10 Recruitment Agency Myths – BUSTED!

03 Apr 09:00 by Jamie Silman


When you’ve been in the recruitment industry for as long as we have, you get to hear some of the recruitment agency myths that many companies and candidates think are true.

Most of the time, it’s a simple misunderstanding, but clients and candidates both have myths about recruitment agencies, so we thought we’d put them to bed once and for all.

Here’s 10 Recruitment Agency Myths - BUSTED!

Candidate Myths

“Recruitment Agencies Take A Percentage Of Your Salary”

This myth seems to have come about from a case of simple misunderstanding.

While it is true that recruitment agencies take their payment in the form of a percentage of the candidate’s salary, this is always charged to the client (the company making the hire) and not the candidate.

If you’re a candidate being placed by an agency, you’ll be paid the salary you’ve agreed to, without any fees added.

“It Costs Money To Join An Agency”

It should NEVER cost you, as a candidate, any money to join a recruitment agency.

If you’re speaking to an agency and they ask for money - run!

“Recruitment Agencies Only Have Jobs That Are Advertised Elsewhere Online”

This is a common myth, as candidates think that putting their CVs on a few online job boards is the same as speaking to an agency.

However, there are some jobs that recruitment agencies have on their books that aren’t being advertised at all. 

This could be for a number of reasons, but means that the agency will have to rely on their network and database; so if you haven’t registered with them directly, you won’t be considered for the role!

“Recruitment Agencies Want To Put Me In Any Job So They Get Their Fee Quicker”

This myth likely stems from people’s experiences with bad recruitment agencies.

While it might seem that recruiters want to get a candidate into the first job they can think of, the nature of the contracts with the clients means that they will only get paid their fee if that candidate stays there for a minimum amount of time - normally a couple of months.

For that reason, it’s in the recruiter’s (and the candidate’s) best interest to find the candidate a role they’ll want to stay in long term

This means that recruitment agencies need to place the right people in the right jobs to get paid.

“Recruitment Agencies Don’t Care About Moving Quickly”

Because recruitment agencies won’t get paid until an employee has been in their new position for at least a few weeks, everything they do up until that point is essentially free work. 

This means they have a huge incentive to move quickly, but sometimes a job will be put on hold by the company they’re working for, or there are external pressures, like we’re currently experiencing with the Coronavirus outbreak, that affect the hiring process.


Client Myths

“We Can Get The Same Applicants by Posting Our Ad on Some Job Boards”

Many companies believe that they can get the same applicants for a role simply by posting a job ad to the same job boards an agency would.

While there is some truth to this, there are two things recruiters have that companies don’t.

The first is access to the job board’s CV databases. This is an expensive feature that allows recruiters to search for passive candidates who have relevant experience, but who might not be looking at the job ads on that site.

The second is their network. 

Over the years, as a recruiter builds their network, they will naturally build relationships with contractors and permanent employees who have key skills within their sector. 

This means a recruiter might know the perfect candidate for the role, and know that they’re able to start at the right time, all without ever posting a job ad; which is hugely valuable for everyone involved.

“Recruitment Agencies Just Send CVs”

Hiring managers are often under the impression that a Recruitment Consultant will just send them a load of CVs that they’ve found online, and then expect a commision if one of them ends up getting the job.

While this may be the case with some bad recruitment agencies, good agencies will consult with the client company during the entire process.

That means feeding back on whether the salary being offered is too low to attract fully qualified candidates, understanding the role and the skills necessary, and qualifying applicants so that hiring managers only see the very best people for the role. 

“There’s Plenty Of People Out There Looking For Work!”

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, UK Employment had been at a record high of 76.3%, it’s highest level since the 1970’s.

When you combine that with the fact that 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new position, it becomes clear how tough it really is to find high quality candidates for a role.

“Recruitment Agencies Cost Too Much Money”

A common objection businesses have to using recruitment agencies is that they claim they cost too much money.

Research from the REC found that a poor hire at mid-manager level, with a salary of £42,000, could cost a company as much as £132,000; and that 39% of employers admitted that their interviewing and assessment skills of their staff should be improved.

Now consider that a 20% recruitment fee for a fully-vetted, expertly-recruited candidate for the same salary would be £8,400, and it’s easy to see how recruitment agencies can actually help a business to save money in the long term!

“Recruitment Agencies Don’t Understand Our Industry”

While it’s true that some of the larger recruitment agencies may have junior employees who don’t fully understand the industry handling the work to help with their margins, there are plenty of smaller specialist agencies that have a great understanding of their sector.

For example, Entech is a specialist Engineering Recruitment agency, and most of our senior team were engineers before they became recruiters. This means we understand the skills and qualities companies are looking for when they’re searching for staff, and we know the right questions to ask to make sure people are properly qualified.

A good agency will have people who are incredibly knowledgeable about the industry they work in and who can help your business thrive.


Myths like these tend to appear because of a bad experience with a recruitment agency, but we’d like to let you know that there are still good agencies out there.

If you’re thinking of working with a recruitment agency, and you still have some questions that you’re unsure of, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help where we can - just give us a call on 01442 898900.