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26 Jan 2009

Fixed Fee Recruitment RPO providers - shouldn’t they actually be called recruiting FARM’s?


As part of a large recruitment audit I am currently working on, I have had cause to look at the fixed fee recruitment providers, such as Webrecruit, Networx, Net-Recruit, Websearch and EasyWebRecruitment.

The first thing to try and do was to understand what they are actually called and what they do. They are not really full RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) companies, although they have the capacity to be. They are not true recruitment agencies, but again they do some of the process.
They all charge a fixed fee for a recruitment management service, whether that be job board advertising, CV database searches or response management.

So, I have created a description for them that I feel is both appropriate and effective as a description of what they do - recruiting FARM's.
F - Fixed fee
A - Advertising jobs
R - Resourcing vacancies
M - Management of the process

I actually think that it describes what they do very well.

What do you think? Does it suit their service? Can you come up with a better one?

  • Ravi

    Networkx and Net-Recruit, especially the former have built their service on top of a couple of recruitment products. All of them do look like a hybrid of RPOs and traditional Agencies. So the FARM description goes well with it 🙂

    Do you feel they bring the best of both and add value? Any downsides?

  • Emily

    The connotations of the word ‘farm’ are clearly negative here - particularly when when accompanied by the image at the top of the post. However, the services many of these companies offer, just a few of which are listed, are undeniably positive.

    Fixed fee - in times of financial turmoil, who ever wants to be presented with a bill from their recruitment consultants (the emphasis on con in many cases! for more than they were expecting? A fixed fee guarantees that this is not the case.

    Advertising Jobs - surely a key part of any recruitment business! You make it sound like a bad thing for a vacancy to be advertised, but how else is it to join the public domain if not through advertising? Ultimately the client’s of these companies are paying to fill their vacancies with competant, talented staff, which wouldn’t happen if jobs were not advertised.

    Process management - in an age where those seeking employees have increasingly less time to attend to the administration time needed when recruiting, I can only see it as a good thing to be involved with a recruitment company who will ensure their clients are guided fully throughout the recruitment process.

    are frequently critised for their many faults, are forward-moving hybrids of RPOs and agencies deserving of the negative ‘FARM’ label?

  • Recruitment Software

    Ah, interesting. I came across something similar some time back.

  • Don Skinner

    Hi, I would agree that is what flat fee recruitment companies do although as Emily said the anagram FARM itself may seeem a little negative. I actually work for a flat fee recruitment company called https://www.netnatives.co.uk. We pride ourselves on offering more than other flat fee recruiters as we also consult on using social media better for recruitment as well as employer branding. There’s alot of free information on our site and our blog. In Net Natives case I think you would have to think of a longer anagram than FARM but you’ve definately summed up the jist of flat fee recruitment.

  • Uk Employment Guide

    I find the links provided in the articles very handy and useful!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • John Williams

    The internet has brought many new innovations to industry and business services. One of the main effects has been the development of low cost and fixed fee services such as estate agency, legal services, insurance and travel. All of these sectors have seen a massive increase in the number of low cost operators working exclusively via the internet. Have a look at estate agency for example - you can list your house on https://www.rightmove.co.uk with https://www.housenetwork.co.uk for £395 plus VAT.

    Recruitment agencies so far have been shielded from the process because the job market has been very busy for a number of years. However, the boom has now ended, and companies are looking to cut costs.

    Low cost recruitment was inevitable when the market contracted, and I suspect it is here to stay. Recruitment companies can still make a decent profit as they will almost inevitably pick up vacancies that would not otherwise have been advertised with agencies.

    I should add that I work for https://www.businessbusstop.com so have a slightly vested interest in all of this..

  • Tim James

    They are online recruitment agencies the do exactly the same job as scamming recruitment agencies but at a lower cost in fact the only thing they don’t do is ask you to come to the office and make you register and talk a load of rubbish and waist your time FACT


  • Richard Johnson

    I read you article, very good! I have been running a recruitment agency (https://www.barecruitment.co.uk) for the past 10 years and recently bought a couple of jobsites also (https://www.eastmidlandsjobs.co.uk) We have combinded these 2 services to be able to offer #FixedFeeRecruitment https://barecruitment.co.uk/fixed-fee-recruitment.html
    It’s working with our clients as we are able to offer them more services
    1. Direct posting onto a local jobsite
    2. Fixed fee Recruitment, where we administer all applications
    3. Traditional Recruitment for Accountancy and Administration recruitment in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

  • Grace Roberts

    As a recruiter I’ve found Fixed Fee Recruitment agencies a great resource in sourcing good quality candidates cheaply and efficiently.

    So although a descriptive term, I feel FARM maybe slightly unfair with it’s (as Emily pointed out) negative connotations.

    Perhaps check out https://www.technorecruit.co.uk - they did an excellent job managing the recruitment process for my last vacancy.

  • Online Recruitment Genius

    What acronyms could you come up with for traditional recruitment agencies then?

  • Fixed Fee Recruitment Agency

    I think the point was made as a dig if you include the image at the top of the page as well. As with all types of recruitment of any service industry it is down to the service you get offered and the way in which it is delivered. A good fix fee recruiter will help the client in job board selection (niche and generalist), CV database searches, social media searching (linkedin and Twitter, CV screening and the arrangement of interviews. That they can do this cheaper than a traditional recruiter just shows how over priced the service is and has been for years.

  • Linda Grange ( Recruitment Manager )

    Fixedrecruitment.co.uk provide an excellent service and a vastly becoming the number one fixed price recruitment agency in the country. Their Account Managers are very knowledgeable about their industries and they really do exhaust the whole of the market place in order to capture the relevant candidates for the vacancies you need filling. I would highly recommend Fixed Recruitment Ltd to any corporate company looking to hire top talent for specialist roles or volume. I dealt with Rikki Holland who has worked in the industry for many years at such companies as Jobsite and he provided a world class service that resulted in many placements for minimal cost

  • Klally

    I was wondering if anyone could tell what the typical fixed fee is that an RPO charges? Is this paid up front or over a certain time frame?

  • Recruitment software

    FARM makes sense to me. Hard to come up with a better one.

  • Geoff Newman

    The blog post was written over three years ago. With the benefit of time I wonder if your view on fixed free recruiters has changed?