Hire Contract Recruiters: Here's What You Should Know

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Fred Monnier
Fred Monnier
Chief Staffing Operations Officer

Table of Contents

Is Hiring a Contract Recruiter Worth It? If you want to recruit information technology (IT) professionals effectively and efficiently, consider hiring contract recruiters.
Published on
August 18, 2022
Updated on
April 11, 2024

If you want to recruit information technology (IT) professionals effectively and efficiently, consider hiring contract recruiters. These human resources (HR) experts can quickly fill empty positions with top-notch talent. They're also incredibly budget-friendly. Unlike their in-house counterparts, they charge on a contract basis, so you don't have to pay them full-time salaries or benefits.

Read on to learn more about contract recruiters and their roles. We'll also cover whether recruiter services are worth it, contract recruiter hourly rates and salaries, how to hire a contract recruiter, and why staffing platforms may be a better choice than contract recruiters.

What Is a Contract Recruiter?

A contract recruiter is a recruiter who works as an independent contractor. Their responsibility is to fill positions at a company for the length of their contract. Once the contract is over, the recruiter will move on to the next client.

Contract recruiters usually work for recruiter firms, but some are self-employed freelancers. You can hire them through recruitment agencies, online networks, or freelancing sites.

Contract Recruiter Roles

Contract recruiter jobs vary depending on their industry and company. However, most businesses hire contract recruiters to:

  • Source qualified individuals via networking, databases, job sites, online communities, and tech hubs
  • Use applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other recruiting software to build candidate pipelines
  • Maintain and develop friendly relationships with universities and professional organizations from which candidates can be recruited
  • Collaborate with in-house HR personnel and stakeholders to create an ideal hiring strategy
  • Develop and implement new hiring processes
  • Conduct and oversee candidate interviews
  • Write reports on hiring progress and other HR metrics
  • Negotiate salary and benefits with candidates who have been offered positions
  • Help onboard new hires
  • Follow up with candidates after interviews to tell them whether they were selected for the position

Is Hiring a Contract Recruiter Worth It?

Hiring contract job recruiters is definitely worthwhile if you want to reduce time-to-hire and attrition. It's also a great way to save money.

Contract Recruiter vs. Permanent Recruiter

Before we dive into the benefits of hiring a contract recruiter, let's pinpoint the differences between contract recruiters and permanent recruiters:

Benefits of Hiring Contract Recruiters

Contract recruiters offer many advantages compared to permanent or in-house recruiters.

Lower Costs

First, contract recruiters cost less to hire.

Unlike in-house staff, you only have to pay them for the length of their contract, which can be as short as you want it to be. You also don't have to invest in benefits like gym memberships or learning opportunities since they will only benefit your company for a short period of time.

For example, if a contract recruiter's contract is only three months, you would only need to pay them for that amount of time. In contrast, you'd have to pay permanent recruiters a full salary plus benefits, even if there's little work for them to do.

Shorter Hiring Process

The process for hiring contract recruiters is generally a lot quicker. This is because you're prioritizing technical skills over long-term cultural fit. As such, finding the right fit will take much less time and effort.

Unique Skills and Perspectives

Contract recruiters can also bring new skills and perspectives to the table.

Many talent marketplaces and recruitment agencies offer first-class contract recruiters with specialized skills. For example, some may specialize in using ATS that most in-house staff aren't familiar with.

Leading edge contract recruiters can also provide:

  • Industry-specific requirements: Some IT positions require specialized industry knowledge to fill. For instance, machine learning (ML) jobs often require recruiters to know a bit about ML. Otherwise, they'll have a difficult time coming up with interview questions. Other niches that require specialized knowledge include:
  • Cloud architects
  • Cybersecurity professionals
  • Network and systems administrators
  • Data scientists and engineers
  • Various recruitment methods: Some contract recruiters are experienced with different recruitment approaches, such as Agile and Lean recruitment.  Depending on your industry and business needs, these methods can give you many advantages, including frequent feedback, improved productivity, better and happier hires, greater flexibility, improved productivity, and detailed analytics.
  • Fresh perspectives: Finally, contract recruiters can spot problems with your hiring strategy and business operations. They can draw on their rich experience and suggest new ways to hire and retain talent.

Augment Team During Peak Season

If your in-house team doesn't have the time, expertise, or resources to hire effectively and efficiently during peak season, contract recruiters can relieve this burden.

Instant Impact

Finally, contract recruiters can hit the pavement running.

Of course, you should familiarize them with your business goals and tech stack. However, you don't have to spend weeks familiarizing them with your business. For instance, you don't have to introduce them to every department or train them to use software that they will only see once or twice.

Contract Recruiter Hourly Rate and Salary

How much does a contract recruiter make? Contract recruiters are generally more budget-friendly than their full-time counterparts.

According to Indeed, the average contract recruiter salary is $31.5 per hour, which amounts to $5,460 per month and $65,520 annually. In contrast, the average full-time recruiter earns $104,391 a year.

Structure of Contract Recruiting Solutions

You can pay contract recruiting solutions via:

  • Hourly, weekly, or monthly wages
  • Through a fixed lump sum paid at the end of the project

Depending on your project needs, your recruitment contract can last as long as you'd like. To illustrate, you can set your contract to three months if you only need hiring services for that duration of time. Alternatively, if you're not sure when your hiring needs will be met, you can end the contract when all job openings have been filled and you're satisfied with your new hires.

How To Hire a Contract Recruiter

Hiring a contract recruiter can be challenging, especially if you've never done it before. If you don't follow the right steps, you may hire a contract recruiter that doesn't fit your company goals or industry.

Here's what you need to do to hire the best contract recruiter for your team:

1. Decide on the Type of Contract Recruiter

Not all contract recruiters are the same. Some are freelancers, while others work for recruitment agencies.

Consider the following when determining which kind of contract recruiter best suits your needs:

  • Budget: Hiring through a recruitment agency generally costs more. If you have simple positions to fill and a small budget, a freelance recruiter is probably the best pick.
  • The complexity of the positions you want to fill: You also need to consider the complexity of the roles you want to fill. If you have a lot of senior and strategic positions to fill, consider hiring recruitment experts via recruitment agencies. Agencies can also break down the recruitment process and assign the best recruiter to each part of the hiring process. Recruitment agency consultants are also generally higher quality since they've usually been pre-vetted for their technical and soft skills. In contrast, freelance sites don't vet their recruiters, so you won't have a clear idea of their capabilities unless you manually test them.
  • The scope of work: What do you need a recruiter for? If you only need a recruiter to source and hire interview candidates, a freelancer can do the job. But, if you need the recruiter to manage candidate pipelines and design new hiring strategies, you should consider hiring through an agency.

2. Determine the Attributes of Your Ideal Contract Recruiter

Next, you need to pinpoint the attributes of your ideal contract recruiter. Answer the following questions:

  • What do you want them to do? What do you want to achieve by hiring a contract recruiter? Do you just want them to fill specific positions? Or do you want them to revamp your HR system?
  • What skills are you looking for? What kind of industry knowledge should your hire have? How much knowledge should they have? If you're hiring them to conduct interviews, do they have enough industry knowledge to ask the right interview questions? Are they in touch with industry trends? Can they identify your competitors' strengths and weaknesses? Can they offer fresh insights into your HR strategy?
  • What kind of metrics should they use? Experienced contract recruiters should be obsessive about metrics. Specifically, they should be able to work with the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
  • Time to fill
  • Cost per hire
  • Average interviewing cost
  • Average length of service
  • Recruiting conversion rate
  • Talent satisfaction
  • Training costs
  • Employee productivity
  • What kind of experience do they have? A good contract recruiter should have ample experience in your industry. Look at the candidates' resumes and portfolios to see if their experiences are a good fit.

3. Write a Comprehensive Project Description

If you're hiring a freelance recruiter, you must write a comprehensive project ad to attract first-class talent. Skip this step if you're working with contract recruiting firms.

At a minimum, your project ad should include the following:

  • A concise and clear job title
  • A company bio
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Required skills and experience
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Working schedule

Here's what a sample contract recruiter job ad looks like:

Remote Contract Recruiter — Revelo

Revelo wants to hire a Remote Contract Recruiter. Candidates must be able to work in the following time zones:

  • Eastern Standard Time (EST)
  • Mountain Standard Time (MST)
  • Central Standard Time (CST)
  • Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Company Bio:

Revelo is Latin America's leading tech staffing agency. We match pre-vetted tech talent with companies around the globe. Learn more about us on our website.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducting research and automated passive candidate searches
  • Reaching out to people with relevant skills and experience
  • Engaging passive talent through marketing emails
  • Staying current on hiring trends and employment market conditions
  • Working with our in-house HR team to create hiring strategies
  • Conducting and analyzing applicant surveys to choose the best hiring methods
  • Using software to scan resumes and find candidates
  • Holding in-person and online interviews
  • Answering questions from applicants
  • Maintaining and utilizing KPIs regularly
  • Driving offer processes, including extending offers and closing candidates
  • Providing updates for hard-to-fill and strategic positions
  • Ensuring that sourcing activities' return on investment (ROI) is reported every month

Required Skills and Experience

  • Over seven years of experience working in a corporate or agency setting
  • Over five years of experience recruiting tech talent for companies
  • Exposure to full lifecycle recruiting, including screening, negotiations, closing
  • Ability to work with a range of recruiting tools, including applicant tracking systems (ATS)
  • Ability to build strong relationships with hiring managers
  • Experience using a variety of recruiting approaches and resources, including cold calling, research, social media, networking, and internet searches

Compensation and Benefits

  • $50 per hour until all of our positions are filled
  • Work from home
  • Gym membership

Working Schedule

  • 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Monday to Friday

4. Ask the Right Interview Questions

Lastly, you need to ask engaging interview questions that reveal what candidates can bring to your company. Here are some examples:

  • Why did you become a recruiter?
  • What do you enjoy the most about contract recruitment?
  • What is your recruitment strategy? Describe the exact process you use to identify and attract leading-edge talent.
  • What do you usually look for in new recruiter contract jobs?
  • What kind of companies have you worked for before?
  • What are your salary expectations for contract remote recruiter jobs?
  • Why would you like to work for our company?
  • How did your previous clients and employers describe you?
  • What was the last position you hired? What was their job title and what did you do to hire them?
  • What kind of KPIs do you use to refine and create HR strategies?
  • How do you check candidates' references?
  • What do you focus on when reading candidates' resumes?
  • What recruitment software are you familiar with?
  • How would you tell a candidate that they didn't get the job?
  • How do you stay updated with industry news and trends?
  • Has your recruitment process changed since you first started? How so?
  • How do you support hiring managers?
  • What would you do if a candidate rejected your job offer?
  • What would you do if a candidate has different salary expectations than what you can offer?
  • How would you explain our business to a potential hire?

If you're hiring recruiters from an agency, you can skip this step because the agency will choose hires for you. Once the agency has picked the best hires for your team, you can sign a recruiting contract. You can then onboard your new hires.

Why a Staffing Platform Is Better Than a Contract Recruiter

As you can see, hiring recruiters for contract work can be a time sink. Not only do you have to decide on the attributes of your ideal hire, but you also have to create a detailed job description and interview questions.

Accordingly, if you have the budget for it, consider hiring contract recruiters through agencies. As covered above, you can skip steps three and four if you're hiring through agencies. Essentially, all you have to do is pick an agency and tell the hiring team about your goals. In a few days, they'll send you a list of potential candidates.

However, keep in mind that agencies only source and vet candidates. If you want an external provider to handle the entire hiring and onboarding process, consider partnering with staffing platforms like Revelo. These job platforms can handle all of your HR needs, including:

  • Talent sourcing
  • Screening and matching
  • Onboarding and hiring
  • Payroll in any currency, including crypto
  • Taxes
  • Benefits, including subsidized dental and medical insurance and gym memberships
  • Compliance
  • Legal fees
  • Managing employee experience

Recruit and Manage Latin American Developers With Revelo

Recruiting developers can be an uphill battle.

First, you need to hire contract recruiters from agencies or freelance sites. Then, you need to sign a contract with your ideal recruiter and wait for them to attract FAANG-caliber developers. Depending on your industry and job requirements, this can take weeks or months.

Luckily, there's a quick and easy way to hire developers without hiring contract recruiters — through staffing platforms like Revelo. Unlike recruitment agencies, we can handle all of your HR needs, from talent sourcing and onboarding to payroll and compliance.

Contact us today to hire the developer of your dreams.

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