Opportunity Costs Versus Recruiting Fees: Which Will Set Your Company Back More?

Sometimes small to mid-sized businesses wonder if they can afford a recruiting firm. After all, budgets are tight and every dollar has to work hard to help your company meet all its growth plans. But that also means you can’t afford mistakes—especially for strategic positions such as high-tech sales or sales management roles. And that’s exactly why you need a top-notch recruiter. The opportunity costs of trying to make strategic hires yourself are simply too high.

Many small to mid-sized tech firms don’t have the luxury of a full HR department. That means the hiring manager is typically the person responsible for finding candidates. The problem is, your hiring manager already has a full-time job with P&L responsibilities. In our experience, it isn’t unusual for a hiring manager to take 3 months or longer to find, contact, interview, and finally hire someone.

So what does that time cost you?

If your new salesperson has a quota of $1.5 million/year, that 3-month search can cost your company $375,000 in lost revenue. And that doesn’t include the opportunity costs of your hiring manager spending time recruiting rather than focusing on his or her full-time position—especially if you are a bag-carrying sales manager.

In comparison, a good recruiter will cost you about 20% of that hire’s first-year salary. Any way you do that math, you’re still way ahead of the game.

The other opportunity cost to consider is what it will cost you if you hire the wrong person, which can happen if you don’t have a big enough pool of strong candidates to choose from or if you rush a decision. Now you have to add in the time and resources it took to train that person as well as what they were paid before you finally had to cut your losses and start the search over.

Sure, there are no guarantees. But the right recruiter can push the odds way into your favor.

How do we do it?

  1. We save you time. Because my job is 100% recruiting, my average time to fill tough positions like a FAE, TAM, or pre-sales SE is one month—easily a third of the time it will likely take a hiring manager.
  2. We have the right connections. Most professionals do a good job of networking, connecting with industry influencers and mentors, and keeping up a strong list of connections on LinkedIn. But for most people, those connections are built around their own needs and experiences. I’ve been actively involved in the embedded computing market for 15+ years. During that time, I’ve made strong connections with thousands of potential candidates, referral sources, and hiring managers.
  3. We dig deep. Let’s face it, for tough positions like a field applications engineer, the requirements are exacting—and tough to find. You need an engineer… with embedded experience… who relates well to people… who has the personality and desire to succeed in business… and who’s located in the right region. The pool of potential candidates starts to get pretty small, so you need a recruiter who knows where the gems are hiding.
  4. We have the right history. After 15+ years in the embedded industry, I know the histories of the companies involved—their products and markets, mergers and acquisitions—and I know the type of people who have been successful there, as well as those who quietly left. I do more than just fill to your job description. I find people who fit because I know where they’ll be working.
  5. We look below the surface. Along the same lines, I get to know prospective candidates long before they’re looking for a job. I watch for specific skillsets and personality types, including things that may not show up on a traditional resume. So when you’re ready to hire, I may already have the perfect person in mind.
  6. We’re international and local. We can support US-based companies who are looking to expand overseas, as well as European companies who need help recruiting in North America. We know the different landscapes, cultures, personalities, and salary expectations, so we can make successful long-distance hires.
  7. We’re here for the long haul. My job isn’t one-and-done. I make long-term connections. That means I’ll do everything I can to make sure you’re happy with your new hire and that he or she is fitting in and succeeding. After all, I want you to be so happy with the service I provide that you keep coming back. When your company grows and succeeds, we all do.
Webster & Webster: Redefining Recruiting