Recruitment Fees and Fine Art

As a recruiter I am asked to justify placement fees every day. I have spoken to a number of business owners and hiring managers that simply refuse to believe there’s any return on investment. Naturally, I beg to differ.


The fact of the matter is there are some recruiters out there that simply advertise on the job boards and do not really go through an involved search and selection process. They slap up an ad and throw resumes at employers in-boxes hoping something sticks and send a massive invoice.


But a good recruiter spends a lot of time creating networks, developing candidate pools and have a creative and involved search and selection process.


Here’s an analogy I heard regarding recruitment fees that has stuck with me and I sometimes use to justify a placement fee:


A rich business man who owned a beautiful stallion decided he wanted the beast forever immortalized on canvas. He found an artist with a good reputation and commissioned the work for a substantial amount of money.

After waiting many months the business man, frustrated, storms over to the artists studio to see progress of his work.

He storms through his studio, confronting the artist and demands he look upon the painting that should be, at the very least, started.

The artist pulls a new canvas from the shelf and in a matter of minutes draws a portrait of the stallion, beautiful and brilliant. The business man looks upon the painting, and seeing red at the ease of its creation, demands his money back as it was way to easy for the artist and should be half the price.

The artist simply says, “Look around you, sir..”

The business man looks around the artists studio and all he can see is paintings of his stallion. The artist had been practicing the painting the entire time, perfecting his style and capabilities. The business man leaves happy with the great work.


Recruiters are the same. Continually working on roles in a particular industry or vertical marketplace (often with no reward) developing the right tools and candidate pools to be poised for action when a client has a requirement.

It may seem too easy and the fee unjustified, but any placement is a the culmination of a recruiters entire experience.


Published by Jason Sutton


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