Scede vs Berg Search

    Scede is one of the first (perhaps the first) Embedded Talent companies, founded in 2013 by Matt Ellis.

    The seed of the idea (pardon the pun) came when he lost patience with his traditional recruiting which he perceived as being more focused as 'bums on seats'. Traditional models didn't have enough emphasis on client or candidate care.

    Matt became an internal talent acquisition professional when he joined Skype in 2011. The experience was a breath of fresh air. Recruiting at Skype was a craft and was held in high regard by all functions. This gave him the time to focus on quality and conversions instead of vanity metrics such as the number of outbound calls. 


    Combining the best aspects of RPOs, traditional recruitment and in-house talent acquisition, Scede launched a defining category of recruitment services that catered for mission-driven companies. The model has proved successful and in 2022, the company took home a cool £1m in net profit.


    What does Scede do?

    Scede provides three services to growth companies such as Onfido and Graphcore:

    Scede Embedded

    Add instant recruitment capacity and specialism to your talent acquisition team with a fixed-cost, subscription-based Scede Embedded Talent Solution. 

    Scede deploys highly experienced talent partner/s into companies to either act as, or augment, your existing talent acquisition team. An embedded talent partner from Scede becomes your dedicated internal hiring resource for a predefined period, fully adopting your brand identity (using your email systems/signatures), and immersing themselves into your company vision and mission, culture, values, and ways of working.


    Our Talent as a Service offering solves the same hiring problems.

    Instead of providing a single professional for a fixed monthly fee of between £7k and £10k.

    We provide a dedicated talent professional for £1k per month, supported by our recruitment professionals from our three core practice areas (Product, Tech, Data - Go To Market - Central Functions).

    We charge a low success fee per placement which means you only pay when you make hires.


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    Scede Source

    This service helps increase the number of relevant candidates at the top of your funnel so your existing talent team can run the end-to-end recruitment process.

    Here, the Scede Talent Partner qualifies your needs and spends 30 days building the application funnel by using services like Linkedin, and Xing, as well as specialist jobs boards.


    Scede Advisory

    As the name suggests, Scede provide consulting services to help build an effective, scalable Talent Acquisition function from scratch or optimise an existing one.

    Some aspects of the Scede Advisory service include employer branding, TA tech implementation, and Hiring Manager training – future-proof your Talent Acquisition function with our proven best practices, frameworks, and processes. 


    Embedded recruitment

    Scede is one of the first companies that provided the Embedded recruitment model which is a talent acquisition approach that specifically helps rapid growth companies scale at speed. For example, when Automattic needed to grow their engineering team and looked to accelerate their hiring, they took 3 Scede talent acquisition professionals who made 60 hires in 15 months, which worked out about £6-£7k per hire as opposed to the £15-£20k you may pay if you used traditional recruitment.

    Instead of hiring your own internal talent acquisition or relying on existing team members, embedded recruitment is a solution that exists when you have very large, short-term hiring needs. While you end up paying around 50% more for this temporary help, the additional cost is worth it given that the service can be turned off once your hiring needs slow down.

    The other alternative to an in-house team is to rely on contingent recruitment firms but they might not have the internal and cultural understanding that supports the hiring of the very best talent.

    Embedded recruitment companies, like Scede (or Talentful, or Join Talent or Elements), will provide 'ready to go' recruitment professionals to your business and their consultants work incredibly closely with your own company to understand the culture of your business. Not only does it help make a more accurate hire but it also increases the number of high-quality applicants as these external consultants can be better advocates for your company than the shorter relationships provided by the traditional agency model.


    Specialized knowledge

    The other benefit that the embedded recruitment process provides is specialised knowledge. Tech recruitment requires specialist knowledge. Go-to-market recruitment requires specialized knowledge. So to does recruiting for central functions such as legal, finance and operations.

    It's rare you'll find one person who understands what makes a good engineer, how to test someone's relevant accounting policies, understand someone's legal knowledge, discern the type of manager a person is. An internal talent acquisition team needs to have a minimum size to cover all the specialisms and some of those people are recruited sporadically. Why hire an internal team with legal expertise if you only need one counsel?

    Embedded talent acquisition means that you can draw on the right skills at the right time. If you need mainly tech hires, you can immediately take on a team of tech recruitment professionals and give them back when your hiring needs slow down.


    The drawbacks of embedded recruitment

    Both Berg and embedded solutions providers such as Scede have similar goals in mind, to help great companies hire great people. Scede (a traditional embedded recruitment firm) operates on a fixed fee per consultant, with a minimum commitment (more on that below).

    While there are many advantages of embedded recruitment, there are some drawbacks as well:

    • The quality of consultants will vary wildly. The consultants jump from company to company using different technologies and processes. Some consultants may be good, others less so.

    • The consultants don't receive much internal and continuous training and are rather, hired out for some time. As an example, three Scede consultants spent 15 months at Automattic then went to a different company with different processes

    • You pay 50% more per person than you would for internal teams even if they don't make a hire.

    • There are no consequences for bad hires, you pay the full fee every month regardless

    • Quantity of hire is more important than quality of hire.


    Talent as a service

    Berg has pioneered the talent-as-a-service model which has all the advantages of embedded recruitment, with incredibly flexible pricing.

    While a Scede consultant will cost you between £7,000 and £10,000 per month even if they don't make a hire, a Berg Talent Partner will cost £1,000 a month, with an exceptionally low contingent fee when you make a hire.

    If you want embedded recruitment providers such as Scede to hire cross-functionally, you'll need a three-person team which could cost over £30,000 per month.

    Your Berg talent partner can pull on functional specialists when necessary for no extra cost.

    If you plan to make a huge number of hires and quantity is more important than quality, then a talent as a service provider such as Berg will be more expensive than an embedded solution such as Scede.

    Think of Berg as subscription talent solutions which you pay for only if you actually use us.



    How much does Scede cost?

    Like most talent/recruitment companies, service fees vary depending on market conditions. Scede's pricing isn't available publicly but based on customer interviews, we've seen it range between £7k and £10k.


    What's the difference between Scede and Berg Search?

    Scede is a purely embedded talent and advisory service. When you sign a contract, they second one of their Talent Partners to your organisation. They become one of your employees, sitting in your office, and holding a branded domain. They would then charge a flat monthly fee through an agreed minimum period with no further payments. If you want additional strategic support, they have specialists in org structure and tech implementations who can be added to a partnership.

    Berg operates as a talent-as-a-service. When you sign a contract, one of our Consultants is assigned to your company. They may also look after a few other companies depending on your hiring volumes. You pay £1k per month with a variable fee on each hire. Berg focuses on the quality of hire with a thorough process that gives growth firms the best chance of hiring A-players.


    Finding A-players is exceptionally difficult and takes over 70 hours end to end. Berg Search is a talent-as-a-service partner whose sole aim is to find A-players for growth companies.

    With Berg Search. for as little as £1,000 per month, you get access to an army of recruitment professionals who can immediately ramp up to any role you’re hiring for. 

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