This is a story I have heard a lot where companies often struggle so much to find qualified employees who will actually stay with the company that they are willing to invest in outside firms to help them find the perfect candidates. This can often make financial sense because many say a new hire often costs a business about $2000 minimum when you factor in all the time and training that you put towards a person. With that said, I was recently hearing how one person had no luck even with expensive firms and so he actually just used free sites such as craigslist. Oddly enough, he found great employee that way.
Paying more for an elite service of sort doesn’t automatically mean it is better then the cheap or free options. Oddly enough, many times professional services use these free sources as well. So ultimately you are paying more for their time in say screening candidates versus actually getting a better talent pool per se.
The same can be said even for consumer services such as some dating or matchmaking companies as many of them advertise using free sources as well. Again, it is more of a time saver unless they specifically indicate they have some kind of private network of contacts as an example. That should always be a factor when deciding whether you want to pay a professional to outsource something like this.