know that client companies often multi-list their job openings. Because all that the clients must do is sign a document that confirms they will pay a fee IF they hire. Consequently, there is neither commitment nor risk for such clients.

What does Greg Savage say about this? Err, who?

Ask any recruiter who they follow on social media. Who do they trust to tell the truth about the recruitment profession? 

  • Greg has a career spanning four decades. He is the founder of four highly successful businesses in Australia.
  • He is a trusted advisor and respected voice across the global recruitment space.
  • He is a blogger and author of the best-selling book: The Savage Truth.

The average fill success rate for permanent roles in contingency is only 20%. In other words, 80% of the jobs that recruiters say they will work are never completed.

Questions for HR & Hiring Managers

QuestionsWhen poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window. An old proverb that conveniently explains why a recruitment consultant gives up easily on your job, in cases where a quick database and Internet search shows up no relevant candidates.

A recruitment agency consultant may easily work on 20 jobs or more at the same time. To beat the agency next door, it’s all about getting that resume under the client’s door before anyone else.

What if the recruitment agency told you upfront, from the moment you call to ask for help, that they are only able to help on average 1 in every 5 clients?

So, four of five clients will wait, wait, and wait – forever until they give up. And how many weeks and months have been wasted?

This forces the consultant to be a lot less worried about what exactly defines the client’s perfect candidate.

Contingent recruitment model is failing as an industry

Are you thinking the same as me? It’s like throwing spaghetti on the wall; meaning a trial-and-error method. To make a large number of attempts with the expectation that at least some of them will be useful.

But the recruitment consultant must move quickly to the next, hopefully, an easier job to stand any chance of meeting targets and receiving a commission.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.