How to Negotiate Recruitment Fees

How to Negotiate Recruitment Fees like a Pro: Tips and Tricks for UK Hiring Managers

Why it’s important to know how to negotiate recruitment fees. The most important element of the recruitment process is identifying the right candidates for a vacancy and Hiring Managers often seek professional expertise for this which would land them recruitment fees. 

Recruitment fees can add up quickly and become a significant expense. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to negotiate recruitment fees to get the best deal possible.

In this article,

  • We’ll outline some top tips for UK hiring managers to help you negotiate recruitment fees effectively and ultimately save money. 


  • We’ll explore the key factors and considerations that hiring managers in the UK should be aware of when negotiating recruitment fees.


  • You’ll learn about the challenges that hiring managers face in justifying recruitment fees and discover strategies to overcome them. And,


  • Discover additional factors to consider when negotiating recruitment fees, including guaranteed replacement periods, payment terms, and market conditions.

What are Recruitment Fees?

Recruitment fees are charged by recruitment agencies for placing a candidate in a new job position. The fees are typically a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary, ranging from 15% to 25%. This fee is paid to the agency by the hiring organisation, and can add up quite quickly.

How are Recruitment Fees calculated?

How much do recruitment agencies charge? As mentioned earlier, recruitment fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary. The commission rate can vary depending on the sector or industry, and the type of position that needs to be filled. For example, it’s common to see higher commission rates for senior management or executive level positions.

Let’s take a look at an example with a recruitment fee of 25% of the annual salary:


Recruitment Fee Calculation:

£30,000 (annual salary) x 25% (recruitment fee percentage) = £7,500 (recruitment fee)

In this case, with a recruitment fee of 25% of the annual salary, the fee for a mid-level UK placement with a salary of £30,000 per year would be £7,500. Keep in mind that different recruitment agencies may have different fee structures, and it’s important to ensure clarity on the percentage charged for recruitment fees when engaging their services.

Factors Affecting Recruitment Fees

Several factors can influence recruitment fees, such as the level of demand for skilled candidates, the sector, and geographical location. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the job market trends and seeking recruitment agencies that specialise in your field.

How to Negotiate Recruitment Fees

How to Research Recruitment Fees

Thanks to the internet, it’s now easy to research recruitment fees before entering into negotiations. The data for agencies who have recently placed candidates is readily available. Websites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn and several other websites are great sources for getting candidate placements information along with fees paid.

Tips for Negotiating Recruitment Fees

When negotiating recruitment fees, you must take the time to research multiple agencies to make sure you have a good knowledge of the market rates and candidates. Here are some tips for UK hiring managers to help you negotiate recruitment fees effectively:

  • Research multiple recruitment agencies and collect quotes
  • Be prepared to negotiate and to ask for rates that fit your budget
  • Negotiate the commission percentage and payment structure
  • Try to secure a bulk discount for multiple placements
  • Be prepared to walk away

Consider hiring tools which are more cost-effective.

Consider investing in hiring tools that not only streamline the recruitment process but also drastically reduce associated costs. Perspectv, a revolutionary AI Talent Matching platform, is at the forefront of this transformation.

In stark contrast to the traditional percentage-based recruitment fees that often run high, Perspectv operates on a fixed Pay Per Match fee model. Employers pay only £35 per profile and only for the candidates they want to meet.

Challenges in Justifying Recruitment Fees for Hiring Managers

Here are a few reasons why hiring managers may find it hard to justify recruitment fees:

Recruitment costs are high:

Recruitment fees can sometimes be a significant expense for hiring companies, especially for smaller businesses with limited budgets. 

Uncertainty of candidate quality:

Hiring managers may worry about paying a fee without knowing for certain that the recruited candidate will be a good fit for the role and the company. 

Availability of alternative recruitment methods:

With the rise of online job boards, social media platforms and AI Talent Matching tools, hiring managers may question the need for recruitment agencies and the associated fees. 

Perception of lack of control:

Some hiring managers may prefer to have full control over the entire recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to conducting interviews and making offers. 

Lack of transparency in the fee structure:

If the recruitment fee structure is not clearly communicated or understood by the hiring manager, it can create confusion and make the fees harder to justify. 

Additional Considerations for UK Hiring Managers

Guaranteed replacement periods:

Some recruitment agencies offer a guarantee period where they will replace a candidate if they don’t work out within a specific time frame. When negotiating, you could ask for a more extended guarantee period or for it to be included free of charge.

Payment terms:

It’s also worth considering the payment terms of the recruitment fee. Some agencies may require the full payment upfront, while others may offer staggered payments based on the candidate’s probation period. Negotiating better payment terms can help spread the cost and free up cash flow.

Market conditions:

The job market can change very quickly, with supply and demand affecting recruitment fees. Keeping on top of recruitment trends and hiring cycles will give managers a better idea of when the best time to negotiate will be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *