Making $20,000 as a Freelancer Recruiter

My friend came by and handed me a $4,800 check for placing a district manager candidate with Aldi. Should I call him friend or boss? What does someone that is freelancing call the person that pays them for doing work?

What Is a Freelance Recruiter Anyway?

Freelance recruiting is a side hustle you don’t hear much about in the personal finance community. The job of a recruiter is to fill open positions for companies. Many small-to-medium sized companies use recruiters to fill positions when it can be difficult to find qualified candidates.

The hardest part about being a recruiter is finding clients willing to pay you to fill positions. A strong relationship must be in place between a company and recruiting firm before they’ll be willing to pay a substantial fee to hire someone.

How Do Recruiting Firms Make Money?

In almost all cases recruiters are paid by the company/client. In this example, the client is Aldi and the candidates are the individuals that we are sending to Aldi to fill potential openings. A small recruiting firm can survive on the fees from two or three great clients, as was the case with my business partner.

Recruiting fees are generally based on a candidate’s starting salary. The fees can range anywhere from 15% to 35% of starting salary. Jobs that are easier to fill are typically on the lower end, with more difficult jobs to fill on the higher end.

My cut of any placements as a freelance recruiter was based on how much of the work I did. For example, if I found a candidate and passed a resume on, my cut of the fee would be around 10%. If I screened a candidate, completed the background screening, and conducted the initial interview then my cut would be closer to 30%.

So if you run the math: a starting salary of $80,000 could result in a recruiting fee of $16,000 at a 20% commission for the recruiting firm. My cut as a freelance recruiter if I found the candidate, completed the background check, and conducted the initial interview would have been $4,800 at a 30% commission.

The Life of a Freelance Recruiter

I can’t speak for all freelance recruiters, but can walk you through my responsibilities. My business partner had several freelance recruiters working for him. Whenever a job opening came in he’d assign it to one of us. That’s when went on the hunt for qualified candidates.

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