Are Job Seekers Clueless About Recruiters?

"Ken sales headhunter New York"

Less Resumes, Low Accuracy

KAS Placement receives a myriad of resumes and cover letters per day. Over years of looking at these documents, I’ve become convinced that the majority of job seekers do not fully understand how executive sales recruiters work. Due to the vast disconnect, most applicants are never able to fully utilize headhunters as an added source in their job hunt.

Luckily, learning how staffing professionals work is not brain science. Rather, it’s simply looking at the hiring process from a different prospective. Here’s what you need to know:

He Who Writes the Check: How Recruiters Are Paid

Reputable recruiting firms do not ask for fees from their job seekers. Rather, they are compensated by the companies that contract them to find employees for their organization.

Though variations do exist, there are two main ways (and subsequent pros and cons) in which recruiters collect fees.

These contractual terms are commonly referred to as “retained” and “contingency.” From the perspective of the job seeker, each has its benefits and disadvantages. Here’s a run-down of what you need to know:

A Closer Look: Contingency Sales Recruiting Fees

Contingency executive sales recruiting fees are where the client of the executive recruiter only pays the headhunter if and when they successfully get an applicant hired. The payment terms are usually expressed as a percentage of the job seeker’s salary package. This can vary from as little as 15% to as high as 30%.

It’s important to know that when an organization uses a staffing agency on a contingency basis, they are allowed to use as many executive search firms as they please.

For the job seeker, the benefits of engaging contingency recruiters is that they tend to have a wider array of open positions as organizations are less hesitant to contract them because their fee is waived if they don’t hire an applicant from that staffing professional.

However, 20 other headhunters from the area may be working on the same position which significantly decreases a candidate’s chances of being hired.

Additionally, this will frequently result in the job seeker getting less personalized attention from their recruiting agency as that individual could be juggling dozens of applicants for dozens of jobs.

Retained Search in a Nutshell

Retained search fees are when the recruiter is guaranteed payment from their client and, typically will have an exclusive contract with the hiring firm. In the majority of instances, this is beneficial to the job seeker in a few ways including:

  • Less applicants vying for the same job.
  • Conducive to higher-end positions. Often, retained sales recruiters will have more lucrative, senior jobs than a regular headhunter will.
About KAS Placement’s Recruiters

Started in 2005, KAS Placement is a sales and marketing recruiting firm specializing in headhunting business development professionals throughout the United States.  Read more about KAS on our about us page here.  Find out more about Ken Sundheim’s bio here.

Also, #learnwithKAS – follow our recruiters on Twitter.

About the author: Ken Sundheim
Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement and the head recruiter. He has been published over 500x on the topics of sales, sales recruitment, marketing, marketing recruitment, entrepreneurship, general business and more. As a sales recruiter, Ken has been asked to speak at some of the most prestigious U.S. universities and has been featured in AOL, Business Insider, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Wall St. Journal and many others. As a recruiter, Ken has also appeared on MTV and Fox Business News.