Recently I was conducting a job search and working with a recruiter I know, who submits my resume+credentials to various companies we discuss. Some of these companies are small, such that I'd never discover them on my own, and the recruiter is a useful connecting agent. Other companies are larger, well known names that I could likely have gone to their website and applied quite easily. They probably get enough interest as well that they aren't hurting for candidates.
For these well known companies, what is the value of the company working with recruiter referred candidates instead of just candidates without one? I'm thinking that the recruiter candidate obviously comes with an extra initial cost to hire (upwards of 10-15% of a year's salary?), and thus the independents would be cheaper to review.
From my perspective, I wonder if going into an application with a recruiter becomes a hindrance, in that I'll need to be that much better a candidate to justify the extra expense. Is this a fair assumption, or do company hiring budgets expect recruiter fees?