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One small step for recruitment, one giant leap for reducing costs!

One small step for recruitment, one giant leap for reducing costs!

October 15, 2012

By Martyn Gill (Consultant, Leeds).

I settled into my seat at our recent HR Squared event, the subject matter staring at me in the face from my notepad: reducing the cost of recruitment.

Is this right? Surely I have got this wrong. We have organised an event and invited HR Managers in the region to come and openly talk to us about reducing the cost of recruitment, allowing them to ask us any direct question, promising to live by our values and give open and honest answers.

Here goes nothing…

I took a gulp of my water and prepared myself for the barrage of questions about recruitment fees and that they didn’t like working with agencies, but I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the room felt that recruitment partners had a place in their recruitment process, some for specialist roles, others for a full outsourced solution.

The evening unfolded into what we had hoped when choosing the subject, and by taking a bold move and discussing what could potentially be a taboo subject, we were suddenly engaged and had a room full of people that were sharing ideas and strategies that they could take away and implement into their own companies.

A number of topics were discussed over the course of the evening, with key factors including creating a small preferred supplier list, knowing which roles to use recruitment suppliers for, and offering referral schemes. These were all ways in which you could help reduce the cost of your recruitment.

Lessons learned.

As a recruitment consultant I aim to create long-term relationships with every single client I work with, and this takes time and trust – time to gain a true understanding of the business and the trust that comes from the client when you provide them with a quality service that delivers on your word. So, I was pleased to hear during the evening that the clients who felt they had successfully reduced the cost of their recruitment, were the ones who had created a small list of preferred suppliers. The reasons given were that the agencies they worked with felt more valued and engaged, and the clients saved money with these agencies as they typically worked at a lower margin because they could see the bigger opportunity.

I have personally found that over my time working in recruitment that sometimes you have to ask questions that you don’t want to have to ask, especially at an early stage of working with a new client, but in order to gain a true understanding of your client and their business, it is essential that you ask these questions.

This goes the same for clients – don’t be afraid to ask your recruitment partner any questions. If they are keen on developing a strong working relationship with you, they will be open and honest. Plus, if you share ideas and ask the right questions, you’ll likely save both time and money!

One interesting point that stayed with me from that evening was the internal referral schemes that companies offer to help recruit direct, some companies were offering quite substantial cash rewards for successful referrals. However, the uptake on this wasn’t very fruitful, mainly because they either had to wait a long time to see the money (due to probation periods etc.) but also that cash isn’t always key to motivating people. Another organisation had switched their referral scheme from a traditional cash reward and offered a free iPad for any successful hire. The number of referrals that this produced rocketed, because people were engaged by the prospect of getting a great piece of new technology.


If you are you looking at reducing the cost of your recruitment, try to think outside the box. Look at what are you currently doing and the things you could change to make an impact!

Head Resourcing runs HR Squared events every few months, bringing together HR professionals in the area to discuss various recruitment topics in an open forum.

If you are interested in getting involved with our HR Squared events, please feel free to contact our Leeds office on 0844 324 7090 or email


Take me back.

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One small step for recruitment, one giant leap for reducing costs!

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