Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to Recruit Staff without Incurring Agency Fees - Subscription Recruitment

It is estimated by a number of different bodies (including CIPD) that the average cost of recruiting a new member of staff at all levels, from junior assistants through to senior executives is over £4,500 plus VAT. This takes into consideration agency fees, training fees, time taken to do the recruitment if not using an agency and the time taken by the new employee to settle into their role before they become productive.

Recruitment agency fees can be a considerable chunk of money. At junior level they can range from about 10% through to 20% of the first year's annual salary or package, and at a senior level they can be as much as 35% of the package. Putting this into perspective, if you recruit a chief executive or senior manager on a salary of £100,000, your agency fee could be as much as £35,000 plus VAT.

This cost can be prohibitive for small firms and preclude them from even considering using the services of a recruitment agency.

But what if there was an alternative to paying an agency a large sum of money up front without any guarantee of a decent return?

What if there was no issue of worrying about you receiving a rebate of the fee if the candidate leaves within a set space of time?

The answer is that there is an alternative. Subscription-based recruitment. This is also known as a recruitment membership service or unlimited recruitment but the basis of subscription recruitment is that there is no fee charged by the recruitment agency for the successful, placement of a member of staff. Instead, you pay a small monthly fee which acts virtually as an insurance policy. This small monthly fee guarantees you access to the recruitment agency's candidates as and when you need them. This may of course never happen but if you have a five-year contract and decide even to use the service once, then you will have earned back the money you paid out in one placement of a candidate through that agency.

Take the Ten Percent Unlimited Option. Full details of this can be found at . This service operates for 5 years and enables solicitors' firms and legal employers to recruit at all levels for a period of 5 years, including both locum and permanent candidates. The prices start from just £60 per month and depend on the size of the firm, the number of offices, turnover, types of law covered and geographical location.

If you have a vacancy you simply send it through to Ten Percent and they run the vacancy in the same way they would do if you were paying a contingency fee (i.e. you pay if a successful placement occurs). The agency, Ten Percent Legal Recruitment, will send your vacancy out to their candidates on the company database, advertise the vacancy across a range of job boards, promote the vacancy via their own website & other sources and send CVs across.

The difference with the subscription service is that from the moment the CVs are sent across you have full control of the recruitment process. You can choose to contact the candidates directly yourself, you can ask the agency to contact them for you, you can check the candidates out to decide whether or not they are of the calibre you wish to consider further, and you can do as much or as little with the CVs as you wish.

The restrictions on the subscription service for Ten Percent Unlimited include not being able to forward CVs onto third parties and a fair usage policy, i.e. if a firm starts sending false requests for CVs when they have no intention of recruitment - this would kick in and reduce the number of CVs they could access - and no roles involving commission-only payment structures.

You can see the cost saving involved in using a subscription service. Say that you want to employ a new sales manager on a salary of £35,000, two secretaries, a couple of temporary staff to cover whilst the secretaries and the sales manager are on holiday and an emergency cover for a few weeks at some point in the next five years. The cost of all this would be around the £10,000 mark if you went through a conventional agency. However, using the subscription based model the cost would only be the monthly payment that you would make for 5 years. So assuming you were at the lowest end of the Ten Percent Unlimited scheme, the cost would be £3,600 plus VAT for the 5 years, which is over 60% cheaper than the standard conventional contingency only model of recruitment. Adding to this unexpected recruitment on expansion or future replacements of staff and you can see that the cost savings can be quite phenomenal compared with the costs of using an agency in the conventional way.

This is just one type of subscription recruitment service but Ten Percent Unlimited already has over 100 solicitors' firms as members. A good number of clients choose to use the conventional Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment locum and permanent services as well, paying a fee when a successful placement occurs.

The same service operates in other fields as well via different agencies and is possibly argued to be the future of recruitment in certain sectors. It works up to a certain level but eventually the search and selection becomes so specialised that employers have no alternative but to use a specialist recruitment agency in the traditional manner to try and recruit themselves.

For full details of the Ten Percent Unlimited Scheme including a quote, please visit

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

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