The possibility of working with a recruiting firm can be intimidating, particularly if you have to stick to a budget during the hiring process. It’s important that you understand that “inexpensive” and “cheap” aren’t necessarily the same things, and this is particularly true for specialists like biotech recruiters.
If you need the services of, say, a pharmaceutical sales recruiter, the recruiter you choose could bring you candidates quickly, but they could turn out to be bad hiring choices because they haven’t been vetted properly. You may have saved money compared to what you would pay other recruiters, but more than offset savings through the expense of employee turnover.
Spending the right amount on a pharmaceutical recruiter or other specialty recruiter is a matter of thoroughly understanding services and fees, and never being afraid to ask questions. Here are 5 steps to finding the inexpensive recruiting firm that will get the results you want.
Know When It’s Time to Hire a Recruiting Firm
It’s important to ask yourself if working with a recruiting firm is the right way to go about hiring. It’s definitely a good idea if your managers or HR personnel don’t have time to do a proper job of recruiting, or if your organization has been trying unsuccessfully to fill an open position for a while. High turnover is another reason working with a recruiter can be wise. And if you work for a small biotech startup, you may not have internal HR, and outsourcing only makes sense.
Read About Fee Structures and Ask Questions
The two main fee structures recruiters use are retainer-based and contingency fee-based. A retainer fee structure has you paying a recruiter up front and granting them exclusive access to your open listing. With a contingency fee structure, you pay only after successfully recruiting someone, and the fee is usually a percentage of the new employee’s first-year compensation, with some sort of rebate if the new hire leaves within a certain number of days. It’s possible to find specialty recruiters with unique fee structures based on interviews or qualified resumes, and these offer the control of the contingency fee structure generally at a lower cost.
Choose a Fee Structure That Makes Sense for Your Hiring Situation
Many hiring authorities wonder, “Why would I ever choose a retainer fee structure?” But often with retainer-based recruiters, you’re paying for specific expertise and insight you may not get from a contingency recruiter. However, if you do choose to work with a retainer-based recruiter, it’s imperative that you get references from the exact recruiter who will be working your account. Before choosing which fee structure to go with, calculate some “worst case” expense situations and determine which you’re less likely to face, or which you’re more likely to be able to cope with.
Do some “worst case” calculations before signing a contract that spells out fee structure.
Choose a Recruiter with a Relevant Track Record
In some industries, like healthcare recruitment, selecting a recruiting partner with a relevant track record will ultimately be less expensive, even if it appears to be costlier at first. If someone claims to be a pharmaceutical recruiter, yet doesn’t have the references or track record to back up that claim, however, you could spend more than you have to. Always follow up on references. Ideally you should follow up on references provided by the exact recruiter who will work on your behalf, rather than the recruiting firm’s sales team.
Ask Questions and Get Answers Before Signing a Contract
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you’re satisfied with the answers before signing a contract. You particularly want to know about any hidden fees, money-back guarantee terms, and how your costs are calculated. You wouldn’t sink money into a capital expenditure program without first thoroughly learning what you can expect for your investment, and the same is true for recruiting partners. After all, an employee is a big investment. By understanding fee structures, confirming references, and asking questions you can ensure that investment has a strong return on it.
With flat fee, contingency, and pay-per-resume fee structures, we offer options that let you control hiring costs while enjoying the benefits of a recruiter with the specialty experience necessary to meet today’s talent management needs. We invite you to start your candidate search with us, and take those important first steps toward bringing on the top talent your organization deserves.