How much does a recruiter make per recruit? Recruitment fees in the UK

How much does a recruiter make per recruit? Recruitment fees in the UK

Recruitment fees really depend on what the vacancy is, but a general guide is as follows.

If the role is a permanent job paying a salary then in the UK these are the levels approximately:

  1. Non-qualified or support staff in most industries: 10-20% of the first year salary plus VAT.

This means that if a candidate is earning £20,000 a year then the recruitment agency will get between £2000 and £4000 plus VAT as a fee. At most companies the individual recruitment consultant will receive about £200 to £300 of this, but in the more generous companies (like Ten Percent Legal Recruitment), the recruitment consultant will receive around 33% of the overall fee as commission.

  1. For a member of staff who is qualified and earning between £20,000 and £50,000 then the fee is likely to be between 18% and 35% of the first year’s salary or package.

This means that if a candidate is earning say £30,000, the recruitment consultancy will get paid a fee of anything from between £4750 to £15,000 plus VAT.

It all depends on the complexity of the role and how rare the candidates are in a lot of industries as to what employers are prepared to pay to get a candidate in.

  1. A temporary worker is slightly different. The rate will be anything from 10% up to 50% of the monies paid to the temporary worker.

It all depends on how the agency is set up, but if say a temporary member of staff is earning £30 per hour then the agency who introduced them is likely to be earning somewhere between £5 and £15 per hour simply for making the introduction. Again this all depends on the scarcity of candidates for particular roles and the particular agency in question. Some agencies are fairly transparent in their fees in this regard but others will haggle both with the temporary worker and also the employer to improve their own margin and reduce those of their candidates and employers. You can usually tell in the more senior roles as the agencies who try to tighten both ends will employ their contractors, and the agencies who simply introduce will get their contractors working on a self employed basis and charge their fee separately (see for details).


MD and Founder of the Ten-Percent Group, which includes the Legal Recruitment Website, the Ten Percent Financial Recruitment Website (, and Interim Lawyers ( and Also author and editor of the Legal Recruitment News - - a monthly newsletter for law firms, employers and candidates, plus the award-winning blog -

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