In addition to a flat fee and an engagement fee, companies can reduce search costs by offering a discount for multiple hires of the same job description.

Fact: it’s easier to fill six widget engineer positions with one company than it is to fill six widget engineer positions with six companies.

If you know you’re going to hire six engineers during the next 12 months, negotiate a discounted rate.  The easiest way to get a recruiter to agree to a discount is by offering one that engages as you hire more.  What follows is an example.

If you need six widget gurus, offer the first two hires at 30%, the next two hires at 27%, and additional hires at 24%.  If you hired six engineers at $80,000 salaries with this formula, you would have saved $14,400 over the course of the year, and your recruiter would most likely be more effective because they will learn what you truly desire and send only those types of candidates.  This saves both time and money.

I also have a case study that illustrates the effectiveness of this approach.

I had filled a few Software Developer positions with a consulting company over the course of a few years. The company was awarded a major contract and needed six developers during the next several months.

By using a formula similar to the one presented above, the company saved the cost of one placement fee.

In my next blog post, I’ll explore per-hour consulting as another way to reduce search costs.

(For more information about maximizing the benefits of working with a recruiter, download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Hunting the Headhunter: Your Guide to Debunking Myths, Cutting Costs, and Changing the Way You Play the Recruitment Game.)