Recruitment activities are sometimes conducted by the organization itself, or it can be outsourced to an external agency that specializes in sourcing and screening candidates.
The recruitment industry operates through four main types of media: (i) employment agencies, (ii) “head hunters”, usually for executive level sales recruitment roles, (iii) in-house recruitment, usually via an internal Human Resources department, and (iv) passive candidate research firms.
The stages involved in sales recruitment can vary depending on the needs of the organization and the type of sales role in question. Generally, recruitment for most types of jobs involves several steps and includes sourcing candidates by advertising or “head hunting”, followed by screening and selecting candidates using tests and interviews.
There are four main types of agencies who conduct recruitment, with some agencies specializing in certain job markets, for example sales recruitment or hospitality recruitment or secretarial recruitment.
The recruitment agencies are usually paid by the companies wanting to fill a position, and not the candidates.
Traditional agencies are also known as employment agencies. Candidates can and do approach them directly, either by responding to an advertised vacancy, or to register onto the agency’s books. Recruitment consultants then work to match their pool of candidates to their clients’ vacant positions.
Those candidates who best meet the selection criteria of the vacancy are short-listed and put forward for an interview with their clients.
Recruitment agencies are usually paid a contingency fee by the client once a recommended candidate accepts a job with the client company.
Typically, the fee is 20% to 30% based on the appointee’s first year base salary and usually comes with some form of guarantee (30 to 90 days is standard). Should the appointee fail to perform or leaves the company during the guarantee period, the agency would normally offer a replacement candidate at no further cost to the client company.
A ‘headhunter’ is a term used to describe a recruiter who seeks out candidates, often when the usual recruitment processes (e.g. advertising through an agency) fails. Headhunters usually have extensive industry experience and source their candidates through their contacts. There are headhunters who specialize in the sales recruitment industry.
However, because headhunters typically charge more than agencies (often more than 30% of the candidate’s annual compensation), they are usually employed to fill more senior sales management and executive level sales roles.
Larger employers often will undertake their own in-house sales recruitment, usually through their human resources (HR) department. In-house HR staff either (i) co-ordinate external recruitment agencies who have been commissioned to find staff for the company, or (ii) conduct the end-to-end recruitment processes themselves, from advertising through to interviewing and hiring.
Passive Candidate Research Firms / Sourcing Firms
These firms conduct research to identify potential candidates and generate information about them. Often these research firms uncover candidates that cannot be found using other, more traditional methods. These firms usually charge a per hour fee or by candidate lead.