How to slash recruitment budget

3-5 mins

The short answer would be 'don't'!  But you expected that!

After all, we are recruiters, and we know that we offer a premium service, one that takes considerable time and effort and is worth paying for. 

We know that finding the best person for a position is a complex task, one that we offer considerable skill and experience in completing. As with anything, in recruitment you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for.  And given that recruitment is about investing in the future of an organisation, you’re going to want the best. 

But saying ‘don’t cut costs’ is a knee-jerk reaction that too many recruiters give when faced with a topic that they assume is about cutting their fees.  As recruitment consultants we know how to maximise efficiency, effectiveness and value for money when going through the recruitment process. 

The question isn’t as simple as ‘how can I cut my recruitment costs?’ It should be ‘how can I ensure every penny spent on recruitment delivers the very best value?’ Here are three things to consider: 

In house or Agency?

Differentiate between the complex jobs and campaigns where expert help will save you time, effort and money, and the simpler ones where you might be better placed to manage the whole process yourself. 

Yes, we could be doing ourselves out of work here – but let’s be honest, almost every business that outsources some or part of the recruitment process has also tried – or at least considered – doing it in-house. 

The trick is knowing when you’ll be able to do the job quickly and efficiently – perhaps for a position with a basic skill set where you already have a wide network of suitable candidates.  

This is thinking strategically about the cost-benefit of your recruitment processes, and therefore seeking the best possible value from every recruitment campaign, whether you handle it yourself or work with a supplier. 


When you are working with a recruitment agency, you should always consider striking a retained or exclusive deal, at least initially. Yep, this sounds like we’re just pushing the most attractive scenario for us to work under – but think about it. 

Consultants who know they are the only recruiter working for you, even if only for a week or two, will focus far more attention on sending you only the top-calibre candidates – because they don’t have to worry that everyone they speak to is about to be sent to you by a rival agency. 

They can spend more time interviewing candidates to pre-screen them for you, and more time trying novel approaches that might just unearth a real gem. Working with high numbers of agencies is a recipe for getting sent vast quantities of CVs of varying qualities – and spending vast amounts of time reviewing them. 

Depending on the structure of the exclusivity period or contract you could save money on fees too; because these deals give more control and certainty to your consultant, there is likely to be more flexibility on fees. 

Don’t forget that because you don’t pay those fees until a perfect candidate is hired, you have nothing to lose! 

Ask about the value adds

Remember that your recruitment consultant is an expert in recruiting for businesses and roles like yours. 

Get the most out of their expertise and experience! Can they carry out a salary survey so you know what the market rate is for the best talent? Can they advise on a strategy for a wide-ranging recruitment campaign designed to bring in multiple new employees at once? 

Can they carry out first interviews as part of the process so that you meet candidates with more information? 

These are all ways in which an outsourced agency can add real value to your recruitment process, giving you more insight and intelligence, more choice and more time to actually manage your team.

Get in touch today