You need recruiting leads and you’re ready to buy those leads. But not all leads are created equal.

As a recruiter, your livelihood relies on a steady pipeline of high-quality leads. Tracking down and qualifying those recruiting leads can feel like more of a full-time job than the actual recruiting sometimes. Recruiting is rewarding work, of course. There’s not a whole lot better than offering someone a new job. 

Still, you have to find the right people, and that’s not always as simple as it might seem. One way to speed up the process is to purchase recruiting leads. With purchased leads, some of the work is done for you. Instead of scrolling through LinkedIn or sending countless emails in search of referrals, you have a list of candidates ready and waiting for your call. 

However, not all recruiting leads are created equal. In fact, some purchased leads are far better than others. So, what should you look for? 

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Recruiting Leads

The good, the bad, and the ugly: What to consider when you purchase recruiting leads

Purchasing recruiting leads isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think. There are different types of leads, and which is “better” really depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some of the things to consider before you spend money on leads. 

1. Exclusive leads. Exclusive leads are yours and yours alone. These recruiting leads come at a premium, however, you don’t have to compete with multiple other recruiters to make the first contact. Exclusive leads can streamline your process and give you a higher conversion rate, which on a percentage basis can lower the overall cost. Ideally, any exclusive leads are also qualified, but that’s something to ask about. 

2. Shared leads. Shared leads are, as the name implies, shared with other recruiters. These leads are less expensive than exclusive leads, which means there is competition to get to these leads before other recruiters. Your ROI on these leads often depends on how quickly you can get on the phone with them, as well as how much time you have to dedicate to contacting them. 

3. Qualified leads. Qualified leads are vetted, and have some established interest in being recruited. Qualification may be as simple as checking a box stating an openness to contact from recruiters, or the company providing leads may have called and talked to the leads to establish interest. More qualified leads will usually have a higher cost. Most leads, whether shared or exclusive, should be at least minimally qualified, otherwise, you’re just buying a list of names and contact information. 

4. Aged leads. Aged recruiting leads may be exclusive or shared, but in either case, are generally 30-60 days old. These leads have most likely been contacted by a recruiter, but for whatever reason, are still open to job offers. You can read more about aged leads here

5. Guarantee. While there’s no guarantee that your recruiting efforts will be successful, it’s worth considering a guarantee on the quality of your leads. How much of a guarantee you want is ultimately up to you. As an example, some lead generation services will offer a money-back guarantee on leads with incorrect contact information. 

6. Expertise. There are more than a few companies selling leads. Therefore, it might be worth considering a company with expertise or specialization in your field, if possible. For example, if you’re recruiting for tech positions, you may have more luck purchasing recruiting leads from a company with experience in the tech industry. Or if you sell insurance, consider a company with expertise in the insurance industry.

7. Customer service. This is an important consideration with any business purchase. Is the company easy to contact? Are they quick to reply to questions? What kind of reviews do they have, and do they respond to them? Good customer service is a necessity when you have questions or concerns. 

Purchasing leads is a great way to jumpstart your efforts or pull out of a slump. Just be sure to go into it with the understanding that some leads will be better for you than others.

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