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The Cost of A Good Recruiter - 7%?

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The Cost of A Good Recruiter - 7%?


This is the lowest fee we’ve ever heard of when it comes to recruiting for Pharmacists on a permanent basis, it was just last week. They also wanted a 6-month rebate.

For the company, this looks great. 7% on a £50K salary the fee is £3500 with minimal risk as they have a 6-month rebate in place.

I don’t believe this; I think the company in question was trying to get lower rates from us (which didn’t happen) and this was her tactic.


Let’s put this into reality.


Recruiters work off a salary which gets boosted by commission.

The commission is generally a % of the billings that they make per month/quarter.

The average recruiter is more than likely trying to bill in excess of £15K per month consistently.

To hit their target, they will have to place between 4 & 5 Pharmacists at a £50K salary or above per month, that’s 48 – 60 Pharmacists per year. Possible, but not likely to happen.

Sometimes due to no fault of ours or our clients the candidates end up leaving the role after a couple of weeks/months meaning we must honour the rebate that we have in place. Let’s say 5%, then another 5% for candidates that never get to the start date, they’ve found another job or accepted a counteroffer. So now the recruiter must find another 6 Pharmacists, that’s 66 in total.

All of this stress and non-stop work for £3500 per placement.

It’s not realistic, and I hope there are no recruiters out there that would accept this thinking it’s a great deal/ ‘’but they’ve promised me loads of exclusive vacancies’’


The same recruiter that has accepted your 7% terms has a few other clients.

Clients that respect the work that they do and incentives them to fill the vacancies that they have by offering 15 / 20% fee’s.

The recruiter now has to fill 2/3 placements per month, 24 / 36 placements per year. 42 max with drop outs and non-starters.


The focus that they can put on the search is so much better due to them having 33% more time to put into the clients that utilise them in the correct manner.


In the meantime, the 7% client is sat there 4 weeks later wondering where all the candidates that they though would be landing in their inbox are.

Once again, they’re under the impression that the recruiter is the issue, ‘’All recruiters are rubbish’’ they’ll say. The business is still feeling the pain of the empty vacancies which is only getting worse due to other staff having to fulfil the extra workload and now the moans and groans are starting to trickle up the command chain.


If you pay little, expect to get little.

Remember that pharmacy recruitment consultants work on commission and get challenged every month by their management & by themselves to push the boundaries.

If you ever talk to a recruiter that is happy to accept 7% fee’s, walk away from them immediately, they clearly don’t know what they’re doing and don’t value their worth in the slightest. Test them, ask them some challenging questions. And its not just the recruiter, the problem stems from their management letting them accept low fee’s. They clearly don’t value themselves as being good at the job.


We’re very good at what we do, and we charge accordingly. As do all good agencies.


Contingency search is hard, don’t make it harder.