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Recruitment Fee for new Christchurch City Council CEO Deemed "Obscene"

Posted by Jonathan Rice on Sep 3, 2019 3:23:12 PM
Jonathan Rice

I've worked in the recruitment industry for almost 15 years now and the one thing that has been an ever-present factor is the lack of understanding, from people outside of the industry, of what actually goes into a proper recruitment process.

This naturally leads to outbreaks of eye rolling and gnashing of teeth whenever mention is made of what can often be eye-watering fees charged by recruitment agencies.  Rightly so, in many cases, but I do feel a little bit for Wellington executive recruiter Jackson Stone who this week had their placement fee publicly flashed around following their placement of a new CEO at Christchurch City Council.

Being in the public sector and coming from rate payers money, the Ombudsman felt compelled to let Stuff know about the $55,000 fee charged for the successful placement of Dawn Baxendale, leading to councillor Aaron Keown to claim it was an "obscene amount of money".

Man in shock looking at laptop

The Recruitment Process

Now firstly, yes, that is a large fee, but by no means the largest fee that will be charged by a recruitment agency this year.  In fact, given the salary offered is almost $500,000, the fact this is only 11% of the salary is actually significantly lower than most Executive Search firms would charge for similar assignments (which probably explains why only two of the five firms briefed for this work bothered to tender for it).

The actual process of recruitment, when done properly, includes briefing, advertising, market mapping, name gathering, shoulder tapping, screening, mass communicating, interviewing, report writing, background checking, negotiating and generating of contracts.  And then beyond that, you're often paying for the years of experience, and depth of networks, that your recruiter also comes armed with.

The JOYN Approach

It is from situations exactly like this that back in 2017 we launched JOYN in a bid to democratise the recruitment process and remove the smoke and mirrors for which our industry has become renowned.  Where Jackson Stone have found themselves in the unusual situation (for a recruitment firm) of detailing all of the activities undertaken to justify their fee, our systems at JOYN are predicated entirely upon providing this information, in real time, to our clients via the JOYN portal that details time, spend, status of assignments and breaks the fee down into the time of the recruiter and the cost of materials like advertising.

It does mean that it works out much cheaper too, as you can see if you put in the job title of a role you might need to recruit in the JOYN Cost Calculator below (plus we will also reveal who of our awesome community of 70+ freelance recruiters would be best suited to help you out):

JOYN Cost Calculator

This is what we mean at JOYN when we say that we combine human expertise with technological smarts to achieve better hires at half the cost.  But it's also a stretch to describe the placement fee, from engaging a traditional recruitment firm in a standard way, as "obscene".  In actual fact they got a pretty good deal compared to the standard fee structures out there.

If you want an even better deal with your next recruit, and would like to try a new way that was inspired by this kind of carry on, then get in touch with us at JOYN, we'd love to hear from you.

Topics: Insider, Recruitment, Agency, Cost

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