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Hiring Tips & Insights: Hiring developers on OfferZen vs Recruitment Agencies: Which is right for you?
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Hiring developers on OfferZen vs Recruitment Agencies: Which is right for you?

13 December 2023, by Marcelle van Niekerk

It can be daunting to manage hiring for a tech team when you have many other responsibilities like coming up with your product vision, staying on top of emerging technologies, and implementing your tech strategy. That’s why many tech leaders turn to services like recruitment agencies to help them hire developers.

While agencies can provide access to a wide pool of candidates, the traditional agency model also comes with its drawbacks when hiring in tech. Here we compare two methods you can use to hire developers: recruitment agencies and a talent marketplace like OfferZen.

Hiring developers on OfferZen vs Recruitment Agencies: Which is right for you?

In this article we’ll compare:

  • Developer talent
  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Support

What are we comparing?

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies or individual third-party recruiters source qualified candidates on your behalf. They often act as a middleman between candidates and employers until an offer is signed.

Examples of recruitment agencies in South Africa include Salt and Frogg Recruitment, or Adecco and Randstad in Europe.

A talent marketplace

A talent marketplace is an online platform that serves as a meeting point for companies hiring professionals with certain skills and the talented individuals who possess those skills. It acts as a bridge between ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’ of talent.

OfferZen is an example of a talent marketplace specialising in developers.

Developer talent

Let’s dive into the differences between the type of developers you will typically find via recruitment agencies versus OfferZen:

Recruitment Agencies OfferZen
Job seeking intent Typically present you with both passive and active job seekers. OfferZen only has actively job-seeking developers on the marketplace, which ensures a 98% response rate from candidates when you reach out and speeds up time to hire.
Skills The third party will interpret your job descriptions and tech stack to shortlist developers with skill sets to match your requirements. You can filter directly for the skills you require to find developers that match your needs.
Communication Adds a middleman to your hiring process. This usually means you don’t talk to developers directly until the first official interview. You are directly in control of your communication with candidates and how you represent your developer brand.

Key takeaways:

  • While receiving active and passive candidates can mean a wide selection of developers to choose from, it can also slow the speed of your hiring process as you are talking to passive developers who might not be fully committed to leaving their current roles.
  • Your interview process is one of the primary ways that developers assess company culture — given this, being in control of every step can be vital to prevent great developers dropping off.
  • Developers have a general hesitancy towards recruiters: be aware that your employer brand might be at risk when you have little control over how your company is presented to candidates.
  • Having a middleman can slow down your hiring process when communication has to go back and forth between multiple people.


Recruitment Agencies OfferZen
The services that recruitment agencies offer can differ widely, but common features include:

• Sourcing candidates and screening resumes to create shortlists.

• Conducting initial screening interviews.

• Conduct reference and background checks.

• Act as a middleman for salary negotiations and the offer process.

• Analysis and advice on market-related salaries and job packages.
• Curation of developers that are job-seeking in the marketplace to ensure active intent and quality.

• Search capabilities to find developers that fit your requirements, such as salary, remote work preferences, skills, years of experience and visa status.

• Automatic matching to candidates that are a good fit for the roles.

ATS integration with over 10 options.

• Dedicated employer profiles to showcase your brand, mission, stack and perks.

A positions dashboard that enables you to manage and communicate with applicants, and schedule interviews within the platform.

Analytics dashboard that provides data like acceptance rate and average time to hire, with benchmarking against other employers on the platform.

• Standardised, transparent developer profiles showcasing candidate skills, expected salary, recent projects and work history.

• Templates for reaching out to candidates about an opportunity.

• Analysis and access to unique market and benchmarking data, and holistic support from Account Managers.

•Coming soon: The ability to publish your jobs to candidates, so that they can apply directly to a role.

OfferZen features

OfferZen features


Recruitment agencies fees in South Africa typically range between 15-20% of the annual salary package. In many European countries, the range is closer to 20-25%.


Pay-per-hire: 12.5% success fee per hire based on candidates’ cost-to-company.

Unlimited subscription: Custom fixed fee to make unlimited developer hires and save over 50% compared to recruitment agencies.


When using a recruitment agency, recruiters will be available to support you on individual candidate processes from screening to assisting with the offer stage. They also offer market-related benchmarking data. That said, they work based on commission, so it’s in their best interest to fill open vacancies, which can sometimes create pressure for candidates and companies and risk hiring someone who is not a fit in the long-term.

For OfferZen Subscription customers, Account Managers are focused on helping their companies continuously improve how they hire the best tech talent.

They can provide market-related benchmarking data, insights and advice around hiring best practices, employer branding, maintaining a positive candidate experience, as well as comparative insights based on other companies using the platform. They’ll help you make your hires this quarter, but they’ll also make sure you’re able to scale your hiring approach as your company grows.

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