Why use a subscription-based recruitment solution for your next hire

Jamie Sharp

Writer & Blogger

Recruitment has evolved; it has to.

Traditional recruitment can be expensive, even if you only initially need one person. In addition, receiving a pile of CVs to sort through can slow the whole process down and place emphasis on the business to try and choose a selection of suitable candidates for interviews.

Around fifteen years ago, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) evolved as an effective tool for large businesses needing to hire at scale and reduce costs. This transformation of recruitment further adapted with the rise of subscription-based on-demand recruitment services that opened the door to businesses of all sizes.

Now businesses could benefit from flexibility across the entire talent acquisition process, from EVP and employer branding to candidate sourcing, interviews and offers, without increasing headcount or dealing with traditional recruitment agencies.

What is subscription recruitment?

Subscription-based recruitment has recruitment as a service and works in a similar way to other ‘as a service’ models. First, companies pay a monthly fee for a complete recruitment outsourcing service. Then, based on the level of plan you choose, you can recruit a certain number of new employees per month or per year.

The subscription model lets you brief your chosen recruitment organisation on your requirements and then let them handle the entire process for you. It’s like having a full-time in-house team at a fraction of the cost and with the necessary skills and technology to give you a flexible, agile and efficient recruitment process.

Consider this: according to statistics on hiring, companies take an average of 42 days on the recruitment process and spend, on average, $4,129 per new hire. However, subscription-based recruitment will reduce both the time to hire and the cost of hiring, which makes it an effective option for smaller businesses.

Benefits of a subscription-based recruitment solution

One of the benefits of subscription-based recruitment that appeals to SMEs and startups is the cost benefits of using this model compared to taking a more traditional approach or employing an in-house team.

Traditional agencies generally charge a fee as a percentage of salary which can run to thousands of pounds per hire. If you hire on a regular basis, this will quickly become unaffordable.

Similarly, employing an in-house team to handle your staffing needs, buying the latest applicant tracking tech, having employees responsible for employer branding, salaries for the team and the cost of databases and career site hosting can run to hundreds of thousands of pounds annually.

Should you have a lull in recruitment requirements, these people still need to be paid with all the associated costs involved.

Subscription-based recruitment is a fixed monthly cost that can be scaled up and down as required and includes everything you need to attract the best talent on the market.

In the current post-pandemic marketplace, agility and flexibility are essential to attract and source the talent you need. A subscription-based model allows you to have a team of expert recruiters in place, allowing you to increase or decrease your recruitment with as little as one 1 months’ notice.

Additionally, by building a talent pipeline, when you do have a surge in recruitment, you can hit the ground running by accessing suitable talent from the pipeline without starting from scratch each time you want to recruit.

Finally, a significant reason to consider a subscription-based model is the expertise you’ll have access to throughout the recruitment process. Everything from establishing EVP and employer branding to candidate sourcing, interviews and offers.

You’ll have access to detailed analytics that will keep you in control of your recruitment campaigns without needing to employ and train full-time staff or contractors. Also, subscription based RPO organisations can provide job market insights which may not be available to you as an organisation.

Subscription recruitment vs traditional agency recruitment

Businesses may use three main types of traditional agency models to recruit.

Temporary – agencies providing temporary staff to cover absences or resources for specific projects. These are charged based on the hourly salary plus an agency multiplier.

Permanent – this type of recruitment for full or part-time permanent staff is often carried out on a contingency basis; the recruiting agency is only paid based on a successful hire. The fee paid is generally a percentage of the annual salary offered to secure the candidate.

Executive Search – this model tends to be used for senior staff and is generally retained recruitment, where an upfront fee is paid for the agency to actively headhunt qualified candidates in addition to a percentage of the starting salary.

All these models can be expensive and are carried out by an agency that is remote from the business.

A subscription-based recruitment model has the advantage of working on a fixed monthly cost, and the recruitment team become part of the business providing not just CVs to the Hiring Manager but a complete talent acquisition service from job posting through to offer as well as assisting with EVP and employer branding.

The dedicated Recruiters have the flexibility to ramp up recruitment very quickly and have access to a talent pipeline of candidates who are interested in working with an organisation, so hiring times can be significantly reduced.

How our subscription recruitment service works

We’re sure you won’t be surprised by the rise in subscription-based recruitment. Post covid businesses needed to find ways to consolidate their recruitment, manage costs and reduce the size of in-house teams.

Our Recruit and Retain subscription-based recruitment allows businesses to achieve all these goals and reduce the burden of recruitment on their busy in-house specialists.

How our subscription-based recruitment works is simple. You tell us how many roles you’d like us to work on per month, and we calculate a cost per ‘credit’; this is a simple monthly fee to work on a specific number of vacancies. The agreement runs for a minimum of three months with discounts for six or twelve months.

The monthly fee is calculated by assessing the number of roles per month, their level of seniority and the current average placement fees. This will be significantly lower than traditional agency costs and comes with the added benefit of unlimited hires at no additional cost.

Subscription-based recruitment makes an RPO-style service affordable for SMEs and start-ups, not just large corporate clients. The benefits of Recruit and Retain include:

  • Easy to manage budgets which can improve cash flow
  • Promotes employer brand and value propositions
  • Build a talent pipeline
  • Work with an experienced Account Manager
  • Offers market insight and competitor activity
  • Significant cost savings
  • Proactive strategy to search and identify candidates


Recruitment, though essential, can be time-consuming and expensive. Recruit and Retain lets you outsource your recruitment, reduce costs and know that your brand is being effectively promoted and candidates applying for roles receive an enhanced candidate experience.

Want to know more? Call us today.

Find out how our award-winning, on-demand recruitment solutions can reshape the way you meet your hiring needs.

Abbey House, Farnborough Road
Farnborough, GU14 7NA
T: +44 (0) 1252 624 699

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