How many times have you seen the words ‘no recruiters’ or ‘if you’re a recruiter don’t call us as we won’t take your CVs’? I’ve seen it hundreds, probably thousands of times.

I started thinking about this recently and wondered how much not using a recruiter would cost the average tech firm out there with no internal recruiters working in the business. Those companies where the development team hire for the developers, diverting precious resource from the serious business of creating applications that make the company money, into those that take up a lot of time.

I hire for .net developers (have a look at – have been doing so for close to a decade) and have a good idea of salary levels in this area, so decided to look at the level of remuneration for a Mid-level Developer. In this theoretical example, posting the adverts, reviewing the responses, carrying out interviews and tech screening (coding assignments and tests) are a CTO (earning £110k) and a Senior Developer (earning £65k). Combining these salaries we get £175k PA without benefits or holidays factored in. Base salary only. There are 253 working days in the year, so that’s £691 per day, £86 per hour.  I spoke to several hiring managers about their average time spent on the hires and came up with quite a picture, this is summarised below.

Let’s breakdown the process for the hire, based on 15 applications, 10 1st interviews and 5 2nd interviews:

  • Writing job spec – 2.5 hours
  • Speaking to job boards and posting adverts – 3 hours
  • Fielding calls from recruiters & applicants – 6 hours
  • Reviewing CVs – 8 hours
  • Telephone Interviews (30m x 15 interviews) – 7.5 hours
  • Emailing technical tests after successful interview – 1 hour
  • Reviewing coding exercises (x10) – 10 hours
  • Face to face interviews (1hr x 10 interviews) – 20 hours
  • 2nd Interviews (1hr x 5 interviews) – 5 hours
  • Subsequent meetings about the interviews – 4 hours
  • Making offers (emails / calls / paperwork) – 1 hour
  • Total – 64.5 hours
  • Cost of adverts (Stackoverflow / Jobserve / Monster) – £600
  • Grand total – £6,448

So, that gives a grand total of £6,448 which is totally non-refundable should your decided applicant reject an offer or start and leave; nor does it take into consideration the impact on business of dragging managers into meetings for the hires, and the time taken away from critical development projects that your Senior Developer would otherwise be working on.


By: Graela

I’m currently operating on a placement ratio of roughly 3:1. That means I send approx. 3 CVs to a job and 1 of them will result in a placement. Using a specialist recruiter like me, you can remove a lot of the process above.

Let’s see how much the £40k mid-level developer costs your business when you use me:

  • Writing job spec – 15 mins (I’ve got loads of templates)
  • Reviewing CVs – ½ an hour (They’ll be good!)
  • Telephone Interviews (30 min x 3 interviews) – 1 ½ hrs
  • Reviewing coding exercises – 2 hours (again they’ll be good!)
  • Face to Face interviews (1hr x 2 apps) – 2 hours
  • 2nd Interviews – 2 hours (you’ll get them both back)
  • Making offers – ¼ hr
  • Total – 8 ½ hours
  • Business Cost – £731
  • 20% fee – £8,000
  • Grand total – £8,731

I offer a sliding scale rebate to give my clients money back if the applicant leaves at any time in the first 3 months of employment too, so if the hire doesn’t work out for any reason then there’s a credit en route. I do sometimes use the specialist boards such as Stack Overflow, so each time these may be used would add £250 to the total spend.

So, on the grand scheme of things the real cost of using a recruiter like me isn’t £8,000 as a fee that you receive as an invoice on the day the candidate commences employment, it’s actually more like £1,552 as you’ll be spending £6,448 to do the job yourself. Still sure you want to hire directly?

You need to be asking yourself why you’re adopting a no recruiters policy when we offer such good value. We know our market and can turn hires around in just a few days opposed to weeks or months directly.

About Adam Bolton

Adam Bolton is a Technical Recruiter for ABrecruit Ltd who specialise in recruiting for .Net developers. If you would like to get in touch with Adam feel free to leave a comment below and/or tweet him at @ABRecruitLtd. He also runs IDinLondon.

Get weekly recruiting and career tips direct to your inbox!

Load Comments