The Cost of Not Choosing the Right Real Estate Recruitment Agency

The right real estate recruitment agency is your go-to partner when it comes to finding the right hire.

Navigating the complexities of recruitment in-house can be both challenging and resource-intensive, even for those businesses with a dedicated HR or hiring team. This becomes even more difficult when left in the hands of a line manager, who often lacks the necessary time required to oversee the process effectively.

This is where real estate recruitment agencies become invaluable. Their dedicated focus and specialist expertise not only free up precious time but also improve the recruitment journey. With an understanding of both the client’s and candidates’ needs, recruitment agencies significantly increase your chances of securing the right candidate first time.

At Macdonald & Company we have over 30 years of experience in real estate recruitment giving us a deep insight into the wants and needs of both parties from both sides. We work as an extension of your in-house team, getting under the skin of the business and identifying what it’s truly like to work for your company so we can be confident we find the right hire.

With that in mind, the costs of not choosing the right real estate recruitment agency can be high, as you are investing time and money into the process. This means you need to be sure that you’ve got the right team on board, otherwise it will lead to delays and challenges later down the line.

That’s what this blog post is all about as we’ll be exploring the financial and efficiency costs incurred by not choosing the right recruitment agency.

The Importance of the Right Recruitment Agency

The importance of partnering with the right real estate recruitment agency cannot be overstated, especially within such a competitive landscape.

Going for a recruiter that offers to search for candidates on low fees can backfire. Often smaller or less reputable recruitment agencies over-promise and under deliver on low fees, costing more unnecessary time to hire. We’ve personally found instances where companies have originally approached a smaller agency, only for a month down the line, they have no candidates shortlisted or any suitable for interview stage – that’s when they turn to us.

Candidates have more options than ever before, with a global average of 51% of professionals planning to move jobs in the next 12 months.

However these agencies not only help you secure and maintain the right talent, but they also act as your strategic partner, helping you navigate the intricacies of the industry. This might be helping you to understand market trends, providing salary benchmarking, or conducting competitor analysis to ensure your offering remains attractive. They do more than just fill a job; they have a pulse of the changing market and how this affects the roles you want to fill.

At Macdonald & Company, our ‘Salary, Rewards and Attitudes’ survey report remains the most comprehensive benchmark for remuneration and sentiments in real estate, empowering hiring professionals and employers to make strategic decisions that enhance their workforce and talent management strategies. Learn more here.

The right recruitment agency can also identify candidates who not only meet the technical requirements of the job but who also embody the values of your business. They take the time to understand what makes your company tick, so that they can match the right person on both a professional and personal level.

Moreover they bring a wealth of knowledge, not just of the current market trends and salary benchmarks, but also of the shifts in candidate expectations and behaviours.

For example our survey research found that work life balance continued to top the values that employers are looking for ahead of base salary. With insights like this in mind, you can craft more relevant, more strategic remuneration packages that appeal to the current mindset of today’s candidates.


woman in purple looking at paper

Implications of Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agency

Making a quick decision and partnering with the wrong real estate recruitment agency can be costly. From spending time and money hiring the wrong candidates, to missing out on talent opportunities, you can easily slip behind your hiring deadlines and the competition.

Below we’re taking a look at some of the costs incurred by choosing the wrong real estate recruitment agency so you know what to look out for next time you engage in the process.

Hiring the wrong candidates

Partnering with the wrong real estate recruitment agency can lead to numerous financial issues including a mis-hire.

Hiring the wrong person can cost a lot more than just their salary. Let’s break it down using the role of a Development Manager.

Let’s say you pay them between £80,000 to £100,000 a year. If they’re not right and leave after six months, that’s £40, 000 to £50,000 gone. Then add training costs, which could be another 10-20% on top of that salary, and you’re looking at a total loss of £8,000 to £20,000 just for one bad hire.

But it’s not just about the money spent on them directly. A bad hire can make the rest of the team unhappy and less productive. This can delay projects and make clients unhappy too, which might cost you future earnings.

Then, if you need to find someone to replace them, you have to spend more on job ads, sorting through applicants, and interviews. This takes time and money away from other things your team could be doing.

Our research shows that the cost of a wrong hire from job advertising to the end of a probation period can be as much as the yearly salary on offer to up to three-time the salary across the board.


Here is an example of costs involved, from advertising to the end of a probation period:

Salary: £80,000 per annum

Probation period: 6 months

Agent/Hiring fee (20%): £16,000

Pre-hire advertising costs: £2000

Sign on bonus: £5000

Wages per day on training (30 days avg): £9,230

Work resources and starter kit: £5,000

Monthly Technology/Software costs: £1000 (x6/mo probation = £6,000)

Employer Pension contribution (5%): £333 (x6/mo probation = £1998)

Professional qualification fee/membership a month: £60 (x6/mo probation = £300)

External training costs / other: £2000

Total: £87,528 (yearly salary / 12 x no. months probation) + all other costs entered


Other costs to consider during hiring are:

  • Management time for general onboarding training
  • HR time for paperwork, ID checks, general starter admin
  • Marketing time and costs for website and collateral updates
  • Management time for interviewing candidates -and frustration at wasting time on unsuitable candidates or suitable ones that haven’t been properly qualified and choose another option

There are also costs after the probation period including company benefits such as private health cover, season ticket loan, etc.

In summary, the true cost extends beyond financial losses; it covers the significant investment of time and effort too. Furthermore, the introduction of a “bad” hire can severely impact the team or office culture, tarnishing reputation and affecting the overall workplace atmosphere.

Inefficient use of resources

Choosing the wrong real estate recruitment agency can lead to a range of inefficiencies within your business operations.

An agency lacking in streamlined processes might not only prolong the timeline of your projects but could also require additional help and coordination from your internal team.

This increased workload for your in-house team might stem from the need to clarify goals and objectives, communicate feedback more frequently, and sift through candidates or solutions that do not meet your expectations.

This misalignment not only takes up time for your team with extra admin tasks but also distracts them from their core role. As a result, the operational efficiency of your business could suffer, potentially leading to delayed project timelines, increased costs, and missed opportunities.


3 women sat talking at desk

Missed talent opportunities

Partnering with a recruitment agency that lacks a thorough understanding of your sector, your organisational values, or the requirements of the positions you want to fill can lead to missed opportunities in securing the best talent.

This gap in alignment not only affects your ability to attract individuals who could be key in driving your business forward but also gives your competitors the advantage to strengthen their own teams.

As a result, this could reduce your standing in the market as your company struggles to keep up pace.

Furthermore, the inability to secure the right talent may lead to longer recruitment cycles, increasing the time and resources spent on filling vacancies, something we’re covering in more detail below.

Increased training and development costs

If a recruitment agency keeps sending you the wrong candidates, it could end up costing you a lot more in training and development than you expected.

You’ll have to spend more money and effort to get these hires up to the level they need to be, which means you’re using up funds that could have gone to other important areas like new products/ services or growth.

Organisations can spend from £1000-£12,000 on training and development so you want to be sure this is being invested in the right people.

Also, constantly having to train people who aren’t right for the job can disgruntle your existing team. They might feel overwhelmed by having to help the new starters too much, which can upset the way your team works together and reduce how much everyone gets done.

Additionally, this situation can increase employee turnover as your staff might start looking for jobs elsewhere if they’re unhappy with the constant disruptions and additional workload.

Vacancies take longer to fill

Prolonged vacancies in the real estate sector can have a huge impact on the businesses..

If you can’t fill a role promptly it can lead to significant lost revenue, particularly in sales-driven positions where each day without a team member can mean missed opportunities for client engagement and transactions.

This issue is compounded by increased pressure on existing staff, potentially resulting in burnout. The additional workload can also negatively affect team morale, undermining the overall workplace environment and potentially leading to a decline in service quality.

The effect of these challenges highlights the importance of a streamlined, effective recruitment strategy and the value of partnering with a recruitment agency that understands the demands and urgency of the real estate industry.

Damage to your employer brand

Working with a recruitment agency that fails to accurately represent your company’s ethos and values in the marketplace can negatively affect your employer brand.

If candidates have a negative experience with your recruitment partner, it can soon become public knowledge particularly through word of mouth or through social media platforms.

There’s also platforms such as Glass Door, where people can leave feedback about an organisation including their experience of the recruitment process.

For instance, they could mention unprofessional communication, a lack of feedback after interviews, or even the agency’s failure to understand the role they were applying for. This can be a red flag for potential applicants who do their homework before applying.

As a result, you might see a decline in the quantity and quality of job applications, making it increasingly challenging to secure talent that aligns with your company’s needs and culture.

women in black blazer on the phone

What to Look for in a Real Estate Recruitment Agency

Knowing what to look for in a real estate recruitment agency is the first step to finding the ideal fit. Perhaps cost, location, or specialism in your field is the key factor to your decision making. Whatever it is that sways you to one agency over another, finding the right agency is key.

Below are some of the things you should consider before choosing which real estate recruitment agency to partner with:

Specialisation and Expertise in Real Estate

A recruitment agency that specialises in the real estate sector brings a deeper understanding of the industry’s challenges, trends, and requirements.

This is key for identifying candidates who not only have the required skills but also align with the cultural and operational needs of real estate businesses. Agencies with a focus on real estate are more likely to have a network of potential candidates and understand the competitive landscape

Additionally, their experience can provide valuable insights into salary benchmarks and candidate expectations within the sector, which helps in crafting competitive offers.

Industry Reputation

It’s important to check if the agency has successfully worked with companies like yours and filled similar jobs before.

Take a look at testimonials, case studies, and reviews from both clients and candidates as these can shed light on the agency’s success.

A recruitment agency with a strong reputation is likely to maintain high standards, which includes transparent communication, ethical practices, and a commitment to understanding both the employers and candidates’ needs.

You can explore our clients at Macdonald and Company by clicking here.

Understanding of Your Company Culture and Values

A key part that often gets overlooked is the recruitment agency’s ability to match your company’s culture and values with potential candidates.

Cultural fit is as important as technical skills in ensuring long-term employee retention. During the selection process, assess how the agency plans to learn about and represent your company culture.

The right agency will take the time to immerse themselves in your environment, asking questions about your company’s mission, values, work environment, and what makes your company unique.


Partnering with us

For three decades, we have helped placed senior appointments across the real estate industry for Developers, Investors/Funds, Consultancies, Advisors, Property Companies, and more, globally.

The Cost of Not Choosing the Right Real Estate Recruitment Agency

Choosing the right real estate recruitment agency can supercharge your recruitment efforts and success.

Instead of muddling through this process alone and taking valuable time and resources out of the business, these professionals manage everything for you, from leveraging their own network and expertise, to screening applications, to interview follow-ups.

Aside from the time-saving benefits, partnering with a real estate recruitment agency also brings financial savings as demonstrated by the cost of a wrong hire. This can be mitigated by partnering with professionals who know the field inside out, and can match the role you’re advertising with individuals who possess the right skills and values.

This lowers staff turnover, improves employee morale, and increases staff retention, all contributing to cost savings by removing the need to re-advertise the position.

At Macdonald & Company, we have over 30 years of experience in real estate recruitment, with a database of 250,000 real estate professionals globally, allowing us to find and secure the right candidates. We come into your business, finding out what really makes it tick so that we can match your available job roles with candidates who suit both the job specification and culture. Get in touch with our team to find out more.



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