What is a Bench Sales Recruiter?

Jul 24th, 2015
What is a Bench Sales Recruiter?

Definition

A 'Bench Marketer' or 'Bench Sales Recruiter' is a Sales, Account or Recruiting person at a staffing company that is responsible for marketing that company's 'bench' of consultants, that are not working on projects. They find requirements, propose their candidates and place them on projects with Clients or Tier 1 Staffing agencies in the US.

Where

These positions are unique to Tier 2 India based staffing and recruiting agencies who have carved out this niche in US IT Staffing. They take advantage of the non-transparency and inefficient job marketplace in contracting- where clients have squeezed down rates to Tier 1 staffing and consulting companies, making it hard for them to compete and make profits. So these Tier 1 companies outsource the expensive search for contractors to Tier 2 staffing agencies.

What is the bench?

To meet the demands of the Clients or Tier 1 agencies, Tier 2 staffing agencies hire H1b consultants or develop their own 'virtual bench' of H1b candidate from other companies or OPT visa (recent graduates) consultants. Often times even US citizens and greencard holders work with bench recruiters with an informal understanding that they can be represented to clients. This is because Bench Marketers may have a better network of recruiters and staffing agencies and a better knowledge of the market.

These H1b/OPT/Citizen consultants get hired into projects and then terminated at the end of the project after 6-12 months. When these consultants come off a project and there is no immediate next project for them to work on, they are said to be 'on the bench' like the 'extras' on a sports team that sit on the bench in case someone gets injured or tired.

How do they work?

The Tier 2 staffing company needs to get these consultants onto billable projects as soon as possible and so they employ these 'bench marketers' whose job is to advertise these consultant's resumes on job boards and local freelancer marketplaces, apply to jobs posted on job boards, cold call Tier 1 staffing agencies, send out 'hot lists of consultants' to potential customers, make submissions, and once they identify a position, they arrange interviews, negotiate rates, and finalize the contract with the customer.

If a candidate is finalized the bench marketer would sign a Corp-Corp contract which is basically a subcontracting agreement. The 'bench marketing' company continues to run the payroll for the consultant, and the consultant now works through the Tier 1 staffing agency at the end client's work site. 

The profit the bench staffing agency makes from placing the bench consultant needs to be higher than the cost of the bench sales recruiter which is why this is only feasible to do from India.

For example- A good bench recruiter in India may make $1000/month. This would mean a cost of $7/hr for the agency. The bench recruiter needs to place at least 1 contractor and make a margin of $10/hr ($1,680/month) to enable the staffing agency to be profitable. If the contractor sticks around longer than a month and the recruiter makes at least one placement every month, it becomes a very profitable business.

Difference between Indian bench staffing and US staffing company

The difference between an India based bench sales recruiter and a US staffing agency sales person is that the bench marketer has a consultant that is ready to start work and is looking for job to place them.

A US staffing agency on the other hand first looks for jobs with a client and then goes looking for a consultant to fill that role.

Since these are slightly complementary, oftentimes bench marketers focus their sales on other staffing agencies that have existing clients or lots of open requirements.

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