The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

March 20, 2013

The Advantages of Hiring with an Executive Recruiter

When it comes to hiring a new Accounting/Finance, Financial Services, Information Technology or Administrative Support employee, a business cannot afford to overlook the benefits of working with an executive recruiter.  The total cost of online job postings, applicant tracking systems, phone screens, reference checks, skills testing and HR staff wages, among other expenses, can be as high as $18,795 for a new hire whose sustainability is not certain. While a recruiter can’t claim to guarantee a candidate’s long-term success and fit within a position, he or she can significantly augment its likelihood with the proper application of the six advantages below:

Industry and/or field expertise: Recruiters are hiring specialists; they concentrate on a particular segment of the market to develop expertise in relevant technical language, legal regulations, industry trends and key competitors’ strategies.  Some recruiters – like those at Abacus Group – actually have professional backgrounds in the areas in which they focus, providing an additional layer of credibility to their knowledge.  Internal hiring personnel, on the other hand, are often restricted by one-dimensional thinking, unable to contemplate the search outside the scope of their own business.  The recruiter helps to introduce a broader perspective that considers the entire market segment.

Confidentiality: When a manager needs to ensure that a position’s vacancy remains a secret, he or she should definitely turn to a recruiter to take care of the search in confidence.  An employer might want to keep a role confidential due to occupancy by a current employee, an anticipated unmanageable volume of resumes or concealment from competitors, to name a few possible reasons.  All of these are legitimate concerns that any professional recruiter will honor throughout the course of the search.  Otherwise, the recruiter risks losing the employer’s business by exposing the search to other recruiting firms and betraying his or her client’s confidence.  Keenly sensitive to this risk, a good recruiter will never expose the company name to a candidate until his or her resume has officially been submitted to the client and will use only vague verbiage in written advertisements for the position.

Expansive (and ever-expanding) network: Recruiters have their own databases of qualified candidates – often tens or hundreds of thousands – from which they can acquire the best possible professionals for a given position. If their own records of professionals don’t quite yield the right person for the role, the recruiter will take advantage of further networking techniques to continue to search for the perfect fit.  Specifically, he or she will utilize niche job boards, LinkedIn, candidate referrals and cold-calling in pursuit of the ideal applicant.  Contingency recruiters are compensated exclusively on commission for successful placements, so they are certainly going to explore all available resources to identify the best match.

Prescreen to confirm fit: If a recruiter chooses a handful of resumes at random and distributes them to an employer, is he or she be adding anything of value to the employer’s hiring process? No, a diligent recruiter will systematically screen qualified candidates to ensure their fit for the position.  If the employer has expressed the necessity for a CPA with exactly five to eight years of experience, including Big Four Public Accounting, the recruiter ascertain that the candidate is truly who or she represents him or herself to be.  Abacus Group’s recruiters actually personally meet with all candidates before their presentation to a client. This face-to-face meeting alleviates an employer’s need to meet with or waste time with the wrong people throughout the hiring process.

Sensitivity to time: Recruiters thoroughly understand the urgency of searches for their clients; they’re aware that a business suffers when a position is vacant or the incumbent is under-performing, whether the role is a Data Entry Clerk, an Audit Manager or a Chief Technology Officer.  Working in a profession that revolves around finding the right candidates as quickly as possible, recruiters are experts at sourcing and delivering high-quality professionals in a timely manner.  Further, they want to maintain positive relationships with hiring managers by providing top-notch professionals with excellent turnaround time.

Payment contingent on success:  A contingency executive recruiter is only paid by an employer if his or her candidate is selected for hire.  Compared to the expenses of internal sourcing, the recruiter’s placement fee is cost-effective.  Says Vanessa Merit Nornberg, the founder of jewelry company called Metal Mafia and a proponent of executive recruiters, “[t]he cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past.” Employers thus take little financial risk by engaging the services of a recruiter, because payment is only required upon selection and successful performance of a candidate who was chosen from a group of other high-caliber professionals.

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