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The Staffing and Recruitment Industry - Brief Study

Ken Sundheim

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A part of me feels that it is disturbing that, upon writing about my industry, I was nearly inclined to include a section that contains the phrase “What to watch out for when working with recruiters. "

It would be quite humorous if a garden hose company had to stress ethical behavior towards those who are filling a pool. Though, if you have fooled into taking a job, the blame is not always on the person who sold it.

Taking a job is like buying a house. You must put in some effort and make your own informed decisions. I am not condoning other people's actions, I just think that you shouldn't complain if you feel victim to them. Yes. By all means, you can complain if you've been sent to a bad interview, but that's not life and death.

Moreover, I fully understand that the term “recruiter" or “headhunter" has a negative connotation. I've come to terms and simply pass accounts when potential clients wave another firm's past dishonesty to vent anger or gain authority. Life is too short.

- Regarding the below descriptions, please keep in mind that I do not know about other firm's practices, therefore I am just speaking about my and my employee's day to day.

What Does A Recruiter Do?

A lot. That is, if you're good at it. On a daily basis, I find myself helping clients and candidates negotiate a mutually beneficial employment contract, mentoring younger candidates, helping companies cope with sales management transitions, managing my own employees and a lot more.

That is the best thing about being in the service business. The phrase “A lot more" can mean a myriad of things. Though, there is a heck of a lot of reading involved.

By week's close, this office has typically gone through the equivalent of 3 books of resumes and we write about ½ book of interviewing synopsis, etc.

Advice To People Wanting To Work In Staffing

I have had potential applicants call here and want to interview with us as a recruiter. This always puzzles me. You should want to he in human resources not sales.

Staffing is not about sales. If you're able to sell somebody a job, the commission is not going to be too high because they are probably not the sharpest knife in the draw. The minute you make this job about money is the same exact minute that you forgo your ethics. If somebody does not want a job, they do not want a job.

Yes. I've lost big contracts, but the only alternative is to convince someone to take a job and who hasn't asked for your input in the decision. Not a house bet and a waste of time.

What Is A Retained Contract?

A retained contract is a contract that is not always exclusive, but involves some sort of fee upfront.

Again, all agencies work their own way, and have their own methodologies, but more often than not, our firm finds it easier to take on a set amount of projects and stick to them.

What Is A Contingency Contract?

A contingency contract is simply a recruiting agreement that pays more, however no upfront fee is given. It is usually paid out in a percentage of the person's base salary upon start date.

All companies charge different fees, but the typical is 15% - 25% of the candidate's first year salary.

Temporary recruiters who do temp. staffing are paid entirely different. I don't have much dealing with these firms, therefore I cannot discuss their fee structure. However, from the little I know, I hear it can be quite lucrative for those who are effective at their job.

Then again, any profession is lucrative if you are good at your job.

At our recruiting firm, we don't always engage in contingency contracts, though many agencies are fine sustaining on them.

Ken Sundheim runs KAS Placement executive sales recruiters a staffing and consulting agency that does retained searches in every major metropolitan city including Marketing and Sales Headhunters Boston Recruiting Firms and in Marketing Recruiters Houston Sales Recruitment Staffing

Ken founded the company in 2005.


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