Recruitment Consultants – Does Your Business Need Them?

Recruitment consultants sometimes get a bad rap from the industry….

“They’re overpriced!”

“Their results are underwhelming”.

“They don’t communicate with us!”

“They don’t get our culture!” …

It’s fair to say, they’ve copped a lot of flak over the years. Some justified. Some not.

Either way, recruitment consultants remain an integral component of the workforce strategy and practices of organisations across Australia. Organisations of every size, industry, structure, and category.

So, where’s the value in using recruitment consultants? Does your business use them? Are you happy with their offering?

Today, we’ve looked at the upsides and downsides of engaging recruitment consultants. And – spoiler alert – like any service provider, if you’ve done your homework, and your briefing practices are on point, you’re likely to be pleased with their results.

Let’s dive in.

recruitment consultant companies

Recruitment Consultants: The Advantages

Faster Hiring Process

With a network of suitable candidates on their books, recruitment consultants can arguably speed up the hiring process for your business. This is true only if:

  • The recruiter understands your business
  • They appreciate the nuances of the role you’re hiring, and the talent competition
  • They have been given a comprehensive insight into the role
  • They have a true connection to your business culture
  • They are experts in your industry and/or they are experts in the technical nature of the role in demand

By handling the process on your behalf – from preliminary interviews to shortlisting – recruitment consultants can significantly reduce your time to hire.

Specialised Knowledge

Recruitment consultants can provide insight into the jobs market, specific to the roles you’re seeking to fill, and to your industry overall.

This means you can hire with confidence on the advice of how the talent market operates in your industry.

Compared to in-house recruiters, recruitment consultants will typically have a sharper lens on your industry and the trends associated with both talent, and your talent competitors.

Better Quality Hires

In today’s competitive talent marketplace, trying to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ quality hires for your business, can be almost impossible.

Recruitment consultants can sift through the known, active, and passive candidates in your niche, so you’re presented only with those potential hires that are truly suited to your business.

recruitment consultants australia

Recruitment Consultants: The Disadvantages

The Cost

The cost structure charged by recruitment consultants varies, depending on the salary and the type of recruitment strategy adopted.

For permanent roles, recruitment consultants typically charge a percentage of the salary for which they are hiring.

Hard to fill roles can often attract a higher percentage fee, due to the extra work required to fill the role.

Understanding the market rates and being able to compare fees, will provide a level of assurance that you’re not being over-charged.

Communication Skills

Some recruiters have a reputation for going MIA.

This is disastrous for clients urgently seeking new talent. And it’s especially disastrous for candidates who are often left hanging, waiting for the consultants to update them on the hiring process.

As it’s the client who pays the recruitment consultants’ fees, some consultants get so focused on ‘landing the sale’ that they end up providing candidates with a terrible hiring experience. This experience reflects badly on both the recruiter AND the client.

Poor communication from recruitment consultants establishes a lack of trust in this tri-party relationship. It’s one of the biggest known downsides of engaging recruiters.

Poor Cultural Fit

Engaging a recruiter to fill roles for your business, typically means your business and brand won’t be visible to potential hires. So, it’s up to the recruiter to be able to communicate the details about your business, its culture, people, and ethos to potential hires. This is no mean feat.

Trusting a recruitment consultant to achieve this, takes time. This second-hand information needs to be absolutely accurate, to ensure the potential hire is a good culture fit for your business. As I pointed out above, often the recruiter is so focused on the ‘sale’ – that is, filling the vacancy in your business – that they omit due diligence on a key talent factor: culture fit.

If the candidate doesn’t find out who the actual hiring company is until the later stages of the hiring process, they have little chance to learn more about your business, and make an educated decision on their professional future.


Working with recruitment consultants must add value to your business. They must be able to connect you to talent you otherwise would not have access to. They must be a source of support and guidance to the best talent in the marketplace. If they’re a drain or wasting your time, you need to consider a new supplier or a new hiring strategy.

One of the key pressures in business today, is staffing issues (especially in our emerging post-COVID world). So having a recruitment consultant you can trust, rely on and communicate with is truly invaluable.

If you’re in the market for a recruitment consultant for your business, this article and this article may help.

As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutionsCXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.

If you are interested in discussing our insights on engaging recruitment consultants, and would like to find out more about how we can work together, please contact us.