Talentful vs Berg

    Talentful was founded in 2015 with the specific mission of supporting high-growth firms with their hiring. They also produce the highly regarded podcast, 'Hiring on all cylinders'

    While they weren't the first to come up with the embedded talent concept (we believe that was Scede who were founded in 2013) Talentful are certainly one of the most successful companies in the industry, reaching £35 million in revenue for 2022 and an overall profit, of over £4 million!


    What does Talentful do?

    Talentful is an embedded talent company providing talent executives on a contract basis for companies that need to increase their speed of hiring for a temporary period.

    These talent executives are an alternative to in-house recruiters and conduct the hires themselves but they will also support at a strategic level when it comes to talent attraction strategies.

    One of their central case studies is Talentful's work with Hopin, where they hired 353 people over 18 months at a total cost of £735,000,  In this example, Talentful initially provided Hopin with two experienced recruiters that expanded to seven people.

    Compared with traditional recruitment partners, this would have worked out cheaper (although more expensive than an in-house team.)


    Need a REALLY flexible hiring solution?

    A subscription with Berg costs £1,000 per month.

    For that, you get a Talent Partner permanently connected to your company as well as our entire team of functional specialists.

    When you don't hire, your Talent Partner will maintain their knowledge of your business and will be available to support strategy and process.

    We charge a success fee of 8-10% for each hire, making us significantly cheaper than traditional solutions

    Find out more


    Embedded recruitment

    Talentful 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 Atlassian looked to accelerate their hiring, instead of building their own internal talent acquisition team, they took 73 Talentful employees who were already experienced in talent acquisition who ended up conducting 13,400 interviews and making 448 hires across Tech, product, design and marketing.

    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 Talentful's 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 Talentful (or Scede, 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 embedded recruitment firms such as Talentful provide 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.

    You'll rarely find one person who understands what makes a good engineer, how to test someone's relevant accounting policies, understand someone's legal knowledge, and 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 provides such as Talentful have similar goals in mind, to help great companies hire great people. Talentful (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 from Talentful will vary. This is because the consultants frequently change engagements between companies where they use different technologies and processes. Some Talentful consultants are excellent but expect a variety.

    • The consultants don't receive much internal and continuous training as they do not earn revenue if they aren't deployed at a client.. As an example, a Talentful consultant may spend 6 months working with Hopin (who have their processes and systems) and then 6 months at Monzo Bank.

    • You pay 50% more per Talentful executives 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.


    If you need to make hires in both technical and sales roles, then an embedded talent firm will cost you £20,000 per month (even if they make no hires).

    At Berg, you'll pay £1,000 per month.

    You'll receive a Talent Partner who's an expert in a particular function.

    You'll also get access to our pool of recruiters with functional excellence across product, tech, data, sales, marketing and central functions.

    Explore further


    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 Talentful consultant will cost you £12,000 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 Talentful 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 Talentful.

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



    How much does Talentful cost?

    Like most talent/recruitment companies, service fees vary depending on market conditions. In 2020, each Talentful talent partner cost c £10,000 per month (according to their accounts).

    Talentful recently trialled an On-Demand service where one of their talent professionals will hire for a pair of roles for a monthly retainer of £4,500 as opposed to a success fee but this offer has been discontinued.


    What's the difference between Talentful and Berg?

    Talentful is a purely embedded talent 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 (around £10k in normal market conditions) with no further payments.

    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.

    The approach that's best for you really depends on the quantity of hires you need to make and how important the quality of hire is.


    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.

    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. 

    Find out more