7 Mar 2022

Should I Hire a Recruiter or Hire by Myself?

Your Guide to the Tough Question: Should I Hire a Recruiter or Hire by Myself?

Should I hire a recruiter or hire by myself?

If you work for yourself or for a small business without a dedicated recruiter, you might find yourself scratching your head and asking should I hire a recruiter or hire by myself? Maybe you’ve had some recent challenges filling roles, or maybe you’re simply checking in to ensure your strategy is up to snuff. Whatever the case is, we’re here to help make your life easier by unpacking this common question and reviewing the ins and outs of each option.

Here, you’ll learn about:

  • Where the hiring responsibility falls between a hiring manager and recruiter
  • Typical duties of a hiring manager
  • Typical duties of a recruiter
  • Reasons you might want to consider working with a recruiter
  • General costs of a recruiter or hiring on your own
  • How effective it can be to work with a recruiter rather than go it alone

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What does the responsibility of hiring entail?

Should I handle the hiring or should I hire a recruiter?

There are two main areas of responsibility when it comes to hiring:

  1. The whole process up to the point of hiring that star candidate
  2. The end result of that candidate getting hired and starting in the role

If a recruiter is involved, they’ll manage the hiring process, while it’s up to the hiring manager to make the final call and select the right candidate for their open position. In cases when a recruiter isn’t used, the entire process is also managed and owned by that hiring manager.

A hiring manager, often a team leader, is tasked with hiring new members of their team. It’s up to them to clearly define the things they need regarding their new hire, like qualifications, work scope, and sometimes compensation budget.

A recruiter, who can be internal or outsourced from a remote work firm like Dynamite Jobs, then searches for qualified candidates to fill that role based on the hiring manager’s criteria. When working well together, the two roles are quite complementary. The effectiveness and final outcome of the recruitment process can even depend on how strong that recruiter-hiring manager relationship is.

You can think of recruiters being responsible for the hiring process and the hiring manager being responsible for the hiring outcome. But, what exactly are the specific duties of these roles? We’ll get into that, next.

The hiring manager’s role

What is the Hiring Manager's role in the hiring process?

A hiring manager is someone who hires for an open role on their team. For example, an engineering director needing a senior engineer who will report to them directly is a hiring manager. As well, on a regular basis, that engineering director leads the engineering team.

Hiring managers define the role they need and identify the skills, experience, qualifications and credentials the person should have. They also outline their tasks and job duties, along with the longer-term goals and accomplishments to work on. The hiring manager shares these details with the recruiter. They may write the job description or have the recruiter do this.

Although recruiters and other team members can help and give input, usually it’s ultimately up to the hiring manager to:

  • Evaluate candidates
  • Interview and discover who each candidate really is beyond their resume
  • Promote or “sell” the opportunity during the interview process
  • Communicate with a recruiter about their applicants and how well they fit
  • Decide whether or not to pursue someone
  • Extend an offer to their chosen candidate and negotiate as needed and appropriate

As well, hiring managers typically become the new hire’s supervisor and are usually responsible for the person’s onboarding, or at least arranging for their onboarding.

The recruiter’s role

What does the recruiter do in the hiring process?

Recruiters set the stage for and play a critical role in hiring the right people, even when a hiring manager works alongside them. Whether they work on specific roles, finding qualified people that suit an organization overall, or both, a recruiter’s sole purpose is to support the hiring manager by finding top talent in whatever field they’re recruiting for. They play a huge role in building a solid employer brand to attract the best applicants and weed out weaker ones, making the work of the hiring manager that much easier.

It’s often up to the recruiter to:

  • Craft a recruitment strategy to find the best candidates, which can include online networking or attending conferences
  • Help hiring managers define skills and qualifications and write job descriptions
  • Post, maintain and promote positions and attract qualified applicants to them
  • source candidates and screen applications, including resume review
  • Present the hiring manager with the best candidate selection possible, which could include preliminary screening, interview scheduling, and reference checking
  • Communicate and assist the hiring manager with their interview techniques, candidate assessment feedback, and hiring approach
  • Assist with the onboarding of hired candidates

Why hire a recruiter?

Why should you hire a recruiter?

With all of the startups and small businesses killing it worldwide these days, sometimes it just isn’t feasible or practical to have an internal recruiter or HR team. And that’s okay — it really isn’t necessary. But every new hire is that much more integral to the team when it’s a small one, so you want to be sure to get your hiring right the first time. And the fact that many small business owners spend about 40% of their time on things that don’t create income, you might think twice about adding yet another task to that list and letting someone else worry about recruitment.

On top of that, with so many remote opportunities opening up worldwide, offering a compelling, attractive position to the best people is that much more important to your business. Candidates have more choice, and you want to attract and retain the right people. When you put the wrong or subpar candidate in a role, it can cost you upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted productivity, extra training, or, worse, having to let them go and rehire all over again.

Enter the recruiter. They help many businesses in fields with talent shortages, that is those with more open roles than qualified candidates to fill them. Plus, if you’re looking for pretty specific or rare skills or a significant amount of experience in a specialized field, recruiters can be hugely beneficial.

But no matter what type of business you’re in, there are many great reasons to hire a recruiter. Among other things, recruiters help you:

1. Save money and time.

It takes time to set up and engage in a job search, review resumes, and screen candidates. And extra time is something that busy hiring managers typically don’t have much of. This is where recruiters can help, by finding top talent and managing screenings. They weed out the less suitable candidates so that hiring managers can focus their limited time on the best matches to what they need.

Plus, it can be expensive to keep job postings open. But since recruiters solely focus their time on open roles, they can get through candidates and wrap up the process much faster than most hiring managers have the capacity to.

2. Find top talent

Especially when you attract many applicants to a role, it can take days or longer to sift through everyone and find your star picks. Professional recruiters do this every day and know what to look for and how to find it in their vast networks of both active and passive job seekers.

The best recruiters know how to showcase a candidate’s strengths and keep them in mind for future roles, so even if they’re not quite ready for a new role at a certain point, they can be kept in mind and called on when the time is right. This is a huge opportunity and means you shouldn’t limit your search to targeting active searchers through job postings since nearly three-quarters of candidates are passively job-seeking and include some of the best talent out there.

3. Utilize market expertise

Great recruiters come with market expertise you simply won’t get otherwise. They can:

  • Define a position’s scope well
  • Understand the company culture and what makes a great fit
  • Get valuable insights like salary ranges and pay rates, with which they can target the right candidates
  • Understand what a candidate’s experience truly means and if it’s sufficient for your role

4. Improve employee retention and morale

When you build a long-lasting, strong, cohesive team, you not only save money from reduced turnover but make everyone’s days at work that much better. And a whopping 69% of employees will more likely stick with their employer for three years if they’ve experienced positive onboarding to the team and company.

Since recruiters spend so much of their day talking to people, they naturally become great communicators. This works its way into the onboarding experiences of their recruits: it’s the consistent follow-up and focus on detail that goes a long way in creating that positive experience and increasing the chances of the person staying for the long haul.

Speak with a Hiring Expert
Find out the value our talented, professional recruiters can deliver and fill that role fast.
Book a discovery recruitment call now

Costs of Using a Recruiter vs. Doing the Hiring Yourself

When you make a new hire, be prepared to incur the cost not just of their salary but also of things like their recruitment (which can be largely tied to the price of a job board ad), training, and benefits. For instance, in 2019, small businesses spent an average of over $1,500 per employee on training alone. Overall, it takes time to acquaint and orient a new team member to an organization, and some companies don’t break even on a new hire’s investment until at least six months in.

Various studies range in their cost estimates of hiring a new employee, which varies widely but can start anywhere from about $4,000 (excluding their compensation). With this in mind, here are some rough costs* you might incur when hiring a new team member internally, without a recruiter:

  • Hiring manager’s time (about 30 hours): $1,000-$3,000
  • Job ads on a few job boards: $500 – $2,000

For a less challenging role (Admin and Customer service roles), you will probably be looking at around a $1,500 cost to hire on your own.

For a more competitive skill set (High-Level Marketing, Developers and Programmers), the cost to hire on your own can be up to $5000. This is because these roles require more promotion and more time spent during the hiring process.

Job board vs. recruiter cost

When it comes to recruitment costs from hiring on your own, you’ll most likely need to pay for job board advertising. Keep in mind that a job board’s purpose is to advertise your role and expose it to an audience through views and traffic. On the other hand, when you use a recruiter through the whole hiring process, they’re with you the whole way — from making sure the role is ready to perform to find enough qualified applicants. So, with a job board, you’re buying advertising, but with a recruiter, you’re buying an end result or a new hire.

Typical job board fees

Popular job boards like Monster start at $279 per posting. Dynamite Jobs posts start from $249 each. LinkedIn and Indeed work on a pay-per-click model where you set your own budget. These boards are hugely popular and offer a lot of exposure, which is what you’re paying for, but you can always seek out niche boards in your industry or sector, instead. These typically cost less yet attract serious, qualified candidates with the skills you need who are searching for roles like yours.

Depending on the competitiveness of the role you’re hiring for, the expense to promote your job on these job boards can go from $500 to $2,000.

Typical recruiter fees

Just like job boards, recruiter fees can vary widely. For instance, a contingency or retained search fee is typically percentage-based on the candidate’s first-year compensation, usually about 20-35%. Contract recruiters might charge anywhere from $75-150 per hour on average, equating to roughly 15% of a full-time permanent salary.

Other recruitment services have a flat-fee per hire. This can be more reassuring and you know exactly what you’re getting into when you work with this service. The Dynamite Jobs Recruitment team works on the flat-fee model.

Whatever you’re quoted though, remember that you’re not necessarily comparing like-to-like. Be sure to prioritize what’s most important in your search and understand how a particular recruiter can add value to your particular role and situation. It’s always a good idea to book a discovery call with potential recruiters to learn more like we’re more than happy to do at Dynamite Jobs. Then, you can truly assess what each one offers for the price and decide what’s most worthwhile for you.

Contract Staffing through a Recruitment Agency

Larger recruitment and staffing agencies offer ‘Contract Staffing’. This method has the lowest upfront cost and can allow you to hire faster. Instead of paying for the recruitment fees, you can connect with the talent at no cost and then pay hourly their bill rate to the recruitment agency.

How does it work?
The agency will have the talent available for you and ready to hire. This talent will already be hired as contractors of the recruitment agency. You’ll be matched with available candidates, speak with them, and then decide if you’d like to work with them.

If you choose to work with them, the candidate will report directly to you and your team, but they’ll still be contractors of the agency. At the end of every month, you’ll then pay the bill rate to the agency, which will then pay the contractor.

What are the pros?
This is an excellent way to hire quickly and at low risk. Instead of paying thousands of dollars in recruitment fees, you just pay the hourly rate of the contractors. If you’d like to take over the contractor’s contract and hire them directly, this can be arranged with the agency.

What are the cons?
The cost of contract staffing over the long term can be higher than playing for recruitment fees upfront. Also, the agency may not have the perfect person you need ready to hire. However, many agencies will take the time to look for someone who is a better fit for you.

If you’d like to learn more about contract staffing, speak with our hiring experts.

Hiring Manager vs. Recruiter Effectiveness

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how effective a hiring manager will be on their own. Generally, though, hiring managers have an important and urgent need, to the point that the department or business could be suffering. This means they might focus their attention and priority on someone’s experience and education (i.e. “quick wins”) over a culture and personality fit, which could make for a better candidate in the long term.

Rather than asking “what’s the specific thing they’ve done that’s similar to what we do?”, hiring managers might be better off asking questions to discover their potential, motivations, trainability, and core competencies that will make them a great fit. The thing is, they don’t often have the time, training, foresight, or motivation to take this approach — which is only fair since they’ve got an entire full-time job to focus on aside from recruitment!

This is the value and high effectiveness that recruiters bring, like those from Dynamite Jobs. They consider things like these types of broader, higher-level insights and the questions that can dig deeper. They focus on whether the interview process and assessment are fair, not only from the candidates’ perspective but so that you, as a hiring manager, know you’ve got every piece of relevant information to make the best decision possible. Recruiters make sure you get a full picture of the whole person, from how well they can do the job to their values and cultural fit with the team and organization, to their growth potential down the road.

Why not learn what a recruiter can do for you by giving our team a shout? Dynamite Jobs recruiters give you time and energy back in your day so you can focus on more important things and build your business.

Speak with a Hiring Expert
Find out the value our talented, professional recruiters can deliver and fill that role fast.
Book a discovery recruitment call now