Companies go through a number of stages as they grow and start recruiting:
Start-up and hiring only their friends and school buddies – no HR team or the CEO’s administrative assistant takes care of it.
Funded – HR rep who takes care of the paperwork but has no time for real recruiting (although she may post job descriptions)
Up and running – HR team that may or may not have time to find the “purple squirrels and unicorns” who have not replied to the job postings
Well-established – HR team with dedicated recruiting staff, who might still need some help with those “unicorns and purple squirrels”.
Where is your company? Your choices in external recruiters to find the “unicorns” are:
Contingency recruiters – you only pay them (20-35% of the annual salary of the employee you hire) if you hire their candidate, but they may not put much effort into the search.
Retained recruiters – who guarantee to replace anyone who doesn’t work out, are paid 30-35%, and only present a few resumes.
Search researchers/sourcers – who identify the people who could do the job (these work for both companies and retained recruiters) but don’t contact them or “pitch” the job.
Search Services or a la carte recruiters – who do what the retained recruiters do, but with more transparency and on an hourly basis.
Each one has their place. Which ones have you used?