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How Much Do Recruitment Agencies Charge For Contractors?

When searching for the perfect contractors to complement your team, recruitment agencies can be instrumental in finding the interim talent that you need. However, a great service like this doesn’t come for free. In saying that, if you’re working with a recruitment partner that you can trust, the cost won’t be hard to justify and actually, they can save you money in the long term.

But how much precisely do recruitment agencies charge for contractors and how does this differ from temporary and permanent position charges? In this article, The Curve Group explain.

Recruitment Agency Charges For Contractors

There isn’t a simple answer to the question of how much recruitment agencies charge for contractors. In short, it will differ from agency to agency. Plus, the charge can depend on a number of different factors, including:

  • Type of industry
  • Location
  • Level of experience required

Typically, however, you can expect a recruitment agency to charge a percentage of the contractor’s hourly or daily rate as their fee. Again, this will depend on the agency in question but this could be anywhere from 10% to 30% or perhaps even a little more.

Some agencies may charge simply for matching your requirements with the right contractor; others may offer additional services for an additional fee, including background checks and other screening processes.

At The Curve Group, we offer different contractor fees depending on whether we source the contractor directly, or whether you refer the contractor to us for vetting, screening and onboarding. We also offer preferential fees if there is a commitment from your business to hire all contractors through The Curve Group, or if there are significant volumes to be soured and managed.

Contractor Recruitment Charges VS Permanent Employee Charges

When you hire a permanent employee through a recruitment agency, the recruitment agency will typically charge a percentage of the employee’s annual base salary as their fee. Again, this will depend on the agency and the complexity of the role but generally this percentage sits somewhere between 10-25%+.

As mentioned above, this differs from hiring a contractor. In this instance, a recruitment agency will usually charge a percentage of the contractor’s hourly or daily rate as their fee.

Are Recruitment Agencies Worth It When Hiring Contractors?

If you’re worried about the charges involved with utilising a recruitment agency to find the right contractor workforce, you may be wondering whether it’s actually worth using an agency or whether you’d be better off taking this task in-house.

Whether going in-house is the right decision for you will depend on your budget and resource. But it’s important to note that using an experienced and reputable recruitment agency can be the difference between a good hire and a bad hire and can actually lead to greater savings in the long run plus, peace of mind knowing that all of the correct checks have been completed prior to utilising that contractor and that you have complied with all applicable tax regulations.

After all, there’s a reason why recruitment agencies exist! These agencies have the expertise and resources to source top talent and bring it to your business and this is what your team may be missing. Plus, hiring in-house doesn’t come without its costs either. Time is money and the energy that goes into recruiting can be a drain with writing job descriptions, advertising, preparing and carrying out interviews, negotiating offers and preparing for onboarding.

How The Curve Group Can Help

Here at The Curve Group, we offer a range of flexible and bespoke contractor workforce solutions which can be 100% tailored to meet your business needs – and your budget. From contractor recruitment to full contractor management, we cover all bases to make your contractor workforce a success.

Contractor Recruitment

We help businesses like yours to find and hire the best contractors for your needs through our wide network of highly-skilled contractors. Whatever level and area of expertise you’re looking for, we can identify the right fit for each project.

Contractor Sourcing, Vetting & Onboarding

Finding the right interim support for your business is crucial. Our contractor sourcing, vetting & onboarding service helps you find that support whilst also driving efficiencies, cost savings and ensuring compliance with the latest laws and regulations.

Beyond simply sourcing new contractors, we can onboard existing contractors engaged directly by your business or those provided by other agencies and umbrella companies. We can deliver this as a standalone service on a project or on a long-term basis – or include it as part of a full Recruitment Process Outsource solution.

Contractor Timesheeting & Payroll

Our contractor sourcing, vetting & onboarding service also includes contractor timesheeting and payroll services as standard. We use RSM’s leading payroll and billing software for contractors, streamlining and automating electronic timesheets, billing and payroll processes to ensure compliant contractor usage.

You’ll also receive consolidated monthly utilisation reports and invoices, providing complete visibility and control of contractor spending so that you can make informed decisions about your contractor workforce and manage your costs effectively.

Contractor Management

Enjoy the peace of mind that your business is operating above board when it comes to your contractors with our full contractor management service. This includes onboarding, contract management, compliance checks and payroll.

Contractor Audits

Our contractor audit service involves engaging key stakeholders across your business to identify any areas of risk or gaps in checks as well as opportunities for efficiencies. We can also provide ongoing recommendations around the utilisation of contractors to inform your broader workforce strategy.

We understand that engaging with contractors requires a robust due diligence process to ensure that they are properly vetted for relevant insurance and that their IR35 status is correctly determined. Check out our employer’s guide to IR35 rules in the private sector to find out more.


Hopefully you now have a clearer idea of how much recruitment agencies charge for contractors. Turn to The Curve Group and let us manage your contractor workforce effectively and efficiently. No matter the level of service you require, our contractor recruitment & management services can support your business, save you money and ensure you remain 100% compliant.

Get in touch with us today to find out more. Call 01295 811 486 or drop us an email on [email protected] and let’s start a conversation.

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