Contingent Recruitment

What is Contingent Recruitment/Head-Hunting?

Ultimately the job of a Recruitment Consultant is to ‘Head-Hunt’ candidates to enable clients to make their key strategic hires.

It is a consultative sales role, where you (the head-hunter) are responsible for addressing the client’s pain points and hiring needs. A large part of the role will be identifying, networking and speaking with the best candidates that fit the client’s brief. You’ll be managing multiple candidates at any one time, from all seniority levels; from Junior to Director level.

We typically recruit for the top 5% of recruitment firms, so our clients look for intelligent and articulate graduates who have great persuasion skills, so when we talk about ‘sales’ we don’t mean boiler-room
sales environments where you’d be making 200 nuisance cold calls a day. Rather High-end Recruitment is much more consultative and focuses on harvesting long-term relationships whilst putting well practiced solution sales-techniques in place.

What are the Core Responsibilities of a Recruitment Consultant?

  • Attending client briefings and/or briefings from internal Account Managers.
  • Prospecting/researching potential candidates (e.g.) via LinkedIn, internal databases and external databases.
  • Approaching prospective candidates about job opportunities through both warm and cold calls.
  • Qualifying candidates through meetings and/or phone calls.
  • Managing candidates through the interview process (arranging interviews, collating feedback, contract negotiations).

As you become more experienced you can also expect to:

  • Pitch for business.
  • Manage client accounts.
  • Attend client briefings.
  • Provide market intel to clients.
  • Mentor junior consultants.

How do Recruitment Companies make money?

The ‘fee’ for permanent candidates is usually 20% of the candidate’s first year salary, not including bonus. For example if a candidate was offered and accepted a role at £100k per annum, the recruitment firm would charge £20k to the client.

The ‘fee’ for contractors is typically 15% of the daily rate. (e.g.) if a candidate was offered a role at £600 per day, the recruitment firm would charge the client £90 per day.

N.B. candidates do not incur any charges, or get a lesser salary by accepting a role through a recruitment firm.

Why Should I Consider Recruitment?

  • You’ll be afforded big responsibility from day one, whether speaking to C-Level executives or attending important client meetings.
  • You’ll be networking with high end individuals who will make important business decisions based on your advice.
  • You’ll quickly become an industry and subject matter expert.
  • You’ll develop invaluable skills, from research to persuasion to sales negotiation.
  • You’ll be working with like-minded people who share the same passions and ambitions as you.
  • Fast-tracked career progression; expect regular promotions and increases in responsibility.
  • Fantastic Perks: company holidays/monthly lunch clubs/team events/excellent earning capacity (see below).

What Commission can I Expect to Earn?

It obviously varies for each company, but typically you can expect to earn 10-15% minimum commission. Most companies have progressive thresholds.

These will reward you for the more deals you do in a month/quarter/year. It’s not uncommon for commission to rise to 30%+.

What do Recruitment Firms often Look for in Candidates?

  • Hunger to succeed and be the best at what they do (competitiveness).
  • Great communication skills and the ability to network and build instant rapport.
  • High levels of attention to detail.
  • Someone who thrives on working to targets/deadlines.
  • Strong work ethic. Recruitment is not typically a ‘9-5’ role.
  • Someone who wants to work in a fast paced, high-progression role.
  • A desire to be financially successful. As one of the key rewards of recruitment is commission, recruitment firms will often want to see graduates who are financially driven.
  • Culture fit. Recruitment companies often have a great social aspect. Regular team events and target based holidays are common amongst most recruitment firms.

Industry Jargon:

  • 360 CONSULTANT: a recruitment consultant who manages both candidates and clients.
  • PSL: Preferred Suppliers’ List- Companies usually only work with a set number of recruitment agencies who are on their ‘PSL’.
  • CONTINGENT: where a fee is paid upon successful placement of the candidate.
  • RETAINER: A fee paid in advance in order to initiate a search on behalf of a client.
  • C-LEVEL: High-ranking executive titles within an organisation, usually beginning with “chief”.
  • KPI: Key Performance Indicators.
  • PERMAMENT: where a candidate is offered a permanent contract with an annual salary and benefits package.
  • CONTRACT: where a candidate is offered a temporary contract, often paid by the day (although sometimes by the hour). also referred to as ‘temp’.
  • BILLINGS: this refers to how much money a recruitment consultant has made in fees. (e.g.) if a recruiter places a candidate on £75k, charging 20%, he has billed £15k.

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