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How a retained talent search can benefit your business

How a retained talent search can benefit your business

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The market has changed. I’m sure this is not news to you; it’s prevalent in almost every function across every industry.

Hiring talent is becoming increasingly competitive as businesses recover from the pandemic, returning their workforces to pre-covid levels or even growing their workforce. But many people remain uncertain about leaving secure employment for a new role. As a result, hiring managers are seeing fewer applications than pre-covid when advertising the same positions, and when a great candidate does apply, they’re often counteroffered, sometimes up to 40%!


Recruiter VS. Recruitment Consultant

I have always seen myself as a recruitment consultant, not a recruiter. But, did you know there’s a difference? Recruiters typically have gained a bad rap; they churn and burn, they don’t care about their candidates or their clients’ businesses. They see people as numbers, just want to their fee the quickest way possible, and will cut corners to do so.

Recruitment Consultants, on the other hand, consult. We are specialists in our industry. We add value to our services and partner with businesses to understand what makes their business tick and where they want to take their business. Oh, and we are connected to the very best talent in Australia! So, who would you rather partner with?

Various associations govern the recruitment industry; the most notable in Australia and New Zealand is the RCSA, of which Fuse Recruitment is a Corporate Member. The RCSA sets the benchmark for professionalism through standard-setting, education, research and business advisory support to member firms and accredited professionals. All RCSA members are bound by the Code for Professional Conduct which is underpinned by a comprehensive disciplinary and dispute resolution procedure.


Understanding the value of the intangible

When you buy a pair of shoes, you don’t expect to take them home and pay the supplier once you wear them. That’s because the shoes are a tangible commodity, and the purchase results in your ownership of an item.

Services, however, are intangible. They usually cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are purchased. Services are inseparable from their production because they are typically produced and consumed simultaneously.

Recruitment is a service.

Scenario 1

You’ve decided to add an extension to your home; you would love a gym! The pandemic has meant you’re at home a lot more, which has prompted you to commit to getting healthy finally. You call a few builders; one stands out. They’ve previously built a gym, have an excellent reputation and can work to an agreeable timeline. Your builder requires a deposit upfront to secure timber, labour, and outsourced material. Then, without a second thought, you write a cheque, knowing this amount will be deducted from the final invoice.

Scenario 2

Your business is booming in this candidate short market. It’s time to grow your team, but you don’t have the time or the resources to source a new Production Manager, so you turn to a recruitment specialist. You tell them what you need; they post job ads online (≈$500) and access third-party databases (≈$500). They spend 12 hours posting ads, searching databases, reviewing applications, calling numerous candidates, screening candidates, interviewing candidates in person. Not to mention the amount of time and effort put into selling a role in a market where people are reluctant to move. Before you even interview a candidate, thousands of dollars have gone into the process (that’s like waiting until your builder has put up the frames and added the roof!). Let’s call these ‘production costs’ of recruitment.

Okay, let’s take that example to the next level

Scenario 1

You haven’t paid a deposit to your builder for his time or the materials yet. But wait, you’ve changed your mind, and you don’t want a gym anymore; you want a pool! Do you expect to not pay the builder for his time or materials for starting the gym for you?

Scenario 2

Your Recruitment Consultant has been working on your role for two weeks now and you haven’t paid a deposit. They’ve posted ads online, searched through thousands of candidates to find precisely what you’re looking for, and in total, 20 hours have gone into the search so far. But wait. you’ve changed your mind and decided to promote internally for the Production Manager, so you don’t need recruitment services anymore. That’s 20 hours of wages, plus production costs, the Recruitment Consultant will not be reimbursed for.

The two scenarios’ above show the difference in perception when there is a tangible and intangible service offering. But there actually is a product in recruitment – it’s the candidate. We are the only industry where our product walks, talks, has emotions, and decides whether to be sold to the buyer or accept a counteroffer!


Benefits of paying an engagement fee

You know, there’s a lot more to recruitment than it appears! Most people think we just list an advert on SEEK and wait for people to apply. And while listing an ad is a tiny part of the process, it’s actually the least effective in the current candidate short market.

There are clear benefits for both the employer and job seeker when a role is or ‘retained’ (a small percentage paid upfront, an engagement fee). I’ve broken these down further:


  • Access to passive candidates who are not actively searching or applying for a new role. These candidates stay in their positions 20% longer than their active counterparts

  • A more effective recruitment process due to additional resources dedicated to the position, e.g., premium ad listings, dedicated marketing campaigns, internal recruitment staff

  • An individually customised client-driven process; we work with your business to learn more about your culture and organisational goals and search for candidates that strongly align

  • Interviews being tailored specifically for the role, site, team, e.g., tailored questioning which we can collaborate with the employer on

  • Dedicated resources invested in the process, ensuring a thorough search of all corners of the market

  • Retained recruitment consultants handle fewer assignments than their contingent counterparts to ensure their results and focus. Working more effectively and getting paid for the work they put in means your roles are always prioritised

  • Assistance to boost your corporate profile and to ensure a good representation of your company during the recruitment process through business partnerships

  • Clearly defined deliverables reported at agreed frequencies

Job Seeker

  • Your consultant is fully briefed on the role and has in-depth knowledge about the company, perks and benefits, responsibilities, and requirements

  • You can be confident you are talking to the only consultant working on the role. You won’t be contacted by multiple recruiters looking to fill it

  • We partner with the business, we know their culture, we have seen their facilities, and we are invested in finding the right person for their team

  • You are talking to a true specialist!


Choosing the right recruitment partner

If I haven’t already made it obvious, Fuse Recruitment works on a retained basis. That means, when you submit a job requirement to us, we require a partial payment upfront – deposit, engagement fee, retainer, whatever term you’re familiar with. Just like you pay your builder in advance to purchase the building materials, we request a small deposit for the services we provide.

Why have we moved to this model, and what have we learnt?

By moving to an engaged model, we’ve provided much better service to our customers! Our team isn’t channelling our resources into dead vacancies, and they’re not spread as thin. Working more effectively means we are delivering results faster and using new technology to improve our services too!

At Fuse, our business focuses on specialist industries; manufacturing, infrastructure, utilities, insurance and wealth management. With dedicated consultants who have come directly from the industries they recruit in, you can trust us to understand the technical needs of the roles you require.


So, if you’re looking to partner with a recruitment business that wants to understand every aspect of your organisation and use talent to help you achieve your goals, book a time in my calendar here, and I’d love to chat with you about how Fuse can help you.


About the Author

Wendy Terry
National Business Development Manager

Wendy has worked across specialist recruitment for the past 18 years assisting to develop the recruitment platform for some of Australia and New Zealand’s leading organisations. Wendy decided to launch her own recruitment business, Quality Assured Recruitment, in 2016 after seeing a gap in the market for true boutique recruitment specialists. In late 2019, Fuse successfully acquired Quality Assured Recruitment (QAR). Given QAR’s enviable reputation for high-quality service to both clients and candidates, this acquisition is very complementary, adding significant firepower to our manufacturing approach at a national level.

For Fuse, Wendy will play a key role in leading and developing a number of our key sectors including FMCG, Pharmaceutical and Utilities and Infrastructure.

Wendy is supported by a large team of consultants that are equally dedicated to delivering an exceptional outcome, across Brisbane. Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

If you'd like to work with Wendy, you can call her on 0419 963 163 or, to check out her job opportunities, click here.