No Win, No Fee, No Clue…

Posted on May 08, 2019 by PaulHickey | Recruitment

What does a “no win, no fee” law firm and a “no placement, no fee” recruitment firm have in common?

They’ve both crunched the numbers and they’re both taking you for a ride…


When a city council street sweeper runs over your foot, it’s an easy case for a “no win, no fee” lawyer to win, but it’s never going to go to trial. There’s going to be a negotiation, a settlement and a nice pay day for the legal team.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you can’t afford a lawyer, it’s not a bad route to take. But if you have a professional on your case who commits all his efforts to documenting the injury and the fact that the council has ruined your chances of ever playing for Bradford City, you’ll probably get a much higher pay-out.

The “no win, no fee” industry is a numbers game. They only take on the cases they’re confident they can win and they only put in as much time and effort as is needed to get a profitable settlement.

The “no placement, no fee” recruiter is working on a similar principle except that they know they’re competing with other similar recruitment firms. It’s not unusual for a recruiter of this type to only make a placement on 20% of the assignments they work on.

Think about that for a moment.

If you know there’s only a 20% chance of being paid for a job, how much effort are you really going to put into it?

If you have to work five assignments at once, just to be reasonably sure of getting a single payment, really what other choice do you have but to spread your efforts out?

And, yes, if you’re trying to find an 18K a year blue-collar worker, maybe it doesn’t matter that much.

But if you’re trying to bring in an experienced £80K a year Sales Director, do you really want a recruiter who has crunched the numbers and by necessity is looking for the shortest route to delivering a shortlist.

Not the best shortlist. Not even an above average shortlist. Just a 20% effort shortlist compiled while juggling four other campaigns.

You get what you pay for…

We all know this is true.

And we make purchasing decisions accordingly.

Need to make a quick trip to Munich for a distant cousin’s wedding? You’ll spend £50 on a Ryanair flight and put up with no leg room and poor service for a couple of hours.

But if you’re travelling to Hong Kong for a business trip, you’re going to spend £1500 on business class with a premium airline so you can have a lie-flat bad, gourmet food and lounge access.

Want a quick bite to eat before the cinema, a £1.99 double cheeseburger from the Pound Saver menu will do nicely.

Want a memorable eating experience with your spouse, you’re going to spend £150 at a Michelin-starred restaurant with great food, nice wine and a quiet, relaxed environment.

Need to fill a low-level role in a hurry, maybe (and that’s a big maybe) you can get by with a 15% fee recruiter just to get someone in on the cheap.

But if you want a world-class 80K a year sales director, you need a retained recruiter who will give 100% effort and focus to find someone who will take your business to the next level.

The cynics out there might accuse us of making an argument to justify higher fees. And they’d be partially right.

You get what you pay for, remember.

But actually, a higher fee recruiter that you retain will save you money in the long run. Because a retained recruiter who is accustomed to making placements that stay in the role long-term can offer epic, free replacement guarantees.

We’ve crunched the numbers as well.

And because 96% of our placements are still in place after 12 months, we can offer a lengthy peace-of-mind guarantee as standard.


For a no-obligation discussion about how we can help you save time and money on your next recruitment campaign, Click here