How Do Recruiters Make Money?

Luckily for us, tech hiring is quite a flexible sphere that provides a good choice of work options. If you want to be a tech TA specialist, you can consider different companies, contract types, and work conditions. Below are the most common paths you can follow to earn money as a tech recruiter.

IT recruiter in a recruitment agency

Joining a recruitment agency is one of the most widespread options. So how do employees in recruitment agencies earn money? The common payment scheme agencies offer a base salary, plus a fee for any closed position. The fee usually makes up a percentage of a candidate’s first-year salary. The percentage varies from agency to agency, but the minimum percentage tech recruiters get in the USA is 20%. Plus, the percentage can be different for each recruiter depending on their contract terms.

In-house recruiter in a tech firm

Another popular option is joining an IT company (or any other company that hires technology specialists) as a part of the in-house team. The salary for recruiters in such companies is calculated similarly to agencies: they have a base salary and a percentage for any successfully filled position they agree upon signing their contract. 

Tech firms might also offer other financial perks such as performance bonuses or profit sharing, etc. Performance bonuses are incentives that recruiters get if they reach certain key performance indicators (KPIs). Every company decides on their KPIs on its own ‒ these can be a number of closed positions or a retention rate of new hires. If recruiters successfully meet them, they get additional payments. Profit sharing is a system that allows employees to receive a percentage of the company’s profit (usually, annual one).

Freelance recruiter

Freelance recruiters don’t usually have a base salary, thus only work for a success bonus. Working as a freelancer, you can have several regular clients, use recruitment platforms where you sell your services, or look for orders on freelance marketplaces. In this case, a tech recruiter salary depends on the number of closed positions (or on the amount of work done if you sell other services besides hiring such as CV composition or career coaching). Also, on freelance platforms, sometimes recruiters sell their services for an hourly rate. 

How Big Is the Average Salary for an IT Recruiter?

Salary in recruitment depends on a number of factors. Here are the main ones:

  • employment type. While IT recruiters in tech companies or recruitment agencies can expect some kind of stable income thanks to a base salary, self-employed TA specialists often experience more flexibility in their earnings; 
  • seniority level. As with any job in the tech industry, junior, middle, and senior specialists earn different money; the same goes for IT recruiters as well;
  • agency/company location always influences salaries in all businesses: for example, it’s easy to notice the difference between American and European recruiters’ income. However, even in different regions of the US a technology recruiter salary can vary;
  • market that a recruiter works with. Since a bonus for successful hiring depends on the amount of tech specialist’s salary, recruiters working with APAC positions will earn less than those working with US ones.

Taking these factors into account, I’ve created a table with the average salary for IT recruiters in the biggest American and European IT hubs. For freelance recruiters, I indicated the average hourly rate.

IT recruiters in tech companies (gross annual salary)Recruitment agencies (gross annual salary)
California - $127,601UK - $67,579
New York - $118,146Germany - $60,400
Virginia - $63,250 France - $37,500
Texas - $100,644Netherlands - $54,408
Florida - $75,200Poland - $32,062
Freelance IT recruiters (hourly rate)
California - $75-110UK - $25-70
New York - $50-250Germany - $30-65
Virginia - $30-85France - $30-40
Texas - $45-150Netherlands - $30-90
Florida - $50-80Poland - $25-30

Sources: builtin, Glassdoor, Upwork, Indeed

Increasing Salary for Recruiter

One more question I usually hear along with “How do job recruiters make money?” is “How can they earn more?”. Here are several ways to consider.

Six ways to increase your income as a tech recruiter

Participate in Referral Programs

Referral programs are a common practice for IT companies, and technical recruiters know this best of all. These programs allow any company employee to recommend a person they know for an open position and in case of successful hire, get a bonus. Such programs are called internal referrals. There are also external referral programs: in this case, anyone outside a company can refer any candidate to get a bonus.

So, the first piece of advice I would give tech recruiters who want to earn more is to monitor companies that actively run referral programs. Even if your company doesn’t provide such an opportunity, you can find companies that do. For example, you can take advantage of your LinkedIn to track such programs and refer candidates to earn extra money.

One more way you can leverage external referral programs is to register on Huntly where you can refer candidates to any tech positions that appear on the platform. Moreover, you don’t have to monitor the platform all the time; we notify you about all new vacancies, so you don’t miss an opportunity to earn your bonus!

How Huntly referrals work

Climb up the career ladder

Professional growth is another way for a tech recruiter to increase their income. The more expertise a specialist has in the field, the more expensive their services are. Salaries of junior and senior specialists definitely vary, so if you feel that tech recruitment is what you want to do, professional development will bring you higher income over time. 

Having years of experience, you can become more than a senior recruiter and try management or lead positions. They imply additional skills and duties, but they also result in additional payments. The only thing you should keep in mind is that this way is a marathon, not a sprint, so you won’t increase your income instantly.

Work as a freelancer

If you have the time (or desire/ energy) to work beyond your regular schedule, you can consider freelancing as an additional source of income. Platforms like Huntly allow tech recruiters to increase their earnings significantly. That said, you might want to opt for freelancing on a constant basis to have more freedom in organizing your routine and controlling your earnings.

Note! If you have a permanent contract with an agency or tech company, make sure that your employer doesn’t prohibit you from working with their competitors or other firms. Otherwise, you have the risk of violating your labor contract.

Join Huntly as a freelance recruiter!
Work with the vacancies you like and earn decent bonuses by referring relevant candidates.

Partner with industry leaders

If you’ve been in the IT hiring industry for several years now, you definitely know its ins & outs, can spot partnership opportunities, plus, get a financial benefit! 

To do this, analyze ATS providers, job boards, or recruiting platforms you work with, and think about what value you can bring to them in exchange for a fee. For example, you can recommend a job board you really like to the companies you work with and earn a commission if they pay that job board for a successful hire.

At Huntly, we have a similar campaign that allows our recruiters to earn a $1,000 bonus. All you need to do is invite a company to Huntly using a unique link from your account. Then the company registers on our platform and posts their vacancies. You receive a $1,000 bonus once their first vacancy is closed by Huntly’s recruiters. Then you will get $250 for each subsequent closed role. To double your earnings you can join our Partnership Program and get a $2,000 reward for the same efforts!

Upsell your services

While recruiters usually provide services to employers, you can think about working with candidates, too. Here’s a list of services you can consider to earn more:

  • CV composition. Candidates might have impressive experience but be unable to present it in a way that interests employers. This is where your knowledge can be useful! Help tech candidates create and design their CVs by highlighting the most important career achievements. This will increase their chances of being noticed among tons of similar CVs.
  • CV review. If you don’t feel like creating CVs from scratch, you can still be helpful and earn money. CV reviews don’t take as much time as their creation but can provide valuable insights to candidates.
  • Career coaching. Being quite an effort-consuming service, career coaching can bring you good money. You can focus on one or several directions such as interview preparation, job search strategies, tips on running social media profiles professionally, etc. And if you find this activity fulfilling, you can even switch from recruiting to coaching and make it the main source of income.

Share your knowledge

Your knowledge can be useful not only for candidates but for other specialists in your field, too. If you’re a senior or lead recruiter, you can utilize those years of your experience to make money. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Hold coaching sessions. Similar to career coaching, your knowledge can be as valuable to new recruiters as to candidates. Point out the basics every TA specialist should know to succeed in the tech field, supplement this information with examples from your own experience, and sell it during individual sessions.
  • Create your own course. If you have a knack for teaching, you might want to go beyond individual classes and create your course on tech hiring. Do research on how to join popular e-learning platforms like Coursera or Udemy as a lecturer, and see how your course helps grow a new generation of tech recruiters. 
  • Run your blog. If you’re passionate about your job and share your experience on social media anyway, why not make it profitable? Think about how you can monetize your blog in order to combine business with pleasure.  

How Can Huntly Help Tech Recruiters Earn More Money?

As I have already mentioned, Huntly is a platform for recruiters where they can earn decent bonuses for successfully referring candidates to technical positions.

Here’s how you can benefit from joining Huntly as a recruiter:

  • decent bonuses. We value our recruiters and we want them to earn good money. That’s why we require our clients to set generous bonuses, up to $15,000 for a position.
  • flexibility when choosing vacancies. We don’t have restrictions on the number of vacancies you work on and candidates you refer. You’re free to decide on your workload on your own and select the positions you like and/or have expertise with.
  • you do the sourcing part only. The full-cycle recruitment process can be an exhausting experience. However, at Huntly, all interviews are performed by our clients while you earn your bonuses specifically for only referring the most relevant candidates.

In addition to these factors that allow you to increase your income, Huntly also offers you transparent workflow community support, and the ability to broaden your recruitment portfolio ‒ everything in one place!

So now that you know how do recruitment consultants make money, you can plan your income with more precision. Just don't hesitate to join Huntly and reach your financial goals faster!