>>The One Thing Recruiters Need to Plan for Agency Spend in 2016

The One Thing Recruiters Need to Plan for Agency Spend in 2016

Planning for agency spend around budget season is challenging for recruiting leaders. The money spent on direct hire recruiting agencies is often the largest chunk of a recruiting budget – and the most mysterious.

It’s hard to understand exactly how much of your recruiting budget goes to agency fees when it’s spent through so many different channels and contracts.

You can use a human resources (HR) technology tool to help you track your agency spend, or simply try to collect all of your invoices and calculate the total by hand. Either way, remember that the dollar amount is not the only aspect of your recruiting budget that you should consider.

This budget season you’ll want to analyze whether or not the direct hire recruiting agencies you’ve worked with in the past were used for the right reason – because their skills, goals, and purpose aligned with that of talent acquisition.

In order to ensure your recruiting agency use aligns with talent acquisition goals this coming year, you need to know one thing – what hiring initiatives will surface in your organization, and what will be their impact?

If you’re not sure what initiatives are on the horizon, then collecting information from other business leaders is a good place to start. Here are some common business initiatives that may affect your agency use in 2016:

A particular department is going to be expanding – does your recruiting team have the right expertise?

recruiting budget

Companies go through growth spurts, too – the only difference between human growth spurts and those in organizations is that in business, you can see them coming. If you know your organization is going to be rapidly expanding in a certain department in the coming year, it probably means you’re going to need to make some key hires quickly.

Reducing time to fill is one of the reasons you should lean on an agency for help. Consider using direct hire agencies especially if your organization is expanding in a department that is new to your company, and with which your recruiting team may not have extensive experience.

Questions to ask yourself

Do I see my team using agencies extensively for this expansion, or perhaps only sparingly?

Do I know ahead of time how many roles will need to be filled? How many of them are likely to require agency use?

In what industries does my internal recruiting team have the most experience? Will their skills adequately support this initiative?

Plan for the worst, and be strategic in incorporating agency fees into your budget for 2016 if one of your departments is expanding.

A highly-critical position is about to open up – does your recruiting team have the bandwidth to give it the attention it needs?

recruiting budget

In some cases, such as retirement, you may know that a highly-critical position in your organization is going to be vacant well in advance. If that’s the case, and you don’t already know who’s going to fill the shoes, it might be a good idea to plan for a direct hire agency budget.

Positions of this caliber of course need to be filled with the right person – a top quality candidate who has the right skills and is excited about working for your organization, but these positions also need to be filled fast.

Questions to ask yourself

Are any highly-critical positions in my organization likely to be vacant for any significant period of time this coming year? Will these vacant positions require recruitment?

Will any highly-critical vacant positions require outreach to passive candidates, or possibly poaching of competition?

Does my internal recruiting team have the bandwidth necessary to give these roles the attention they need in order for my organization to be successful?

Planning ahead for direct hire agency use can help you get a handle on agency fees ahead of time, especially for critical positions that might require a premium fee due to speed and difficulty.

Next year, you’re focusing on developing a stronger employer brand – what will be expected of your recruiting team during this initiative?


Employer branding is one of the hottest issues in talent acquisition going into 2016. Recruiters (and marketers) are getting smarter about their brand – they know the right brand messaging will attract the right top talent.

If you’re new at the employer branding game, leaning on direct hire agencies to help you project this new brand messaging might be helpful. Having some extra people working on your open positions will help you to focus on internal recruiting initiatives, and improve your recruiting process for the future.

Questions to ask yourself

What is my organization’s current employer brand effectiveness? Does it need to be improved? Is this an initiative we will face in 2016?

What will an employer brand campaign require of my internal recruiting team? Do they have the bandwidth to support all of our planned recruiting efforts as well as internal initiatives?

Will the presence of a budget for the support of a direct hire recruiting agency benefit my organization in the face of a future employer branding initiative?

We know exactly how much of a pain it is to budget for agency spend. Download our Recruiting Leader’s Guide to Direct Hire Agency Search Planning for 2016.


By |2017-07-28T16:37:56+00:00October 22nd, 2015|Categories: Talent Acquisition Trends|Comments Off on The One Thing Recruiters Need to Plan for Agency Spend in 2016

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