Working with recruiters

Cooperation with an external recruiter can be a good idea under one condition: you both succeed in establishing a trusted partnership.

Find a recruiter that will be your long-term partner (it could be me). Brief her properly about every role and help her understand your organization and culture.

Terms and Conditions (T&C)

Typically, you sign T&C before you start the cooperation with your recruiter. Here is a short checklist of what to pay attention to:


A guarantee describes what happens in case your newly hired candidate quits or you fire them. A guarantee will vary depending on the country and recruiter, but the most common options will be:

a) period: 3 to 6 months after the start date
b) reason: only if the candidate quit OR both if the candidate quit or you have decided not to extend the cooperation.
Disclaimer: typically guarantee does not apply in case of layoffs/elimination of given position that the candidate was hired for.

c) what does the guarantee involve: money back (from 50% to 100%) or free replacement of the candidate

Ownership of the candidate

“Ownership” denotes whether your organization owes the recruitment agency a finder’s fee. If your organization passes on a candidate for a specific job, hiring the same candidate down the line could qualify the recruitment agency a fee for the connection. Your T&Cs should specify a time period regarding an agency’s right to claim ownership, which is usually between 6 and 12 months.

Recruiter’s fee

It can be a retainer fee (paid upfront, at the beginning of the search, most common in case of executive / C-level recruitment) or success fee (paid upon successful hiring).

Most typically, the fee is defined as a percentage of a base gross salary of the hired candidate.

Tips for a successful cooperation with an external recruiter:

Personal Brand.

Get to know the recruiter who is going to work with you. Success depends on his or her network and skills, not the brand of the agency they work for.


I’d recommend that you work with one recruiter on a given role. Otherwise, candidates will be contacted multiple times regarding the same position at your company. It has also a motivational impact on the recruiter.


Make sure you are working with a recruiter who does an active search and real preselection, providing you with candidates who could be a good fit for your company instead of recruiters who send you candidates from their database.


A recruiter is the first person who creates your brand perception among candidates so make sure you work with someone you trust will provide a good candidate experience.