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When talent is in high demand, open positions often get sent to search. That’s because direct hire recruiting agencies have more bandwidth, connections, and niche experience filling roles for industries with high levels of competition for top talent.

At BountyJobs, we work with 40 percent of the Fortune 1,000, and we are seeing several trends in direct hire recruiting for certain industries. Two industries in which direct hire recruiting is more popular than ever – manufacturing/production and pharmaceuticals/biotechnology – demand a very particular set of skills.

Based on the trends we’ve seen, we’re predicting the exact agency fees that employers will pay when working with direct hire recruiting agencies in 2016 for manufacturing and pharmaceutical talent.

Our Recruiting Leader Data Toolkit reports our latest data (the average agency fees in 2014) for these industries. Agency fees are a percentage of the candidate’s first year’s salary. We’re using this data, along with data from our upcoming 2016 Direct Hire Agency Benchmarking report – containing the average fees in 2015 – to predict the exact fee you’ll pay in 2016.

In 2014, the average fees were 22 percent and 24 percent for manufacturing/production and pharmaceuticals/biotechnology respectively. In 2016, you can expect to pay a 21.4 percent fee and a 23.9 percent fee for talent in these respective industries when sending a job to search.

One of the major recruiting trends in 2016 will be an emphasis on data-driven talent acquisition. If you don’t know the cost-of-hire for your organization, you’re missing out on a key piece of information that’s crucial to your recruiting efforts.

Data-Driven Talent Acquisition Is the Major Force in How These Industries Hire

The data that recruiters have on their previous hiring patterns can offer a lot of insight – but it also raises a lot of questions about how recruiters should hire in the future.

Two of the most important metrics – cost-of-hire and quality-of-hire – both require the knowledge of how much the candidate ended up costing the organization to onboard.

A huge part of this calculation will be salary. According to Korn Ferry Hay Group’s 2016 Salary Forecast, we can expect a salary increase of 2.7 percent in the United States this year – a bit less than the 3.1 percent increase the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) expected to see back in July.

We’ve used the latest salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to predict salaries for 2016 based on this 2.7 increase. From there, we calculated the average fee you can expect to pay for each position using data from our marketplace.

Manufacturing and Production Fees Have Decreased an average of $11.57

The manufacturing and production industry has a limited candidate pool. The executives in this industry come from a handful of major organizations, making candidate poaching a regular occurrence and employee retention routinely low. Because of a drop in fees as a percentage, manufacturing and production fees are remaining more or less flat, with only an average disparity if $11.

For recruiters looking for executives in manufacturing and production, the lower fee is a good news because salaries for chief executives are beginning to climb:

Table 1

General manufacturing and production roles will require the following fees in 2016:

Table 2

While manufacturing and production candidate salaries will likely decrease, you can plan for salaries in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to rise higher.

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Fees Have Increased by $434.25

Pharmaceutical candidates are known for their high salary bases. Years of schooling and a high-risk environment make compensation for pharmaceutical and biotechnology candidates higher than most industries.

Because of this, they’re often the highest agency fees paid when sent to search – but its money well spent. With only a handful of top candidates in the industry, companies have to be competitive and aggressive when recruiting their talent, which is easier when leaning on agency assistance.

Salaries shown below are the reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In our marketplace, we often see salaries trending much higher. These are the lowest fees you’ll pay for pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives in 2016:

Table 3

These are the fees you’ll pay for general pharmaceutical and biotechnology talent in 2016:

Table 4

Leaning on agency experts for business-critical open requisitions pays off big – their expertise, wide candidate pools, and speed of delivery are unmatched in the recruiting world.



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