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5 Things to Consider when Selecting a Flat Fee Recruitment Provider

Flat Fee Recruiter Says

which supplier is best

The recruitment landscape has changed dramatically since the internet and there are now tonnes of suppliers offering a whole range of specialist and niche recruitment options.

There have also been changes in the flat fee recruitment market, as the industry matures and flat fee agencies develop their offering in line with customer needs. 

With so many new suppliers now available, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff and know who to choose?  Is it all about the cost?  What should you be thinking about?

What are the most important things to consider when choosing a flat fee recruitment supplier?

1. Support and Customer Service

As with many services today, costs are continually being driven down to an absolute minimum; and this can be at the detriment of service.  With many flat fee recruitment suppliers, there is very little contact or support on offer.  If you are new to this type of service or not fully competent at using digital and online recruitment advertising channels, you may need a bit more support to ensure you target the right applicants and make the most of your budget. 

Questions to ask a supplier may include; 

  • Will the flat fee recruitment company help with your advert writing? (Writing for the web is very different from writing a job description)
  • Will they manage and review your campaign throughout?
  • Will they suggest and can they make changes mid-campaign to optimise the results?
  • Does the flat fee recruitment company offer additional support if required with CV screening, CV database searching etc? 

There are many flat fee companies who do not have the internal resource to be able to offer this.  One thing you can be sure of is that Flat Fee Recruiter takes pride in its customer service and has the ability to scale up (or down) the support when required.

2. Job Board Coverage

There are lots of job board websites on the internet.  Many of them are free and lots of them are disguised under another brand (most of the job boards get their candidates from paying Google or other job boards to drive traffic to their website).  How do you know whether the job websites used by a flat fee recruitment company are of any value or the right ones for your vacancy? 

We would suggest you ask for an advert distribution list (a list of where they are suggesting to publish your advert).  At this stage, you could even ask for previous success stories of similar roles and their average application rates, or a justification as to why the flat fee agency thinks these are the best sites to advertise on.

In the main, the job board market is shrinking and there are only a limited number of premium job boards you could advertise on anyway.  These sites tend to cost £100 - £800 per advert if you went direct, and these are generally the ones that have the biggest candidate network.  The biggest 5 include Jobsite, Total Jobs, Reed, Indeed and CV-Library.  We have written a number of articles to start to explain the job board industry, which may help you identify what sites your should be advertising on.

3. Software / Processes

Advertising on the job boards can mean a crazy volume of applications (especially if you are advertising on multiple sites).  Do you want ALL the CV’s coming through to your inbox? Many of the professional flat fee recruitment companies (AKA Flat Fee Recruiter) will provide you will access to an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) free of charge. 

Amongst other things, the software will help you to manage and communicate with the applicants, en masse and at the touch of a button.  It can help to screen with pre-approved questions for applicants and allow you to see the recruitment progress with your line Managers.  These systems should be easy to use and save you time!

If you have your own software or recruitment processes, then we think it is important for your supplier to dovetail into how you do things.  We want you to get the most of your advertising campaign, but equally, we also appreciate that you have your own way of doing things.  A good supplier should listen to your requirement and where ever possible, fit the service around you and your recruitment processes.

4. Success Stories

Word of mouth, referrals, reviews and testimonials are the best way to ensure that you are dealing with a company who delivers results time and time again.  Ask to speak to previous clients, see references and testimonials of companies recruiting similar job roles.  If a Flat Fee Recruiter is confident and successful in their results, then these should not be a problem!

5. Return on Investment (ROI)

Finally, as with any advertising, it needs to work for you.  This could mean something different to every employer. 

Firstly, what does success mean to you? Do you want to; fill the job 4 times over, find 10 Quality applicants for interview, have 20 excellent CV’s or receive 4 CV’s that recruitment agencies have also presented?

Set realistic expectations in line with your candidate market, local demographics, your company reputation and brand, the vacancy remuneration and benefits and consider any previous advertising efforts.  

Then of measure the result against the expectation and if the return was worth it, you know you have found a flat fee recruiter that works for you!

Please be honest and realistic though.  If you are recruiting a bilingual blue monkey in lands end, paying minimum wage and have a bad rep in the local area, no amount of flat fee recruitment advertising is going to be a success, you probably have other and more important talent management areas to review first. 


Is flat fee recruitment driven by cost?

To answer one of the first questions on this list - If you are shopping around, we would always say "compare apples with apples on with pears!"  We get hundreds of enquiries from companies purely geared around cost and wanting the cheapest flat fee recruitment service they can get.  We understand that negotiating is embedded in business culture and the recruitment market is very price driven, but please ensure that when you are comparing costs, you are comparing it against service, value and the quality of the advertising reach.  Too many times we hear quotes of £135 (and even lower) and then when you dig a little deeper, the agency is only putting the advert out on free sites, with no service, system or value therefore your chances of success are limited and you could do this yourself, for free!

The majority of big players in the market like Flat Fee Recruiter, all provide something a little bit different.  This could be job board reach, processes, service or price... Flat Fee Recruiter is not the cheapest in the market, but neither is it the most expensive.  We pride ourselves on service, we have one of the widest job board distributions in the market and we offer tailored service options to work with your budget and resources. 

PS - If you want to negotiate, that's great - we love a good haggle! 

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