Fixed Price vs Agencies. Let's Talk Straight

As the MD of Omnio, I’ve seen the transformative effects of fixed price recruitment and I’m the first person to sing its praises but nothing is ever black and white. To say that this model is always perfect would be disingenuous and unfair to the amazing recruitment agencies that I have come from. So I’m going to try to be as fair as I can and honestly look at their pros and cons. Don’t agree with something? I’ll see you in the comments!

What’s fixed price?

At its most basic, fixed price recruiters advertise your vacancies on job boards and send you the applications for one fixed price. On top of this there’s a host of other options that companies build into their service including CV shortlisting and client branding. You own every application and are free to hire as many people as you want, often for a fraction of the price of an agency fee.

Is it just cheap, grubby recruitment?

Honestly, it can be. Whenever there’s a race to the bottom on price, quality suffers but that doesn’t mean that all cost-saving comes at a compromise. I created Omnio because I saw the worst happening and thought it could be better. A year in, some of the clients we’re working with have been completely blown away with the level of our service, not just our price.

So what’s the point of agencies?

Agencies know their candidates. They’ve met them in person and they understand their character and ambitions. They can connect you with the perfect candidate almost immediately and when it’s done right they’re worth every penny. Niche agencies are particularly valuable for their immediate pool of specialist talent - the majority of which are not actively looking for work but may jump at your vacancy. Also don’t forget about all those temp-to-perms!

But that sounds better and I’ve got the budget…

As I said, agencies are great because they know their candidates but they don’t know everyone (not even close). With millions of people job-hunting online, agencies will almost always miss out on some of the best talent – speed doesn’t equal quality. Also, you miss out on the power of employer branding.

What’s so important about employer branding and why can’t agencies offer it?

Employer branding is simply how you market yourself as an employer. What are your values? What is it like to work for you? It’s what excites someone to apply and is vital in an increasingly competitive job market. Unfortunately agencies make their money through placements and so don’t want to risk either candidates applying directly to you or another agency stealing their client. This means that your role is now advertised in the vaguest way possible to ensure no one can figure out who you are. None of this helps you hire the best people!

So what’s the right answer?

Like most things in life, there is no one solution. Every organisation has different needs, different processes, a different history and culture. Talk to someone that knows the options and can take the time to understand your business and find the perfect combination.

If you’d like to talk to me, my email address is