The VALUE of a Third Party Recruiter

What is a third party recruiter? Why should you consider using one? How do you go about choosing the right recruiter for your needs?   What VALUE does a third party recruiter bring to your organization?

In 2015, the recruiting landscape is more competitive than we have seen it in years. If you are an employer or a candidate, you know that recruiting is one of the top priorities for organizations this year. You are either recruiting or being recruited.  THIS is THE year for change and growth.

As organizations strategize and plan for the rest of this year, most haven’t taken into account actually finding and onboarding individuals. Companies don’t realize the TIME INVESTMENT that is involved in recruiting. Managers are bogged down trying to recruit new talent in addition to the other demands of their role. Organizations and managers think that recruiting will be a quick and easy process and that candidates will want to join their organization just because of their company brand. Let me tell you, you are fooling yourself if you think it will that simple.

A corporate recruiter works for an organization and only represents THAT particular organization. Most of my career has been spent as a corporate recruiter. I have worked for Dell, eBay, Rosetta Stone and others and have recruited some of the best sales people from around the globe. I would carry an average requisition load of 30 positions at one given time. I was in charge of sourcing, selling the hiring manager and candidate, negotiating the salary, and onboarding the individual.

Corporate recruiters can be excellent multi-tasters with the ability to juggle a large requisition load.  SOME TIMES!! Many  corporate recruiters, however,  get bogged down with the demands of the business and aren’t able to successfully be EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY ALL the time.

What is a third party recruiter?  It is an individual who focuses on finding niche roles within various companies, rather than working solely for one corporation.

There is great value in third party recruiters.  For example, not every organization has the budget to hire a corporate recruiter. Many organizations don’t have the headcount requirements to justify hiring someone on full-time to be a corporate recruiter. When this happens and your company needs to hire someone quickly, a third party can be a huge help.

When I decided to go third party this year, I realized there were some roles that weren’t getting the attention that they deserved. Those difficult to fill roles can be so time consuming that the corporate recruiter simply does’t have the TIME to do it all.   They need some help. Hiring a third party recruiter who can devote their focus on finding the “difficult to find” roles can free the corporate recruiter up to spend time filling other roles.

Third party recruiters can be hired on a “contingent” or “retained” basis. They also are hired for sourcing help. A “contingent” recruiter will charge a percentage of the salary of the employee when and only when the candidate is hired. A “retained” agreement simply means that a company charges a percentage upfront and has exclusive rights to the search. Should the employee be hired, then the remainder of the fee will be paid. If no one is found, the remainder of the fee is not due.

There is a ton of value a third party recruiter brings. In 2015,  some of the value is obvious and sometimes not so obvious.

  1. It frees up time for the managers to manage. Managers simply do not have the time to be full-time recruiters. Managers think they can do both, but something has got to give. There are too many things a recruiter does before a candidate is presented that managers just don’t see. Third party recruiters can put candidates on a silver platter rather than the manager going out and hunting themselves.
  2. A third party recruiter keeps the candidate engaged throughout the process. In 2015, you have to move fast. Not all companies can hire as fast as the managers WANT to hire.  There are processes and procedures that need to be followed that are often forgotten and bog down the hiring speed. A third party recruiter has to sell, re-sell and keep the candidate engaged. Offers are coming at every angle this year and a third party recruiter keeps the candidate grounded while the process is going on.
  3. There is a buffer in the negotiation process. Negotiation is part of the recruiting game this year.  Third party recruiters can be the arbitrator who hears both sides and helps the candidate and the employer come to an agreement. Third party assistance in the negotiation process is imperative this year to land the right people. Just because a company wants them does NOT mean they will get them!
  4. Third party recruiters are 100% dedicated to filling your roles. Our livelihood is dependent on finding the right candidates for you. We aren’t paid a salary and when everything is on the line, we are giving you only the best of the best. We will work around the clock to meet your needs

Why haven't you contacted a third party agency like Bulls Eye Recruiting ?

Views: 444

Comment by Stephanie on June 17, 2015 at 6:53pm

Will, thanks for posting your article.  I agree and want to be very much a 3rd party, independent recruiter.  Agree, that there are so many moving parts in being a 3rd party recruiter, and the coordination of the entire processes is time consuming.  A true client service mindset.

In my research I've read many articles, Twitter chats on employee engagement, employer branding, passive/active candidates, sourcing, social recruiting, etc. I yet to come across information that speaks directly to obtaining clients.   Seasoned recruiters have had many years of experience gained through in-house recruiting, corporate or agency firms, then went out on own.  My start is a blank canvas:  a desk, computer, email address, a pen and a phone for human engagement.

I've got the energy, enthusiasm, the Recruiting/Sourcing community and a good attitude to get my biz started. 

Reaching out to the this community for feedback and dialog with great tips, strategies,etc.  Thank you!

Comment by sheila Greco on June 17, 2015 at 8:03pm

Thanks for sharing this with us Will. 

Comment by Will Thomson on June 17, 2015 at 10:42pm

Hey Stephanie,

Thanks for reaching out.  So, becoming a 3rd party recruiter didn't happen over night.  I spent years, (and most everyone can attest to that that has been on this site) building a personal brand, writing, and doing what I do best recruit sales people.  Blogging, helped tremendously and truthfully, do not do much to obtain clients.  Most of my business is referrals.  Take your time and make a slow entrance and success is sure to follow.  If I would have jumped into the agency world 3 years ago, I would have failed miserably.  You are right, you need a desk and a phone, and.... it helps when people bring business to you.  Best of luck.  It is the best thing I have ever done.


Thank you for your comments.  I shared this on my site, but I am so glad to see engagement here.  I know many can relate.


Comment by Austin Fraser Ltd on June 18, 2015 at 5:33am

Thanks for sharing this blog post Will, it's a great insight into why third party recruiters are so beneficial to businesses. 

As an additional point, client/candidate experience is a huge part of the recruitment process, that can sometimes be neglected by busy organisations. As a third party recruiter, we pride ourselves on providing updates, advice and actually consulting everyone throughout the recruitment process.

We actually wrote a blog post about the importance of this here:

-Charlotte, AF

Comment by Will Thomson on June 18, 2015 at 9:50am

Thanks Austin.  Candidate/ Client experience is another value add for sure.  Keeping candidates engaged when the process is slowed down by hiring happens and a third party recruiter can keep the excitement high when things are moving at a snails pace. 


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