The Cost of Hiring

I think it’s fair to say that we all know of – or have directly been affected by – the recent economic downturn from a once thriving resource industry out here in Western Canada.

The Cost of HiringThe market has a lot of movement and there is much to be learned from how companies respond or react in the recruitment world. On the talent acquisition and recruitment side of this equation, it may now appear to be a market in which highly sought-after individuals and professionals may be easily acquired to join a new organization or recruited to an industry competitor.

But has the war for talent changed?

Top talent is still top talent, and this doesn’t change. In leaner markets staffing firms generally are more aggressive in their business development.

One of my clients let me know that she is now receiving new calls on a daily basis from recruitment companies wanting to work with her organization, compared to maybe once a week at this time last year.

My client told me that she was approached by another search firm and was offered fees into the single digit percentile of the industry standard just to win the business. I asked her why she stayed with our firm, even if the fee was higher.

“Results and value,” point blank, was the answer I received.

Personally, I believe that’s one of the best compliments I’ve received from a client. If a potential client does not see the value associated in hiring the right candidate, it’s easy to justify the lowest quote.

I can understand the need to be competitive in a very different marketplace to that of last year, but I’m curious as to how those companies’ clients from yesteryear feel to hear that their former staffing partner was now offering a rate that in some cases was almost half of what it was previously. I can’t speak for those companies but personally, I’d feel cheated.

Let’s be honest, wherever we go and whatever market we work in, someone will always be willing to provide a service for a cheaper rate. The scary reality to this is that people start believing that this is the norm, and ultimately, the quality of service and industry represented is cheapened in that specific market.

I have a lot of respect for some of the industry giants in the recruitment market and one of the reasons behind that respect is this: When a client engages an established firm, there is a certain expectation of the value and services received.

In a market where many others are relentlessly willing to do whatever it takes to gain new business it’s nice to know there are still organizations that have the foresight in hiring a professional based on value.

Written by Sean Casey

Our Offices


Prince George